Many researchers conclude that human communication is only 30 to 40 percent verbal and 60 to 70 percent of our interactions are composed of silent signals we give off unintentionally. We can all relate to the experience of fidgeting when we’re bored or making direct eye contact when a conversation interests us. Non-verbal cues are just as much a part of the conversation as the words said.
The study of body language is known as kinesics, a branch of anthropology developed by Ray Birdwhistell in the mid-20th century to de-verbalize human communication. Birdwhistell believed that no movement of the human body is accidental and that all of our gestures, down to the tiniest blink, are subject to a grammar that can be studied and analyzed.