Universal body language precedes all forms of communication and all languages. Before languages developed it was through the use of universal body language that people were able to communication expressions. Many people are unaware of how often they use universal body language, particularly when they are in the comfort of their own country. Even now, when traveling to a foreign country, or trying to meet an exchange student, people utilize the seven main expressions known as universal body language. The first is happiness. The second expression is sadness. The third is boredom. The fourth is fear. The fifth expression is anger, the sixth surprise, and the seventh, disgust. These non-verbal expressions remain consistent and true throughout the world and are the primary means of communication when immersed into cultures which do not share the same primary language. The role this non-verbal communication serves is to express a feeling or thought without words.
When a person expresses the first emotion, happiness, it is generally with a smile, their eyes will get wider, and they will appear non-threatening. Sometimes people laugh as well. They can make positive physical gestures or touches when they are happy. You might not understand what they are saying in that moment but you understand that they are happy.
When a person expresses the second emotion, sadness, their eyes become wet and they sometimes tear up or cry. The overall look on their face is that of devastation or defeat. Body language is no longer sitting up straight with shoulders back, but rather, shoulders slumped as if to express a sullen attitude.
Boredom is an expression easily identifies as it is defined by a person looking away, looking out a window, at another person, yawning, rolling their eyes, watching a clock or a door, tapping fingers or feet impatiently and looking distracted. This can be easily determined when one person is speaking to another and the other person looks away, uninterested.
Fear and Anger
Another of the universal body language expressions is fear. This is demonstrated when a person cowers at a person, an object, a name, a location, etc… They might stop suddenly, put their hands over their face, look away, signal to others, run, or hide. Anger is often seen in a person’s face as their skin reddens. Their eyes become fixated upon a specific object or person and their fists tighten, along with the rest of their body becoming tense. When a person is angry, their body gets into “ready position”, meaning it is ready to take an additional step which might be getting out of a chair, or running toward someone or something.
Surprise and Disgust
The expressions for surprise and disgust often mirror one another in terms of the body language expressions. In both cases, the mouth as well as the eyes will widen. However, surprise reflects a deer caught in the headlights whereas disgust shows rejection upon a person’s face, something they might be experiencing when they put an object of food in their mouths or something intangible occurs.
Overall people use universal body language without realizing it until they venture somewhere away from their homes and find that non-verbal communication is their only ally. No matter you are in the world, there are seven main expressions a part of universal body language. These include: happiness, sadness, boredom, fear, anger, surprise, and disgust.