Body language is an important aspect of communication. People can not live without each other, we are social beings. As soon as we are in contact with others we are communicating. For this we can make use of spoken and written language. In these ways we make the content of a message clear to each other. However we can also communicate without words. This kind of communication tells us something about the relationship between people. Often this is more important than getting the content of the message across.
Body language is a language without spoken words and is therefore called non verbal communication. We use body language all the time, for instance looking someone in the eyes means something different than not looking someone in the eyes. In contact with others it is just not possible to be not communicating something. However, it is different in some countries, "In France the OK sign (thumb and forefinger forming a circle) is usually a Gallic way of expressing that something is worthless"(Richler 1).
Certain body language signals might mean something to one person; and they might mean something entirely different to someone else. And body language differs culturally, which adds to the soup.
Just like we don't all speak English, we don't all speak the same body language. Intentional gestures like raising your middle finger is a ...well you know... in the United States. In some other countries it means, "good job." However, it is different in some countries, "In France the OK sign (thumb and forefinger forming a circle) is usually a Gallic way of expressing that something is worthless"(Richler 1). In at least two countries the O.K. sign is the equivalent of the American middle finger.
Gestures and body language communicate as effectively as words- maybe even more effectively.