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verbal and non verbal communication

No – Naah – Nahi – Nope – Na – Nohoi – Ji nahi – Illai – Ledu… So many words in the Indian language that mean NO.

And yet we don’t understand it? How come? I don’t get it! Like verbal communication, nonverbal communication is equally efficient in making it clear that it’s a NO! Let us make it clearer this way.

You show up at someone’s house, would you go barging into their bedroom because 2 years ago they said – “do drop in someday.” If you answer ‘Yes’ to that question, look behind you, the cops are calling too.

Because your boss seems to be so welcoming, would you walk into their office, “Hey, I’ll be sitting here from now. Please move your stuff a little”. 

Like hell NO, you won’t. Then? If consent and acceptance are so clearly understood and obeyed in these cases, why don’t you get it when it comes to INTIMATE RELATIONS?

Verbal and non verbal communication, both should be crystal clear when it comes to sexual consent of any type. 

  • The confusion is when you “THINK SO.” When you convince yourself – “I could read it in their eyes.” You are what? A communication body language expert? Wake up and stop making assumptions as per your convenience. 
  • Just because s/he “turned around,” that doesn’t amount to either acceptance or consent nor approval or a yes!
  • Silence definitely does not mean a YES. Only an enthusiastic, active, informed, happy YES means a YES. One that leaves nothing to your imagination. Understand the importance of non verbal communication and verbal communication in taking clear ideas and not the misunderstood ones. 
  • Bollywood songwriters have a task at hand. Write some songs that make sense, please (not all writers are bad at their work, though). If you start believing and living every silly song that is being produced, the time is not far when you’ll be living in a delusional world that can be dangerous, even for yourself. Why? Hum motivate thoda jaldi ho jaate hai na. Kabir Singh slapping out of love? Kabir Singh dominating Preeti out of love? Awww.. how cute! Na ji na. Sudhar jao! 
  • Consent got at gunpoint is NO CONSENT AT ALL. Marta kya na karta.
  • ANOTHER NEWS FLASH. Consent given initially may be withdrawn at any time. Minds are for changing. You can’t be taking YES for an answer FOREVER just because they said YES to it some years or even months or even days back. 
  • If they choose to say NO at any moment verbally or non verbally, respect that. Your communication body language skills must work here. What would be considered nonverbal gestures of No? Gets up and walks away. Shakes their head. Hold up a hand. Clear, isn’t it? But let’s say there is room for misinterpretation. What’s stopping you from double-checking? As them “are you saying, No?” Simple. 

As adults, for God’s sake, Respect it! Accept it. Don’t embarrass yourself by saying, “but your facial expression was different.” Who are you, Baba? A face reader? Nonverbal communication is more likely to be mistaken. So, always rely on clarity. Why do guesswork? A non-equivocal, non coerced, happily given, fully understood, is a YES.

At the center of this discussion about consent lies the concept of respect. Accepting their decisions is a clear indication of respect. 

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