Much being said but is anyone watching?
I sat on the leg machine watching. Between sets I rest; not for long, just enough time to go again. I was in my zone, listening to my rock'n "The boys are back in town," where I don't usually see much of anything because I'm in my workout zone. But yesterday during my rest, I watched the human behavior unfold before me. It was right in front of me. When you remove the sound from an interaction, all you have left is body language.
The two men were at an arm curl machine. They were pretty far from me but straight in front. One of the men was very buff; he obviously worked out a lot. While the other one, not so much. What was interesting was that only one wanted to be in the conversation. Through body language I could see that the buff guy was done talking and wanted to workout. He even made an attempt at ending the conversation by resting his hand on the other guys shoulder and then turning away. A period to end it, so to speak.
Well, the chatty Cathy didn't get it. He continued to talk while the guy got back to his workout. Even moving around in front of the guy on the arm machine when he felt as though he wasn't being listened to. This was a one way conversation, common. You know the type of people who only speak but never listen? Even when they are trying to look like they are listening they are just waiting for you to stop talking so that they can speak. These are not true conversations.
The gym is a funny place. So much is said with just body language. There are those who go for the social aspect; while others (like myself) are there to workout. Aside from the chatty Cathy's at the gym, much can be heard even in silence. Body language is fascinating if you turn off the sound of communication; which is what I do as I enter the gym. I very purposefully turn up my music to drown out the chatter. I usually put my head down and workout. I'm in my zone.
Just last week as I sat doing some tricep dips; an elderly and very out of shape man stood in front of me. After a minute of ignoring him (as that wasn't working to remove him) I took my ear piece out and said "yes?" My body language spoke volumes, but he wasn't listening. He proceeded to tell me what I was doing wrong and how I should be doing my exercise. Clearly he doesn't read body language because even though I held my tongue I had a lot to say. Before he finished his speech I calmly put my ear piece in and smiled. He stood there not getting it. Geesh.
The interaction that I watched during my rest yesterday made me realize how much is said when you take away the sound. Humans tend to use their voice far more than body language. Our dogs use their body before voice; but if and when it is used, we tend to focus on sound. Watching is far more important than listening in dogs.
While the guy on the curl machine continued to workout; the talking man never stopped talking. He didn't get the signal that the conversation was over; and that he was just spewing for his own need. He wasn't watching any body language. If he was he would have seen that the other guy was not interested in further conversation.
As you all know, I am a watcher. Yesterday's interaction gave a clear and precise message to me of just how important watching is. Have we lost the art of visual communication understanding? Maybe.