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3 Non-Verbals That Hurt Relationships

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What are you saying?

We have all said, “It is not what you said, but how you said it!” Our attitude comes out in our tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. You can choose your words as carefully as possible, but if you don’t manage your non-verbals—you can destroy your message.


Your body language speaks so loudly, people cannot hear your words if both of them don’t line up.

If you are trying to build a strong relationship, you cannot afford to be sending conflicting messages—your words saying one thing and your body language saying something else.  Knowing what message you want to convey is the first step.

Once you know the message, sharing your message so your partner will hear you takes intentionality.  You must be conscious of your non-verbals as you talk together.  Just as you think about what you are going to say before you say it, think about how you are standing or looking as you talk.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to control your non-verbal communication.

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There are 3 non-verbals that can hurt your relationship.

And it doesn’t even matter what you are saying with your mouth—if you do one of these non-verbals, you will be undermining trust and safety in your relationship. If you don’t know what NOT to do, you will do it without even thinking about it.

Before Ron went to prison, we had as much time as we wanted to spend together and talk to each other. But we didn’t do it. Communication was not a priority. Our relationship was shallow at best. Now that Ron was in prison, communicating became a top priority.

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Here are the top 3 non-verbals to avoid at all costs:

  1. Rolling your eyes. You are telling your partner what he has to say is not worth hearing, discounting him, and thus exhibiting disdain for his opinions or intelligence.
  2. Crossing your arms and cocking your head to one side. This conveys that you do not believe a word he is saying.  Your non-verbals are calling him a liar or an idiot.
  3. Walking away. When you walk away in the middle of a conversation, it conveys disrespect, dishonor, and a total lack of consideration toward your partner.

Avoiding these non-verbals will help you communicate effectively and in a healthy way.  Take some time to think about what you are saying and how you are saying, then make a plan to improve your behavior, and watch  how your relationship blossoms!

I am rooting for you!