No! I'm not pulling your leg! Research indicates the following facts with respect to how we communicate:
- 7% of our our communication output is represented by the actual words we speak
- 38% of our communication output is represented by our tone of voice, volume, and rate of speech
- 55% of our communication output is represented by our body language
As many of you know, I spent 10 days in July with my father - who underwent unanticipated triple bypass surgery in Massachusetts, 2,700 miles from my home in Montana. My sister and I stayed at his house with Dad - me 24/7 once he was released from the hospital.
I learned an awful lot about Dad during those days - and even more about our relationship and our family dynamics. Yes, we spoke of things we'd never discussed before. But I learned more from my observations, the things Dad didn't say, and his behavior. Which was excellent, by the way - something I hadn't expected.
Funny how traumas and unexpected events force us look at life, other people, and ourselves from a different perspective.
Keep that in mind when you're creating your characters - and during the process of their growth and development in your books and stories. What might be considered "normal" behavior for a character can undergo a significant alteration in response to stress or an unexpected experience.