full version Nonverbal Communication Essay

Nonverbal Communication

Category: Miscellaneous

Autor: jack_X 27 December 2009

Words: 1312 | Pages: 6

Nonverbal Communication
One thing we all have in common is that we must all communicate in one form or another. Everyone communicates if they know it or not. Both verbal and nonverbal communication is used during conversations. Using both forms helps convey and support the messages you are trying to send. Communication is the backbone of human existence. Without it we would be nothing more than organized matter. It has allowed us to grow, learn, build, and survive. When we talk to another person we are sending a message which is received, decoded, and responded to accordingly. But there is much more to communication than just its verbal aspects. The way we hold ourselves, tone of voice, bodily gestures, eye movement, all of these are types of nonverbal communication and are in truth more important to the communication process than language itself. Up to 90% of all communication is nonverbal. There are many different categories of nonverbal communication. They are the following: Aesthetics, Artifacts, Chronemics, Haptics, Kinesics, Paralanguage, Physical Appearance, Proxemics, and Oculesics.
Aesthetics is the study of nature, beauty and taste. Found information states "that Aesthetics refer to environmental factors and how they are manipulated to influence our feelings and emotions". When referring to environmental factors it was including colors, lighting, spatial arrangement, and sounds. Found information also states that we "manipulate environmental factors to affect mood by controlling the setting". For example, you may change the lighting in the room to a dim to give a romantic mood for someone.
Artifacts are things we use to express us individually. It's our physical appearance. Meaning the clothes we wear. Also, the objects we wear too. These things are used to describe/ tell who we are. For example, uniforms are artifacts. They are used to announce professional identities.
Chronemics is the study of time. Found information states that "we use and handle time to communicate messages". It is a form of nonverbal communication". Information also states that, "the length of time that we spend engaged in an activity reflects our priorities and preferences". The use of your time tells what your priorities are. For example, you are a college student and you party all the time and rarely go to class. That tells, that school isn't really your top priority, partying is.
Haptics is the study of touch and the use of it. One study states that "women are more likely to touch more than men. Also, they associate touch with warmth and expression. Women are touched more gently than men are. Men are touched more harshly and they use their touch to direct, assert power, and to express sexual interest".
Kinesics is the study of body movements, meaning gestures, facial expression, and posture. Now this is one of the nonverbal categories that are very much misinterpreted. Women's facial and body motions generally signal approachability, and friendliness. They tend to use less and more restrained gestures. Women are attracted to those who smile more. They tend to use facial expression a lot to send and receive messages. Women often tilt their head and body to the side more also. And of course their posture is more intense than males' are.
Paralanguage is how we say what we say. Research states that "paralanguage includes grunt, groans, moans, and sighs. Also the volume of sounds, the speed of which you speak, and also the pitch. For example, we often manipulate vocal codes to emphasize their points". Speakers emphasize their points by increasing their volume and pitch when speaking.
Physical Appearance is what we look like. It's our personal presentation of us. It somewhat identifies our physical qualities also. First impressions are made from how we view physical appearance. Race, sex, hairstyle, and size are what we notice first when we view someone for the first time. For example, in order to get some jobs you have to be presentable. Meaning that the supervisor that makes his or her decision of hiring the person based on their physical appearance.
Proxemics is space and the use of it. Found information states that "Edward T. Hall said that people maintain space between each other based on their relationship or based on how they feel about each other". For example men use more personal space than women. Men are more likely to invade others personal space especially women. They prefer face to face conversation than women do.
Oculescis is defined as eye behavior, eye contact, a way of listening and a way of communicating to others. The complexity of human nonverbal communication may be illustrated by the physical face and the eyes. The face is a primary expresser of emotions. The study of oculesics, are the pupils of the human eye. Which shows that a human responds variously to many different situations? Studies show that the pupil either closes or widens under fearful or friendly conditions. Eye contact is misinterpreted all the time. Research states that "women rarely stare. They engage in more eye contact while conversation. They signal interest by keeping eye contact. Women do break eye contact more than men. They are more likely to be interrupted when eye contact isn't maintained with the next speaker".
The importance of nonverbal communication becomes clear with the realization that it constitutes for the preponderance of human communication. It has been estimated that any where between sixty-five and ninety-three percent of the emotional impact of a delivered message originates from nonverbal cues. For example, a statement such as, "I'm fine", can have a multitude of different meanings depending on its delivery. Added emphasis on "fine" and a furrowed brow would lead you to believe that the sender is upset while a smile and a slight rise in pitch would indicate that he or she is indeed, ok. Nonverbal communications greatest importance is the fact that it conveys emotional information which would be otherwise concealed. Therefore the large brunt of human emotion is passed on not through what people say, rather by what they do. A smile indicates happiness while a grimace shows displeasure. The impact and use of facial expressions however, is culture bound. This becomes clear when comparing high context cultures of the far-east with the low context cultures of the western world. In China facial expressions are used far less and hold less impact than they do in America. The emphasis in communication within the Chinese culture lies primarily within the context of the spoken message itself. These differences can lead to misinterpretations between cultures. A Chinese man would have a much harder time reading the nonverbal signals of an American than he would a fellow Chinese.
Knowledge comes from experience. By observing what is happening around us in our every day lives, we gain knowledge through visual digestion of our environment. Body communication of other people helps you to know and understand how you will interact with that person or audience. Communication can be done without speaking. It is amazing how we can express ourselves in this carefree way. It is important to feel good when you speak, this will make you more relaxed and your words will flow with ease. Confidence is the real key.
Nonverbal communication is all around us. The majority of all the information we receive is subject to some sort of nonverbal cue. This strengthens our ability to communicate by allowing us insight into our fellow man. It is this insight and this understanding of one another that has allowed us to come as far as we have. While linguistics is an essential part of the communication process, when it's broken down actions really do speak louder than words.

Works Cited
Experiencing Intercultural Communication: an Introduction Martin, Judith and Thomas
Nakayama New York: NY, 2005
Adam Blatner, M.D. "About Nonverbal Communications". Revised August 1, 2002. http://www.blatner.com/adam/level2/nverb1.htm