Staying up with all things marriage, I’ve been reading a new book and will be passing on information from it.  The book is called Reclaim Your Relationship by Ron Potter-Efron and Pat Potter-Efron.  Nonverbal ways to say “I Love You” are explored today:

William tells his wife, Lana, “I Love You”.  However, he said it in a monotone voice, leans back, looks away and seems bored.   His verbal message is “I Love You”.  But his nonverbal message is “I don’t really mean what I’m saying.”

If you were her, which message would you believe?  If you’re like most people, the answer is nonverbal message.  Study after study has demonstrated that when people are given a choice between believing two contradictory messages delivered simultaneously, one verbally and the other non-verbally, the one they believe is the nonverbal. Nonverbal communication refers to many things, especially:

  • Vocalizations (tone of voice, monotone or varied rhythm, etc.)
  • Touch (soft to firm)
  • Body posture and movement (leaning towards to leaning away, completely still to constantly active)
  • Eye contact (none to steady and direct)

Here’s a simple formula for making sure your “I Love You” message comes loud and clear to your spouse:

  1. say the words clearly and directly
  2. speak in of quiet tone of voice
  3. make direct and “soft” eye contact
  4. lean toward your spouse
  5. sometimes touch your spouse gently
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Megan, a native of Kansas City, Kansas is an empty nest parent of three adult children Ayanna, Jonathan and Isiah. Megan is a Christian and active in ministry at her church Cornerstone Baptist Church, in Arlington, TX. She is currently a Doctoral student working toward a Ph.D. in Marriage & Family Therapy at Texas Wesleyan University. Her personal interests include independent film, music and marriage enrichment. Megan is the co-founder of the Minority Behavioral Health Provider Networking Group along with colleague Cynthia Thompson.

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