Communication plays an increasingly vital role in healthy and functioning relationships, and is a key to many spheres in the human life, but oftentimes, though one is speaking to someone, their point is not getting across. Effective communication takes into account the way someone utilizes the words and sentences at their exposure, and the deliverance of said words, the intonation and sign language they use. Successful usage of the tools at our disposal can do a multitude of things, such as conveying the proper messages at the right time, recovering social blunders, and many more.
At its most basic level, communication refers back to the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meanings through verbal and non-verbal messages. People see that it is merely the process of conveying information from one person to another person, but it is when people think about how one may communicate that things become delicate. Many people believe that verbal communication is used more profoundly in daily life, and its knowledge is more important, but they’re not exactly right. Non verbal communication complements, as well as supplements, the spoken language, where an absence of either one of them can and will lead to misinterpretation.
Verbal communication, to be blunt, is quite obviously a spoken communication. But, in a broader sense, it covers any form of communication involving words- spoken, written or signed. The news that is read, the conversations held amongst friends, even the text messages exchanged between two people are all a form of verbal communication. The ability to communicate withwords, rather than sounds is one distinguishing characteristic between humans and animals. With the way the world has progressed, minus a language barrier, the technology that has come to existence enables people to communicate one another, no matter what the physical distance is.
Humans use verbal communication to impart knowledge and information clearly, and it’s been in usage since prehistoric times.(The Importance of Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication, Amy Lucas, LiveStrong.com). It helps to solve misunderstandings, and provides missing information, and can even be used to correct wrongs. Verbal communication can also be used to pursuade others, by creating a chance for debate,or stimulating thought and creativity. “A species survival depends critically upon its ability to communicate effectively, and the quality of its social life is determined in large measure by how and what it can communicate.” ( Robert, 2002).
However, effective verbal or spoken communication is dependent on other models of communication and if it is completely isolated from other effective communication methods, such as non verbal communication, listening skills, and clarification, one will face problems in conveying the right message. In other ways, aspects of non-verbal communication such as clarity of speech, staying silent and focused, and being well-mannered will all help in the process of having effective verbal communication.
Non-verbal communication refers to all messages conveyed, except for what it is actually being said. Messages include various types of body language- gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and even posturing. For instance, when one friend smiles upon sight of another, before even greeting them, it is indicated that the friend is happy to see the other. “A recent UK study found that participants found photos of people who are smiling and looking directly at you to be the most attractive, and the very same faces were found to be less attractive when looking away or off to the side.” – Ph.D Carol Kinsey Goman
Another non-verbal cue is touch. It helps in indicating a person’s feelings or expressions, closeness, and illustrates characteristics of that person. How someone feels about touching another indicates more than just what a person says. Going in for a hug when greeting someone conveys genuine happiness at seeing the other, while lingering awkwardly and not offering a form of affection can show reluctance.
Never less, the sound, pitch, tone and volume of one’s voice while they are communicating can also be referred to as a form of non-verbal communication. Voice is defined by tone, and by vocally-admitted sounds. The pitch in someone’s voice is used to differentiate whether the sentence is a command, or advice ,or perhaps a question or a statement, and whether it shows an signs of aggression.
The clothing one wears, and its color, are also other forms of non-verbal communication, a form that commonly outlines judgements among peers, depending on different cultures and custom.
Nonverbal communication is important in expressing emotion. Emotions such as happy, satisfied, confident, surprised, eager, tired, stressed, and sad can all be expressed through different body gestures and facial expressions. Many are able to understand each other just based on the expression they wear. If someone cries, it indicates that something has happened to them, and that they are upset about it.
Non-verbal gestures are what recipients see in the first place, even before one utters a single word. These messages can be a visual aid of how someone is feeling, even when words convey a different message. Using non-verbal cues can help in expressing meaning, and thus, expression of the face becomes a heavily relied on form of non-verbal communication.
Nonverbal communication plays a critical role in navigating interpersonal relationships. Through interpersonal communication, trust in relationships is established, and a person’s fidelity can be easily ascertained, but these are possible only through using a combination of verbal and non-verbal communication.
Interpersonal communication includes communications that occurs with words- with tone of voice-posture and facial expressions. It is also found by many researchers that non-verbal, interpersonal communication, like body language may, communicate 93 percent of someone’s attitudes and beliefs.
Non-verbal communication is essentially the back bone of verbal interaction. In fact, they often supplement each other, and help give a full meaning to what is being said, all because non-verbal communication can repeat the spoken message, contradict the message that an individual is trying to convey, emphasize the message, substitute, or complement meaning to make someone else understand clearly.
Non-verbal communication can also be used to reflect an individual’s personality. “Personality is the entire mental organization of a human being at any stage of his development. It embraces every phase of human character: intellect, temperament, skill, morality, and every attitude that has been built up in the course of one’s life.” (Warren & Carmichael, 1930, p. 333). So, according to the above definition, personality concerns the most vital, obvious parts of an individual’s psychological life: whether a person is vibrant, lethargic, depressed, anxious, or many other things. Personality is not always conveyed in how someone speaks, but also in how someone stands, laughs, or even fidgets.
Lastly, nonverbal communication plays an important part in simplistic rituals, such as greetings and goodbyes. The smile one smiles as soon as they see someone they recognize from distance, waving hand, indicating a goodbye,nodding or shaking their head, accepting or refusing when others tell something or offer something, these are all details about how non-verbal communication interacts with verbal communication, through the process of reinforcement, contradiction, and substitution, complementing or emphasizing.
Unfortunately, body language, symbols, and signs tend to possess more than one meaning. Non-verbal communication is not easily understandable,and can be quite confusing because it is not exact and universal in every society, but body language plays a pivotal role and is essential to every day life.
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