You are on page 1of 160
Silent Messages Albert Mehrabian Wadsworth Publishing Company, Ine. Belmont, California To Karen © 1971 by Wadsworth Publishing Company, inc.. Belmont, California ‘$4003, All rights reserved. No part ofthis book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transcribed, in any form ‘oF by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the urlten permission of the publisher. ISBN-0-634-00059-2 L. ©. Cat. Card No. 75-166409 Printed in the United States ‘of America 128456789 10-76 75 74 73 72 THE LIBRARY BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY PROVO, UTAH Our speech-oriented culture is just-beginning to-take-note of the profound and overlooked contribution of nonverbal*behavior to the processes of communication. This contribution of our actions rather than our speech is especially important, since it Is Insepa-k” table from the feelings that we knowingly or inadvertently project in our everyday social interaction and determines the effective- ness and well-being of our intimate, social, and working relation- ships.[Indeed, in the realm of feelings, our facial expressions; postures, movements, and gestures are so important that when” our words contradict the silent messages contained within them, oars mistmst what we say=they rely almost completly on what we di a] (People who have a greater awareness of the esinauinioativek significance of actions not only can insure accurate communica- tion of their own feelings but also can be more successful in their intimate relationships, in artistic endeavors suchas acting, Or in work that Involves the persuasion, leadership, and organi- zation of others There are those, however, who somehow are constantly misunderstood; others whose nonverbal style - discourages friendships and causes them to live lonely and iso- lated lives. Most can benefit considerably from a greater aware- ness of their social style, the effect it has on casual and brief interactions with others, or its more general effect on their social life.