Body language makes words stronger in their statement and effect. Best of all: We can even take over conversation with non-verbal means of communication without saying a single word. How does that work? Our body language gives the other person an indication as to how we are feeling.

If we are angry we may be more physical, if we are worried, we may be more withdrawn or happy people will have open body language. When people are hard of hearing, they will pick up on body language and hand gestures more, to ensure that they understand what you’re trying to say.

Keep An Eye on Things

Stay connected by looking your counterpart in the eye, you pay him their undivided attention. Existing eye contact continues communication.

Clear Gestures

Reach out to the open hand – underline the message If you want to encourage your interlocutor to participate in the conversation, clear gestures can support you. Point your counterpart with the visible palm of your hand. This is a clear invitation, coupled with a direct look into the eyes, to say something. Because what happens in this case when you look another person in the eye? Exactly! This person now feels asked to speak. Note: Eye contact is stronger than gestures.


Whether you smile with your eyes, mouth or all around: These friendly facial expressions always signal that you are open to the person who is hard of hearing. And also makes the other person feel a little bit more comfortable and happier. A British study was recently published in the journal scientific reports. The researchers have found that even dogs use their facial expressions specifically when they want attention!

Body language has something mysterious. Probably for this reason, many magazines repeatedly read about them and their possibilities of interpretation. But often half-truths are among them and misinterpretations can result. Nevertheless, it is useful to know some basics of body language. When you use your body language in the right way, you can most definitely help yourself communicate. And if you are hard of hearing, it will allow you to use your body to help others understand you too.


You should be careful with a hasty interpretation and interpretation of non-verbal signals from the interlocutor. One should also avoid the conscious use of body language to deceive others. Only very good actors succeed. One of the most important principles of body language is called congruence. Congruence means the coincidence of verbal and non-verbal statements.

Observe Your Own Body Language

A lot happens unconsciously in body language. We perceive signals from the other unconsciously and also unconsciously send our own signals. In order to make them aware, it can be helpful to first start observing such non-verbal signals with yourself:

  • What should I do if I get unsure in a conversation?
  • Am I still looking at my interlocutor or am I looking to the ground?
  • Do I signal openness by sitting or standing upright and showing open gestures?
  • Do I signal uncertainty by hiding my hands in my pocket?
  • Do I signal interest to my counterpart by taking an open sitting position and, for example, putting my hands on the table?
  • Do I lean back casually, intertwine my arms and signal restraint or even arrogance?

Misinterpretations in Non-Verbal Communication

Especially the topic of arms crossed is always misinterpreted very quickly. Crossed arms should mean closedness and defense. That can be the case – but it doesn’t have to be. First of all, this posture is very comfortable. In contrast to the hasty judgment of the negative attitude, this can also mean I listen to you with interest and stop my own activities.

For listeners of a lecture, arms crossed are not necessarily a negative signal. However, the fact is: Crossed arms do not signal activity in any case. In this respect, we should consciously reduce this attitude when our interlocutor expects activity from us, such as in sales, job interviews or workshops.

Observe the Overall Context

A gesture can have completely different meanings. For the interpretation of the gesture, it is important to consider the overall context. And here it is particularly important to perceive rapid changes. The overall context should always be considered. When you are hard of hearing, you probably already pay a lot more attention to your body language and that of others.

If you are interested to learn more about how a hearing instrument specialist could help you, then please get in touch with us today at Center for Better Hearing and call us today at 510-768-7091.