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Communication is not only made verbally, but also non-verbally. There are many different types of nonverbal communication that you may unknowingly use more than verbal communication. Read this article further to find out the types of nonverbal communication
Nonverbal communication is a form of communication that is done by one person to another without using words. Nonverbal communication plays an important role in how we convey information and the meaning behind it, as well as how we interpret actions or messages from other people to us.
Different Types of Nonverbal Communication
The following are various types of nonverbal communication that you should know about:
1. Facial expressions
This is one type of nonverbal communication that has a big role. When communicating, someone's facial expression is the first thing that will be seen, even before we hear what the other person is going to say. From facial expressions, there is a lot of information that can be obtained.
Face expressions are also called the most universal nonverbal communication. This is because the average person will show the same facial expressions for certain emotions. For example, the average person frowns when he's sad and smiles brightly when he's in love.
Gestures or body movements are usually used to convey messages without using words. Gestures that are often used include waving, pointing, or nodding your head.
Different from facial expressions which are considered very universal, gestures are more influenced by culture in a society. For example, there are some gestures that are considered impolite if done to a certain community group, but in other community groups the gesture may be neutral.
Posture is also a type of nonverbal communication that can convey a lot of information. When combined with certain gestures, posture can provide a lot of information. For example, standing up straight with your hands on your hips tends to convey a firm and powerful attitude.
Paralinguistics is the nonverbal aspect of the speech process (verbal communication). This aspect includes the tone of voice, the volume of the voice, and the pitch of the tone used in a speech.
Paralinguistics can show the true meaning of a speech.For example, you ask a friend how they are, and he or she replies, “I'm fine,” in a low, cold tone. From this tone of voice, you can tell that your friend may not be okay.
5. Eye gaze
Eye gaze also plays an important role in nonverbal communication. The way a person looks, stares, and blinks is considered to be able to show various emotions that are in him. For example, when you meet someone you like or respect, the blinking rate usually increases and the pupils dilate.
Eyes are often used as a benchmark to determine whether someone is telling the truth or not. Normal, steady eye contact is often seen as a sign that someone is telling the truth and can be trusted. On the other hand, if you are lying, people will tend to look away.
Touch is also a type of nonverbal communication. Touch can be used to communicate a variety of emotions, such as affection, intimacy, and sympathy.
Touchs made by women and men usually have different meanings. Women tend to use touch to show care and affection, whereas men usually use touch to assert their power and control over others.
Appearance, such as choice of color, clothing, and hairstyle, is also considered as a means of nonverbal communication. Appearance can determine how a person views and reacts to other people, because appearance is one of the things that can be seen first.
However, the information obtained from an appearance usually varies between communities, depending on the social and cultural conditions that exist in the community.
Proxemic is a type of nonverbal communication in the form of distance during communication. The distance or space in this communication is usually determined by how familiar and comfortable you are with the other person.
A person's personal space is usually 0.5–1.5 m. This distance is usually only for family, friends, or lovers. Meanwhile, the normally appropriate distance for professional communication with coworkers or casual chat with friends is 1.5–4 m.
Communication distance that is too close to someone you just met or a coworker will feel like a breach of personal space and can make the other person uncomfortable. On the other hand, talking away from someone you know close, such as a parent, teacher, or friend, will also feel unusual.
Object worn or used by someone is also a type of nonverbal communication. From this object, you can get a lot of information about a person's identity.
For example, if you see someone wearing a doctor's coat, you can immediately tell that the person is a doctor without having to speak or converse with them.
Nonverbal communication can enrich the content of the information you convey and make communication more effective. Therefore, try to include the above types of nonverbal communication when communicating.
When listening to someone, pay attention to the non-verbal communication that they are showing, so you can get more information and meaning than what you can get from their words alone.
If you have difficulty digesting or understanding the meaning of information when communicating, be it verbal or nonverbal communication, don't worry, because this is an ability that can be trained. You can also consult a psychologist to develop your communication skills.