The best method of communication is often nonverbal - your silent actions can have a big impact on the nuances of your relationship. We asked the experts how you can show your honey how much you love him, without making a peep. By Laura Li, REDBOOK.
Mirror his gestures
When your partner feels insecure, he might display defensive body language such as crossed arms or legs. "Mirror him to let him know that you know how he's feeling," says Linda Talley, Ph.D., author of Oh Dear, My Slip Is Showing! The Mistakes Women Make That Detract From A Sales Call. "Mirroring is not doing gesture for gesture what he is doing. Act similar to him and then begin to change your body positions from defensive to positive. Open up your gestures and see if he follows your lead."
Make eyes at him
A sincere flash of your pearly whites will elicit a positive response, especially if he's been feeling neglected. "Give him a genuine smile, engaging the muscles that control your eyelids and the corners of your mouth, which sends the message of validation," says Talley. "Make eye contact for eight seconds or more, which sends the message of intimacy."
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Picking fluff off his shoulder, or even pretending to, will subconsciously strengthen his trust in you. "When you preen someone, the attraction levels go up, and the level of companionship goes up as well," says Janine Driver, author of You Can't Lie To Me. "Take a piece of lint off his suit in the morning, or even pretend to preen him up. He mentally knows he has someone at home that would take care of him."
Look up at him
If you see that your husband is having a difficult day, Driver recommends a technique called "body leveraging," which involves purposely setting your eye level below that of the person to whom you are talking. "For that moment, the person with the higher eye level higher has power," she says. "It gives him the feeling, 'at least someone is looking up to me today.'"
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Give him space
A man occasionally needs his alone time, especially if he's moody or stressed out - even if those feelings are unrelated to anything you've done. "Minimize your verbal conversation and let your behavior do the talking for you," advises Talley. "Don't take things personally if he walks off to his man cave. Sometimes the best message you can send him is that it's okay - for a while. Set up something fun and interesting to do when he's ready to come out." A rock climbing adventure might just brighten his state of mind.
Listen at an angle
"Whenever you're listening to him, tilt your head slightly to one side and nod," says Driver. "Studies have shown that if you tilt your head to your right, people perceive you as more attractive. When you tilt your head to the left, you are seen as more intelligent." This technique not only indicates to your husband that you're listening, but it also strengthens your subconscious connection by increasing his positive associations during conversations.
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When he's happy or celebrating, you'll want to show him that you share in his joy. "Keep your gestures open and expansive," says Talley. "Constricting your nonverbal behavior sends him a message that you aren't happy for him. Keep your arm movements located from your waist to your chin line; it keeps his eyes focused on your face, the most expressive part of your body." For example, try reaching out to squeeze his arm or hand.
Take a hike
Feeling tension in the air? "Get him up and moving, whether it's a stroll down the street, a restaurant date, or even as simple as relocating from one room to another," says Driver. "The act of moving our body frees our brain from stress and allows our minds to be more open." It's an effective way to dissipate tension after an argument, even if your man doesn't recognize that you're interacting with his subconscious.
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