We hear so much about body language. We want to understand what gestures, movements and facial expressions say about someone. Besides the intrigue factor, how can body language help in your own life, at work and in your relationships?

Remember that all relationships start with a connection, whether it’s professional, romantic or friendship. The connection is nonverbal – when you first meet someone you’re evaluating them based on nonverbal communication such as smiles, hand gestures, posture, hand shakes. Your body language gives a glimpse of what you’re thinking, feeling and tells a little about your personality.

When you chat or interact with someone, you’re sending and receiving hundreds of nonverbal messages from your head to your feet. A touch, for example, can convey compassion or aggressive tendencies based on the pressure used. You don’t have to say a word, when your body talks for you. And you use these body language messages to figure out if this is someone you can trust, someone you can love, someone you want to do with business with.

Body language is universal language because it crosses cultures, countries and language barriers. Think about communicating with young babies or people in foreign countries. When you have a hard time saying what you mean, you’ll use gestures and facial expressions to convey meaning , to talk for you. Research has demonstrated that there are 7 universal microexpressions (fleeting facial expressions that reveal how you feel) regardless of where you live in the world, if you speak same language, or whether you’re a seeing or blind person.

Share your thoughts with me on Twitter at @blancacobb. Remember to use the hash tag #BlancaOn2. Or, you can find me on my facebook page.

Blanca Cobb is a WFMY News 2 Contributing Editor, body language expert and keynote speaker/corporate trainer who covers nonverbal communication, psychology and behavior. Follow her @blancacobb. The opinions expressed in this article are exclusively hers.