The Dance of Non-Verbal Communication

I have been taking a couple’s dance class recently, which has been making me think about the importance of non-verbal communication.  It is absolutely imperative in social dancing.  The man has to clearly communicate what he wants the woman to do, and she needs to be able to interpret things correctly in order to follow his non-verbal directions.  That is such a perfect metaphor for any kind of relationship because both communicating and interpreting are very important.

Some people give off very few non-verbal cues as to what they are thinking or feeling. That makes them hard to read and can lead to confusion, playing guessing games, or even tip-toeing around issues because the other person may not know how that person will react.  That’s been my experience, anyway.  On the other hand, I have experience with people who give off almost too much non-verbal communication.   Continue reading


creativity 3

Finding ways to express myself creatively is one of those things that helps me feel “emotionally full” or that feeds my soul.  It can be something artistic, some form of writing like these blog posts or poetry, or something involving performing like singing or playing an instrument.  I feel doing something creative helps me shut off the problem-solving, analytical side of my brain and I can focus on how I am feeling. In a way, it can be therapeutic or at least a healthy emotional outlet.  Sometimes it’s just helpful to shut off all thoughts about things that cause me stress while singing along to some favorite songs or drawing a picture.

It does seem to come in waves though.  I have to be in the right mood sometimes, or my brain can’t be too cluttered.  Other times, the mood just hits me or I need to declutter my brain by writing about things to get the thoughts out of my head.  I can’t plan on being creative though, so I’m kind of glad I don’t have a job that requires me to be creative on a regular basis.  I can’t always be creative under pressure.  It is a very fulfilling thing though that feeds on itself.  Sometimes the more creative I am, the more creative I want to be.  I think being able to choose when I want to be creative is key.  I can go with the flow and not have to feel burned out from needing to be creative and can really enjoy how it feels when I am.

One thing I have noticed over the years though is how I tend to gravitate towards people who either really admire and appreciate various forms of creativity or who enjoy expressing themselves creatively somehow.  This could be theater, dance, music, artwork, crafts, building things from scratch, cake decorating, sewing, sports that are more visually creative such as figure skating, cheerleading, and gymnastics, and so many other things.  A while back I got to thinking about why that might be.  I came up with two reasons.

The first is that, in my experience, people who enjoy expressing themselves creatively tend to be better or more willing to express their inner most thoughts and feelings, which I appreciate.  I would rather know where I stand with someone and have them be able to tell me what they are thinking or feeling than have to play guessing games as to what they might be.  So being creative may help somewhat with communication and feeling connected.

The second is that I think certain character traits are necessary to be successful at these various forms of creativity, all of which I believe are good qualities to have. Many of these activities require dedication, perseverance, confidence and courage to get up and perform in front of others, the ability to be vulnerable, a good imagination, and attention to detail.  Some require research and planning and some sort of insight.  I guess my experience has been that if you have these qualities to draw upon to be creative, then usually they carry over into the other aspects of your life.  I’m not saying that if you are not creative that you don’t have any of these qualities, but I do think they often go hand in hand.  And I guess I relate best to people who have these kinds of qualities that I feel are important and that I have as well.

I think making time to be creative is important for many reasons besides ones I’ve mentioned here.  If you’re not typically a creative person, I encourage you to try doing something that would be considered creative and see how it makes you feel.  It can be very freeing and satisfying.  Anyone agree or disagree?