Communication is of two types: Verbal and Nonverbal. Even though most of the importance is given to Verbal communication; that is the words we use, our sentences, etc; one must not forget nonverbal communication is if not equally, then a lot more important than verbal communication. Nonverbal Communication refers to communicating without the use of words; this involves distance and space, eyes, tactile communication, gestures, bodily movements, posture, facial expression, dressing, vocal intonation and cues, orientation and closing thoughts. All these characteristics, if applied correctly can make communication more effective. In this paper, I will discuss the nonverbal communication characteristics that I observed between two people in two different situations. (Nonverbal Communication).
In the first situation, I observed a male and a female communicating with each other during a formal dinner; in other words, they were on a date. It was through observing their Nonverbal communication that I concluded that it was definitely a date. During their entire conversation; the space between them was less; they sitting about 3 feet apart; which showed that the two people were comfortable with each other. Also, their orientation was side to side; which showed a sign of cooperation and not a competition as in the case of face-to-face. The male’s posture was upright, while the female sat in a more relaxed posture; again an indication of their emotions. In terms of tactile communication, there was little physical contact between them; often the male touched the female’s hand while laughing. The Female would also touch the male’s arms or legs at times. This type of physical contact illustrated sexual tension between the two. Both their facial expressions consisted of smiles; their eyes were dilated and glistening; with little movement of the line of sight away from each other. There was maximum eye contact. The male was dressed in formal clothes; while the female was dressed in a deep-necked dress, showing maximum skin; again an illustration of her confidence and the fact that she wanted to look attractive to the male. When discussing vocal intonation and cues; their tones were soft and gentle; they were consistent throughout. All these characteristics illustrated that the two people were comfortable with each other; had understood; they understood the other person; responded well and certain characteristics showed that they were in love. (Verbal and Nonverbal)
In the second situation, I observed a father and son talking right before a parent-teacher meeting at school. This situation showed completely different nonverbal communication characteristics as compared to the first one. The distance between the father and the son was roughly about 5-6 feet. The vertical distance was around 4 feet. This kind of distance during communication shows either sign of respect or an uncomforting zone for one of the persons. Their orientation was face-to-fact; along with upright postures. The boy had no eye contact with the father; while the father was looking straight at the boy. These were signs of respect from the boy to the father; also a sign of a more formal and important conversation as compared to something casual. There was no physical contact or tactile communication between the two whatsoever. The father’s facial expressions were serious and his gestures included a lot of hands movement. His vocal intonations included a serious tone, a loud and stern voice and at times big sighs. There were also long moments of complete silence, in which the father’s facial expressions seemed to wait for the boy to respond. All these features showed the anger and frustrated emotions of the father. The boy on the other hand had made eye contact with the floor. He had no bodily movements. His facial expressions included a sad and gloomy face; his eyes were half shut and his posture was stiff. Also, his arms were folded across his chest which showed signs of fear and discomfort. Throughout the conversation, he spoke only once or twice, with a low voice and a soft tone. Their expressions completely matched the situation of a boy being scolded by his father for action against the school regulations. (Segal, n.d)
In conclusion, I would say that nonverbal communication is of great importance. One could be saying something or perhaps lying, but his bodily gestures, his eyes, vocal intonations and facial expressions could all be speaking the truth, as sometimes these come off as unintentional reflexes to the situation. In order to make communication effective, one must be constantly aware of their nonverbal communication messages in order to match the words with the actions.
Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., Melinda Smith, M.A., and Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D. Non Verbal. Web.
Verbal and Non-Verbal. Web.