Body-language and nonverbal communication

Frozen watchfulness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frozen watchfulness

Little children who have been misused, tortured or beaten Show special nonverbal symptoms in behavior. Here are two of them which can be found in all cultures:

  • First there is the frozen watchfulness. This reaction is typical for chronically or acute misused children. Children show this behavior when being explored. They just down move any more, stay motionless and even don`t react when they are touched in a perhaps hurting way (for example by an injection).
  • Secondly they very often address others, even if they don`t know them, in a too open way. without any sign of distance. Instead of retreating or crying if being addressed by strangers, they stay there where they are and smile. This is very untypical for children of this early age. Probably the try to disarm the other person by smiling. This also Shows that their experience is: even if you cry and when you are that anxious there is nobody who will hear you and help you.
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