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Enacting

 

Techniques > Use of body language > Core patterns > Enacting

Pattern | Found in | Discussion | See also

 

Pattern

'Enacting' is a body language pattern where the person acts out, even in a small way, what they are thinking. For example:

  • Thrusting the head forward in a simulated aggressive head-butt.
  • Smashing one fist into the other open hands.
  • Hitting one's own head or body.
  • Pouting lips into a simulated kiss.
  • Curling arms around the air as if hugging someone.
  • Thrusting hips forward in simulated copulation.
  • Stamping feet as if squashing flat someone or something.
  • Sagging the body in relief and simulated feint.
  • Moving towards or away from the other person, implying attack, desire or retreat.

Found in

Discussion

We have many desires that we feel unable to enact fully, for example because we know that social rules forbid this or because we fear the consequences. Our body and mind however are connected and we often signal these desires by the way we move.

Enacting can also be a part of descriptive communication as we play-act the actions of others and even complete scenes. We will also enact concepts in trying to communicate the idea to others, for example hugging oneself for 'love' and waving arms wide to signal a wonderful and 'big' idea.

A common pattern in enacting is striking as, although we often feel like hitting people, this is a socially forbidden act and so we displace it into body language. Enacting can also include acting out many other emotions and ideas.

Enacting is similar to shaping. Shaping is usually smaller and shorter, whilst enacting can be a full performance.

See also

Shaping, Striking, Emphasis with body language

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