Nonverbal Communication Versus Reading Between the Lines

I have been wondering, what exactly are we missing when we communicate through text- based technology? I want to explore the idea of non-verbal communication and how it differs from reading between the lines.

 What is Non-Verbal Communication? 16906581_1132086126903195_2329889710765244416_n

Half of our brain communicates strictly through non-verbal (or textual cues)

Non-verbal communication is expressed through our presence, our bodies and the way we speak rather than the things we say. the things we don’t say. It can be hand gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, the way that we hold our bodies when we are around certain people.

For example, if you are feeling closed off you will close your body off by crossing your legs or arms making yourself smaller. Kind of like an armadillo rolling itself into a ball to protect from predators.

Non-verbal communication is the most primal form of communication. It is a natural form of communication that w share with all animals. We may speak different body languages, but the principal is the same.

Our non-verbal cues signify and relate whether we are trustworthy, or a danger.

You cannot edit non-verbal language, in fact, you have very little control over what you are communicating through your body in the moment.
Swedish Proverb

What does it mean to read between the lines?

Reading between the lines is essential, reading what is implied but not explicit in the text. Reading what is not-written.

Is it true that the best is between the lines? If so- Why? Is it because it gives us the satisfaction or the feeling of safety and trust knowing that we are able to use both parts of yourself- the reasoning and the rational– to determine meaning?

Reading itself is a focused and analytical action and is primarily the realm of the left brain. However, reading between the lines involves pattern recognition and is something that our right brain does, just like when we are reading non-verbal cues.

Non-verbal settles the concern while the other creates one.

Even though the two share this pattern recognition and use both out intuitive and rational faculties,  reading between the lines is a slippery slope.

Looking for what is not written, is different from looking for what is given. The one recognizes the observable and the other looks for what is not observed. In that way reading between the lines raises concerns, while the non-verbal settles the concern.


Non-Verbal is grounded in the present, but the other is the projection onto a possible future or possible meaning.

Why is it important?

Our emotional brain is non-verbal

Gives us a sense of security and allows us to interpret what is being said both rationally and instinctively. Fight or flight response is connected to

When we are reading a text w are communicating without context and the other is missing our tone, our facial gestures and our body language, so while reading between the lines is possible, it leads to a tendency to sense a threat or be on guard.


How can we use technology to communicate what is not said?

3 thoughts on “Nonverbal Communication Versus Reading Between the Lines

  1. Yes! I remember My friends and I realizing that when we AOL instant messaged each other that we would get into fights because we couldn’t hear tone of voice or get any of those other signals you wrote about. Haha, we had to make a rule not to get made at anything on instant messenger. I think, however, that good communication skills can be practiced regardless and it starts with the kind of reflection and understanding written about here. Thank you for your interest in my blog. I look forward to following yours.

    Liked by 1 person

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