Communication Essay

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Facial expression, Communication Pages: 2 (801 words) Published: July 3, 2013
When people mention the conversational clichés where the atmosphere can be cut with a knife, there is an uncomfortable silence or looks could kill, nonverbal communication is to blame. A comforting lull in conversation, excitement in the air or love at first sight prove nonverbal cues are both negative and positive. Situations like these are exceptional, but nonverbal communication as a whole makes up the majority of the message conveyed between two people. To better understand nonverbal interpersonal communication, one must first understand the defining factors of relationships. Three aspects characterize relationships: attraction, arousal and power. Each aspect contributes to the intensity of the relationship in a particular way. For instance, attraction is defined by the distance individuals put in between one another. Arousal is the enthusiasm, or lack thereof, shown in facial expressions and tone of voice when communicating. Finally, power can be shown through body posture. The more dominant conversationalist will be relaxed in comparison to the subordinate or two equals will be equally relaxed or tense depending on the situation. When it comes to nonverbal communication, several elements contribute to the decoding of the message. These elements are normally physical in nature and can be both purposeful and subconscious. Gestures, facial expressions, eye behavior, appearance, use of space, touch, voice and smell are all factors that provide nonverbal communication between two people. Physical gestures can be common hand cues to signify everything is A-okay, a shrug of the shoulders to show one isn’t sure, or crossed arms indicating irritation. Some gestures are part of a person’s personality trait. Some people chew their fingernails and others have nervous twitches. Though the latter gestures are normally unconscious, the motions can contribute to the way a person’s mood is interpreted. For instance, a conversation with someone nervously chewing their...
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