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Although it may seem cliché to most people, the adage "actions speak louder than words" actually captures the essence of the situation. When people are speaking, their body language frequently conveys more than their words ever could. Regarding gender differences, women's and men's brains often function in completely distinct ways, which accounts for the modest variations seen in their interactions. Men have different proxemics, paralanguage, and kinesics than their female counterparts. Therefore, having knowledge of the aforementioned topics contributes to a deeper comprehension of communication, particularly non-verbal communication.
Communication is all about receiving and giving information, before indulging deeper into the topic, it is essential that one has a clear understanding of what entails non-verbal communication. Primarily, this type of communication is the process by which people send and receive information through nonverbal cues, which are inclusive of facial expressions, touch, gestures, eye contact and body posture as well. To add on to the list, object communication is also included as a nonverbal cue, and it takes the form of architecture, clothing, graphics and also symbols. Often than not, people use a nonverbal form of communication more than the verbal one. Good communication between individuals creates a fruitful relationship, be it at professional or at a personal level. The ability to appropriately use and understand no verbal cues allows one to create a meaningful connection with others, expressive vividly what they try to mean, and also navigate imposing occasions. This paper will discuss roles, positive and negative implications of non-verbal communication.
Major Roles on Non-Verbal Communication
The principal role on the list is a repetition; the cues repeats what has already been verbally said, for instance smiling to express happiness. The signals can be used to show a different perspective where gestures are used to express a different opinion from the spoken words, for instance, making a disgusted face while complimenting a person or an object (Leathers & Eaves, 2015). Substitution is another of the many uses of the non-verbal communication, and a seamless example of such is where sadness is evident on one’s face even without having to alter a single word.
Advantages of Non-Verbal Communication
To add on to the benefits mentioned above of nonverbal communication, this form of interaction reduces the wastage of time in that the message reaches the receiver instantly, saving both parties time (Knapp, Hall & Horgan, 2013). Illiterate people also stand to benefit from this form of communication in that no level of language of cues prowess is required. Some of the nonverbal cues are universal. Hence language barrier is not an issue. Lastly and the most vital use among all, is the help to the handicapped people, specifically the deaf.
Disadvantages of Non-Verbal Communication
Despite the countless advantages of nonverbal communication, there are a few problematic issues here and there. Regardless of this form of communication being transferable, it becomes challenging when considering its function and form aspects, and the fact that it is at times non-translatable. The two factors, at this moment, complicate the teaching of the communication, resulting in the breakdown and ultimate misunderstanding. Furthermore, many of the paralinguistic features entail more than a single meaning and function, but cannot define, detect or convey ideas. Occasionally, the functions of various paralinguistic functions vary across cultures, thus triggering misconstrues (Lawrie, 2014).
Irrefutably, language carries history and culture of the people, making it integral to the view of the world. Despite the few challenges of nonverbal communication like lack of formality and the fact that different cues may have different meanings across cultures causing a bit of confusion and misunderstanding, the form of communication has more advantages than the disadvantages. The communication is vital in day to day activities, creating and intensifying new relationships that would rather have not existed. The more people can understand each other, the more peaceful the world becomes, and thus a better place for all individuals to coexist, both at local and international levels and, professional and at a personal level.
Knapp, L., Hall, J. A., & Horgan, T. G. (2013). Nonverbal communication in human interaction. Cengage Learning.
Lawrie, A. (2014). An exploration of perceptions of the verbal and non-verbal communication strategies on intercultural group interactions and how they impact on learning and teaching in higher education. Internationalization and the Student Experience, 14.
Leathers, D. G., & Eaves, M. (2015). Successful nonverbal communication: Principles and applications. Routledge.
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