Body-language and nonverbal communication

The skin is the message 4 – body painting and ritualisation –

Body-painting and ritualisation

There’s a long tradition in body-painting in almost all cultures. Still nowadays you find body-painting connected with important cultural rituals, special dance performance, in theater and so on. Insofar body-painting is an official, socially and culturally accepted habit for special purposes and with a special meaning. And it is necessary for those cultures.

People who are part of those rituals know what they do, that they do it and they know about the meaning of what they’re doing. They feel integrated in society and in the culture and often they are proud of being part of this. Even if they do not know consciously there is a social knowing, a social unconscious knowing.

Each person feels being part and this helps to feel being accepted also on the very personal level of self-expression. One could think that there is not such a shame which I felt in the man’s reaction I talked about some days ago in my blog.

Body-painting and body-language related ……………..to those rituals seem to be some kind of nonverbal language/message which is understood by society and culture. And which expresses the social unconsciousness.

On the other hand many of the tattoos are perhaps an expression of individuals with a very special and personal (important?) meaning. But as they are not ritualized or part of the ritualisation which is understood and carried by society and culture these tattoos stay individualized. Or they are not yet part of this tradition, of this ritualisation.

One could also come to the conclusion that the more those tattoos are expressed in an individual way the deeper the shame is which one could presume or guess on the unconscious level.

My experience is that if you touch this unconsciously felt shame one main reaction is to withdraw or to go into aggression and rejection. There’s a lot of scientific proof in psychology and psychotherapy on this dynamic of shame.

One conclusion for me is: to feel the big difficulty in answering such a nonverbally presented (body-) language. Not knowing is it either an individual expression or a ritualized expression. Being able to identify the specific kind of nonverbal indication helps me to understand how to react and how to communicate on a nonverbal level. And this understanding is fed by looking, being in contact with the person, knowing, trying to understand, being resonance and being able to respond in a respectful way.

2 comments
  1. ChromaCoalition says: 31.07.201216:46

    Thank you for taking out the time to highlight a deeper meaning to body painting. Most people have a hard time understanding why it is so special. We are coming together to show LA body painting is indeed a fine art. Help us finally diminish all the negative connotations associated with body art when we break the Guinness World Record 8/25/12! http://kck.st/NvhOdb http://youtu.be/ubLKKmrJ68g

  2. Ulrich Sollmann says: 02.08.201209:43

    Thanks again for your info. I agree otherwise I wouldn’t have posted my ideas 😉
    You’re welcome to comment again/or join the blog just by posting your own ideas on body-language and non-verbal communication.
    You’re welcome!

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