ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cultural Differences And Body Language

Updated on May 26, 2016

Culture plays a very important role in non verbal communications, which can be seen to others as a normal attitude or an insult, depending on one's cultural background. Apparently, we live in a world filled with diverse and multifarious cultures, which is the major source of different non verbal ways of communication. Non verbal communication simply means the act of generating information such as facial expressions, gestures, and postures, which is being interpreted by the receiver as a coded language or a message. As perceived researchers, non verbal communication also known as body language, is the most effective and powerful means of communication, which is virtually understood by different people irrespective of their nationality. According to scientific research and study, it has been proven that even animals understands body language, which has mostly being observed in dogs and other house pets. This means of communication can be perceived in different ways, for instance, when a man glances at his watch in the middle of a conversation, that simply means his time is being wasted or he's actually tired/bored.

"Never ask a woman if you may kiss her; instead learn to read her body language," says Neil Strauss. Body language is a very powerful mechanism of communication, which is apparently eighty percent(80%) of what we understand in a conversation. It has been said that a person saying the truth will always express his feelings by demonstrating with his hands, whereby a person telling a lie will always keep his hands still while talking. The original study of body language pioneered by Birdwhistell was called kinesics, he estimated that humans can recognize and also make about 250,000 facial expressions. All this demonstrates the effectiveness of non verbal communication.

In reference to my country, Nigeria, bowing of heads and prostrating are the two major ways of greeting elderly people which obviously portrays a sign of courtesy. Doing so in other foreign countries may be seen as something strange or unusual. The United States is a country popularly known for its diverse cultures due to the great population of foreigners residing there. The cultural diversity in the United States has given room for the practice of different body languages, which people from other countries try as much as possible to adapt to. Such actions like, touching, hugging, and kissing, are less frequent and publicly displayed. I find China's culture quite fascinating. There are body languages used to depict their emotions and feelings. For instance, when a chinese hits his chest, it indicates a strong affection of love or anger, which is used to denote some sort of assurance, confirmation or guarantee. All other countries, either big or small also possess different ways of communicating non verbally with respect to their culture.

Body language is a very essential and important means of communication which the deaf and blind can understand in certain circumstances. Non verbal communication has been seen to contain emblematic and precise meanings correlative to verbal communication. The differences of culture can often lead to miscommunication between people who did not mean to offend themselves. This form of communication is not only used in respect to culture, but also as a coded language between gangs, groups, families, friends and ties. Non verbal communication is a global phenomenon that can never be overlooked.

Facts About Body Language

(1). When people see what they don’t like, feels threatened or unhappy, they squint their eyes.

(2). When we raise our eyebrows, it means we are contemplating on what we’re listening to and mildly intrigued.

(3). Giving a direct eye contact means being interested, focused or listening.

(4). Blinking consistently means we’re nervous or anxious

(5). Fingertips touching conveys we’re thinking and that we’re about to make a decision or move.

(6) Putting your hands with your thumps backward on your hips and elbows out displays dominance or authority.

(7). When we cross our feet when standing or sitting down, it shows that we’re comfortable or relaxed, but sometimes also defensive.

(8). Shaking your legs means you’re anxious, scared or impatient

(9). Tilting your head and smiling means flirting or being playful

(10). Lowering your head means you’re ashamed of something, shy or have something to hide.

(11). Looking to the sideways means you’re distracted or that you’re submitting a paper

(12). Eyes seemed far away means deep thought or dosing off.

NB: All these facts are not necessarily true for all human beings, it might vary among different people.

Body Language Do's and Don'ts

Do you think actions speak louder than words?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Pacesetter Abbey profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawal Abiodun 

      4 years ago from Houston, Texas.

      You are welcome Bert

    • profile image

      Bert Shrock 

      4 years ago from Dodge City, Kansas

      Thanks a million.

    • Pacesetter Abbey profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawal Abiodun 

      4 years ago from Houston, Texas.

      Okay Mr. Bert. Firstly, I would like to welcome you to Hubpages.

      I read your bio and I guess I had a clue of what your purpose for being here is. Without any further excursus, I'll be giving you some guides which should possibly help you in your adventurous journey here in Hubpages. The effectiveness and rigidity of an article is not based on the quantity but mainly based on the quality. Good hubs doesn't just attract readers, it attracts the management of Hubpages as well (awards can be given). Whereas a voluminous article without flow, a strong thesis, correct grammars, supporting ideas, et cetera, will only be a waste of precious time.

      Before writing any article, irrespective of how well you know it, it's necessary for you to always search for the topic here on hubpages, if someone had already written something similar. This give you a sense on how to approach your topic (make sure yours is better than the existing one). If you explore the web deeper, you would notice that there are other options apart from just writing articles, there is a section for questions and answers, and forums, et al. This will help you create an awareness of your presence here, which will increase the numbers of followers you have.

      Regarding the money making, I don't know much about it, but according to some other hubbers, they make money through traffics and ads. You will need a google adsense account, and a PayPal account as well. There are lots of hubs here that explains the registration process, you can search for topics like "how to make money on hubpages," "how to increase my traffic," and so on.


      I hope this helps.

      [I will be deleting this comment in the next 48hours since it has no relation to the hub above]

    • profile image

      Bert Shrock 

      4 years ago from Dodge City, Kansas

      Ah, someone who can take a bit of criticism and respond peaceably. Glad you know that. I am going to copy your list for my own uses. I was reading your list late last night and I guess I missed the fact that not only does it give a general idea of what a person is thinking, but it is universal. Guess I missed that. Anyhow I see you have posted 5 hubs so far, and as you probably have noticed I am a new member. If you could take a moment or two to give me some advice on how to make a good hub and how to make money off of it I would appreciate it.

    • Pacesetter Abbey profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawal Abiodun 

      4 years ago from Houston, Texas.

      Thanks for the contribution Bert. I'm aware of the fact that a presumed body language doesn't apply to everyone, but based on analytics, experience, and research, it has been ascertained that people are generally more likely to connote such behaviors as a reason for their body language/actions. Human beings are dynamic and versatile, meaning everyone has different traits and psychological behaviors. But yet, there are some and there will always be a form of similarity amongst different people.

    • profile image

      Bert Shrock 

      4 years ago from Dodge City, Kansas

      Your facts about body language list could use a little help. Just because someone is doing one of these things doesn't mean he is doing what you claim he is. Those are just possibilities of what they may be doing. For example shaking your leg according to you shows your nervous, scared or impatient. Not so. If a persons habit is to do so he will do so and you will think he is anxious. Really reading a persons body language is knowing how they act normally and when they act irregular finding out what causes them to act that way. Nonetheless there are some body movements, such as the quick flash of the eyebrow when meeting someone you know, which are in fact universal and subconscious, but only a few.

    • Pacesetter Abbey profile imageAUTHOR

      Lawal Abiodun 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas.

      Thanks MsDora. I just realized that the first thing a child understands about his/her parent is their body language, which is the only means of communication between both of them. Our body expression speaks louder than words.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      5 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for these facts about body language. That many facial expressions? There is so much we can learn if we pay attention. Interesting and informational!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)