Body language

Body language is a type of nonverbal communication in which physical behaviors, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey the information. Such behavior includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space. Body language exists in both animals and humans, but this article focuses on interpretations of human body language. It is also known as kinesics.

Two women talking to each other. Notice the woman in blue has an arm next to her body, whilst the other uses hers to gesticulate, both signs of body language

Although body language is an important part of communication, most of it happens without conscious awareness.

Body "language" must not be confused with sign language, as sign languages are languages and have their own complex grammar systems, as well as being able to exhibit the fundamental properties that exist in all languages.[1][2] Body language, on the other hand, does not have a grammar system and must be interpreted broadly, instead of having an absolute meaning corresponding with a certain movement, so it is not a language,[3] and is simply termed as a "language" due to popular culture.

In a society, there are agreed-upon interpretations of particular behavior. Interpretations may vary from country to country, or culture to culture. On this note, there is controversy on whether body language is universal. Body language, a subset of nonverbal communication, complements verbal communication in social interaction. In fact some researchers conclude that nonverbal communication accounts for the majority of information transmitted during interpersonal interactions.[4] It helps to establish the relationship between two people and regulates interaction, but can be ambiguous.