Most of the basic communication gestures are the same all over the world. When people are happy they smile; when they are sad or angry they frown or scowl. Nodding the head is almost universally used to indicate ‘yes’ or affirmation. It appears to be a form of head lowering and is probably an inborn gesture, as it is also used by deaf and blind people. Shaking the head from side to side to indicate ‘no’ or negation is also universal and may well be a gesture that is learned in infancy.
Social situations can be very emotionally threatening for people. When we grow up, we learn to use and train different nonverbal mechanisms to hide this insecurity, but in every age category, as a small child or adult, a trained eye can easily recognize these bodylanguage signals.
If a social situation feels threatening, it is in our nature to throw up a (nonverbal) barricade. For a small child it is easy to hide behind its mother if they meet a stranger on the street or in a store. They can hide their face behind their hands, pull their hat over their face or crawl higher in the safe arms of their parent. From this position the child feels more at ease to look at the stranger to see what their actions are. We all recognize the feeling to be safe in our bed with the sheets covering our face; its one of the few places we can really feel safe, even as an adult.
Adults who suffer from depression it is a saying heared alot: ‘All i want to do is lie in bed and sleep all day’. Its a different way of saying ‘ im too afraid to step into the real world and face the uncomfortable situations i might encounter’. Of course depressed people feel left out of energy, but the step to come out of bed and meet the world is a step you need to take, how threatening the world around them might seem to feel…