When a cat lies in it’s back and exposes its soft underbelly that is a sign of trust. The cat is in a position of vulnerability by an attacker. In order for it to expose that part of itself it must feel totally safe and not threatened by its surroundings.
I recently read a study that concluded we humans are losing our ability to interpret social cues and body language. We are becoming increasingly distracted by technology, communicating via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. In doing so, we are literally rewiring our brains.
When my husband had a massive stroke in 1996, he was left with severe expressive and receptive aphasia. What that means is, he was unable to understand language or speak coherently. He lost his reading comprehension as well. During his recovery time, we had to rely on other means of communication. The same holds true to those who have small children, and sometimes it holds true if we have elderly parents. They are unable to effectively communicate verbally, so we need to be more in tune with those other signals.
Most of us can tell if someone has a strained look on their face that they’ve had a bad day. Raised shoulders mean they are carrying stress. A slumped, deflated posture can be a sign of defeat or fatigue. Fast speech or rapid hand movements signal excitement or unease.
How sad if, in our race to Tweet real-time or immediately race to post photos, we lose the subtle art of wordless conversation.