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What Is Nonverbal Communication?

Nonverbal communication

Communication is the foundation for all human relationships. We use communication as a tool to share everything with our near and dear ones and with strangers too. To better understand situations, it is used to resolve conflicts; it is used to collaborate and build long-lasting and trusting relationships. It is a process by which information is exchanged between individuals with the help of symbols, signs, and behavior.

There are a total of five types of communication:

  1. Verbal Communication: It occurs when people engage in speaking with each other.
  2. Nonverbal Communication: It is what people do to say more than the actual words.
  3. Written Communication: It is a more formal but less efficient form of communication, which is exchanged through a written message between two or more people.
  4. Listening: It is the ability to receive and interpret messages accurately.
  5. Visual Communication: It is the practice of using our visual elements to get a message across.

We will discuss what nonverbal communication is and how many types of nonverbal communication exist. Well, in the world of nonverbal communication, there are a total of eight categories which include space, environment, time, physical characteristics, body movements, touch, paralanguage, and artifacts.

Examples of nonverbal communication

Since there are several types of nonverbal communication mentioned below are some aspects and examples of nonverbal communication:

  1. Facial Expressions: Without a doubt, it is the most common type of nonverbal means of communication. A facial expression is more than one motion or position of the facial muscles. People convey their emotional state to an individual observer through these movements. And hence, facial expressions are considered a form of nonverbal communication.
  2. Gestures: It is basically the movements of the body which are used to express or emphasize an idea or a feeling. A gesture is considered a form of nonverbal communication or a non-vocal communication because of its body actions that are visible and are used to convey a message, instead of speech. Gestures also include the movement of the hands and the face.
  3. Body language and Body Movements: It is the nonverbal communication that is often done instinctively rather than consciously, and it is used for physical behavior, expressions, and mannerisms.
  4. Posture: It is the position or the bearing of the body, whether assumed or characteristic, used for a specific purpose. In humans, posture has significant importance that gives information through nonverbal communication. Several studies and research have demonstrated that body posture can convey emotions.
  5. Eye Contact: Similar to touch, eye contact is made to communicate nonverbally. It could be a conscious or subconscious way to engage in communication through mutual eye contact. Eye contact occurs when two or more people look at each other in the eyes at the same time. In humans, eye contact is considered a form of nonverbal communication as it can have a large influence on social behavior.
  6. Appearance: Someone’s outward aspect or external show or an outward indication. It is basically what we want to be seen as or show.

Now that we know what nonverbal communication is, one may ask what the importance of nonverbal communication and what nonverbal communication means. Well, nonverbal communication has a significant role in the lives of us all. It improves a person’s ability to relate to any situation and engage in any conversation. It helps to establish meaningful interactions in our everyday life. Communication helps individuals gain a better understanding of this type of communication, enabling them to develop stronger relationships with others and benefit socially.

Verbal communication is using speech or words that are spoken to exchange information, emotions, and thoughts. Nonverbal communication, on the other hand, is conveying and exchanging messages without the use of spoken words. That is basically what verbal and nonverbal communication is in a nutshell for you.

Nonverbal communication is the sending of cues to others that use actions rather than words. People are able to express happiness, concern, gratitude, and confidence by responding nonverbally. This includes communication using hand gestures, eye contact, body language, appearance, facial expressions, and the tone of voice.

The principles of nonverbal communication

  1. Nonverbal communication is continuous.
  2. Multichannel, conscious and intentional.
  3. Multichannel, unconscious and unintentional.
  4. Ambiguous.
  5. Can occur both face-to-face and through mediated platforms.

Now that we know so much more, one may ask what the features of nonverbal communication are. Well, one must look for nonverbal communication cues, the way we listen, look, move, and react to the things and people around us. It tells the person that you are communicating, it shows whether you are being truthful, and how well you are listening. When a person’s nonverbal signals match the words they use, it definitely increases trust, clarity, and rapport with others.

The main element of nonverbal communication is body language, and it is the most obvious form of nonverbal communication. It has the ability to convey a lot about the level of interest. For example, folded arms indicate that one may not be open to what is being said. When a person conveys their thoughts, feelings, and mood through visual rather than verbal cues, these visual signals also include facial expressions, eye contact, and subtle as well as not-so-subtle gestures. A person must have the said nonverbal skills to communicate easily.

The best style of communication is by being assertive. It is said to be the most effective form of communication among humans. The assertive style features open communication while not being overbearing. It can express its own needs, desires, ideas, and feelings while also considering the needs of others.

Nonverbal communication helps us to express ourselves better even before a word is said. The receiver, on the opposite side, observes the facial expressions and body gestures of the speaker, with the sole purpose of trying to understand all these symbolic messages. The most important area of nonverbal communication is facial expressions, which serve as a channel for nonverbal communication and are helpful for displaying emotion or mood.

At EuroSchool, we ensure every child knows what nonverbal communication is and take into consideration all of the examples of nonverbal communication and understand the meaning of nonverbal communication. It is necessary for us to teach our children about nonverbal communication so that they can function with respect and dignity in society.

Also Read: Activities to Improve Communication Skills in Kids

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