- subtle /SUHT-l/
- cue /kyoo/
- tensely /TENS-lee/
- scowl /skoul/
- animosity /an-uh-MOS-i-tee/
[adjective] – not loud, bright, noticeable, or obvious in any way
She’s been dropping subtle hints of the surprise.
[noun] – a signal for someone to do something
When I nod, that’s your cue to enter the stage.
[adverb] – in a worried or nervous way
He tensely awaited the upcoming announcement.
[verb] – to look at someone or something with a very annoyed expression
Jake scowled at his siblings for jolting him awake with their noise.
[noun] – strong dislike, opposition, or anger
Although they’re rivals, the two don’t have personal animosity toward each other.
Humans exhibit a variety of subtle behaviors that are linked to anxiety, such as touching our faces and hair, twisting our mouths, licking our lips, and biting our nails. All of these behaviors may indicate our fragility and elicit a warm response from others. Jamie Whitehouse, a researcher at Nottingham Trent University, asked 133 participants to evaluate fake interviews that displayed these behaviors. As expected, the viewers were able to tell how agitated the interviewees were feeling, and this seemed to result from those recognizable nonverbal cues. The more stress the interviewees displayed, the more enticing they appeared to those viewing their videos. Additionally, a recent study by Rochester Institute of Technology assistant professor Christopher Thorstenson discovered that a modest blush on the face raised the rating of embarrassment and sincerity, hence also increasing the likelihood that people would be forgiven. It can be advantageous to display some emotional sincerity, regardless of whether we are tensely biting our lips or shining like a neon sign. People’s reactions to our nonverbal cues, however, will vary depending on the situation. Without any indication of the cause of our worries, coworkers who watch us tense and scowling in the office may mistakenly interpret our stress signals as animosity or rage.
We can quit worrying about our anxiety by learning to embrace our nerves. It’s safe to believe that the recipient of our cues will respond more warmly than we could have previously imagined.
- What things cause you stress?
- What relieves stress the most effectively for you? Please tell me more about it.
- If you were one of the viewers of the fake videos, how would you feel seeing the stressed interviewees?
- Do you agree that displaying stress-related nonverbal cues depends on the situation?
- In your opinion, why do we feel emphatic toward people showing signs of stress?