Nonverbal vs Verbal

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The world we know is based on communication. People work, play and share ideas through communication. Each person must be able to make his thoughts and wants known to others and be able to understand the thoughts and wants of others. There are different mediums in which people can let others know what they think or want, this done through the different types of communication.

Communication is defined in the Webster Dictionary as sending, giving or exchanging information and ideas which are often expressed non verbally and verbally which can be shown through facial expression, gesture, speaking and writing. .

The first scientific study of nonverbal communication was by Charles Darwin in his book called The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872) in which he argued that all mammals show emotions reliably in their faces. Since recently studies of non verbal communication came more prominent as teachers of acting and pantomime analyzed how facial and body movement convey emotions.

American anthropologist Edward T. Hall developed proxemics. Proxemics enables people to send and receive message without the use of words. He studied how people in different culture uses gesture, posture , speaking , distance and non verbal signs to communicate their feelings and social status because people would feel uncomfortable putting such feelings into words. (McIntosh, G. (2006). The World Book Encyclopedia, (Vol . 4 ,pp 887) Chicago: Encyclopedia World Book.

Early in human life we develop a basic understanding of different forms of communication. For example babies at six months uses hand gestures to express themselves. They are taught to use their hands to wave to say bye bye, before they can talk. The face to face interaction and the emotions that people shows a child, helps them to form the ability to communicate. In infancy language and speech is not developed, babies communicate by using non verbal behaviour. When they are hurt or happy they will make a face to indicate their emotions, these behaviours will stay with them into their adult stage and help with their verbal skills later on.

Non verbal communication is usually understood as the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless message. It can be communicated through gesture, touch, posture, eye contact and facial expression which can be communicated through object communication such as clothing, hairstyles, architecture and symbols. Non Verbal Communication (20000. Author. retrieved October 2, 2010. from http: www. wikipedia . org./ ,while words can be in the form of oral or written. Oral communication is defined by the Oxford Concise English Dictionary as a word spoken and it is an effective form of communication that gains attention quickly.

Communication non verbally is very effective and understood worldwide. A smile is understood everywhere, so is laughing or crying, pointing to something directs attention to the object. Even a glance can be used to communicate and some movements of the body have special meaning. For example we nod our heads to say yes and shake them side or side to say ‘no’. Pictures are used to explain a thought or tell a story. A simple sound or colour is used to give information. For example red is often a danger sign.

It is said that action speaks louder than words. This action comes in the form of non verbal communication. It is always speaking in every action and behaviour of an individual. People thoughts and feelings are always sending messages through non verbal communication, because it speaks volume, there are times when a person says something verbally, but their body communicate differently through non verbal behaviours.

If two messages were sent which contradict each other, people will have a tendency to believe the nonverbal over the verbal communication, because it is done unconsciously and it’s apart of our everyday behaviour. For instance,...
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