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Nonverbal Communication

Essay by   •  May 21, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,663 Words (7 Pages)  •  2,084 Views

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Communication is an art that combines both the verbal and nonverbal aspects. The verbal aspect of communication is important because it is where the individual can clearly communicate his message to his counterpart. However, the nonverbal aspect is much more intriguing than the verbal because an individual communicates much more than the pure meanings of his words. The individual's tone, body movement, and facial expressions indicate his interest in the communication that is occurring as well as his feelings towards the subject of that communication. From my past experiences, I believe that the nonverbal part of communication is much more important than the verbal. There is simply much more information provided through nonverbal communication than through the verbal. The nonverbal aspect of communication can enforce or deter from the meaning of a person's words. Because the nonverbal is usually less biased than the verbal, I take more meaning of my communication with another from the nonverbal aspect. Thus, I consider nonverbal communication to be more important than the verbal, even though both of these aspects play key roles in a conversation.

Last year during my senior year of high school, I was in the room where the associated student body conducted their business during class hours (no class in session in room). I was there talking to one of my newer friends who was there as well. She was friendly, kind, beautiful, and a girl I had wished was more than my friend. I began the conversation by asking how her day went and what she had planned to do. She responded and then asked me the same question. After my response, I advanced the conversation and she kept replying with my question directed back towards me. After a couple of minutes, she pulled out her phone and began to text and then went on Facebook while we continued our conversation. After a little more time had passed, I ended the conversation with "I got to get to class. Talk to you later."

If one simply looked at the words that were said, that person would think that this conversation worked well. We both answered each other and continued to advance conversation. However, I viewed this conversation as a failure in the grand scheme of communication because of the nonverbal communication. It seemed that I was in charge of starting a new topic because she continued to reflect my questions back at me. Once I was done answering the question, there was a few seconds of silence. I was forced to take the responsibility to continue the conversation, so I had to think of new topics that shifted the conversation back towards her. Since she did not begin any new topics, it made me consider that she did not want to take part in the conversation. While she responded with a smile and a friendly, assuring tone, I could read past her expressions. Her smile seemed to be forced, which indicated that she wanted to be kind, but it expressed her boredom from the conversation. Her tone and her usually glowing eyes were robbed of their enthusiasm and excitement. The last straw for me was when she took out her phone. She continued to respond while this was happening, but her answers became shorter and it was very obvious that I was wasting her time with the conversation. The nonverbal communication definitely meant more than the verbal part did.

The minor success in the conversation was that we were communicating our ideas and we had a real conversation. The disaster was that I was much more active in the dialogue because the conversation meant more to me. I wanted to improve my relationship with her. The nonverbal communication that illustrated her feelings about the conversation indicated that our relationship was to remain in stasis and not advance.

On the contrary, I recently had a conversation with a friend where there was synergy between the nonverbal communication and the verbal. We became friends at the beginning of this school year. We were in my dorm and we spent the time talking about soccer, a sport that we both loved. The conversation began with how Manchester United had been struggling by not making the UEFA Champions League and have continued to struggle in the Europa League (second-tier division). We advanced the conversation to other teams. This continued until we finally ended up talking about job as a soccer referee and his youth playing days in England. It was obvious that we were both deeply involved in the conversation.

There were several nonverbal indicators that demonstrated we had a very successful conversation where there was true communication. One key sign was that we both took turns advancing the conversation. We continued to explore new areas on the subject of soccer and neither of us was forced to lead the conversation. Another key aspect was that both of our bodies were involved in the conversation.

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