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How face masks are changing the way we communicate

Dee Dee Dunleavy
Article image for How face masks are changing the way we communicate

Face coverings have been mandatory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire for a week, and a body language expert says they’re forcing us to change how we communicate.

It’s estimated up to 70 per cent of communication is non-verbal, and most of it comes from our faces, so face coverings present a challenge.

Body language expert Steve van Aperen said only “a small percentage” of non-verbal cues come through the eyes alone.

“There are seven universal facial expressions: happiness, anger, sadness, disgust, fear, contempt and surprise,” he told Dee Dee.

“Some of those are easy to see, but some are really difficult.”

But Mr van Aperen said many of us are compensating for being unable to express ourselves with our faces by using other visual cues.

“It’s almost like people feel the need to express themselves non-verbally even more.”

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Dee Dee Dunleavy
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