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The Differences Between Verbal And Nonverbal Communication

975 words - 4 pages

Verbal communication is spoken while non-verbal communication has many forms. Nonverbal communication is different from verbal communication because verbal is voiced language, using many underlying contexts; while the nonverbal is presented using kinetics, holistic means, proxemics, as well as chronemics. It’s easy to assume that the only differences between the two are one being voiced, and the other not, but by explaining what verbal communication is, and what nonverbal communication is, it will help you understand that this is not the case, and show you what the key differences are.
With verbal communication the only way to send a message is vocally, and the only way to receive it is ...view middle of the document...

In our culture smiling is relaying the information that you are happy, and smiling at strangers is common. In Russia, smiling at strangers can be seen as impolite, and strange. In Asian cultures smiling is used to mask embarrassment (Buffalo State University). Much of nonverbal communication is at a subconscious level, you can make assumptions based on nonverbal cues, such as knowing someone is sick without them saying so. (Hybels and Weaver 134) Because of how much nonverbal communication is subconscious verbal and nonverbal communication may be in conflict, for instance, when someone is trying to lie, their body language will give them away. Nonverbal communication shows feeling, and attitude; facial expressions depicting emotions, gestures, eye contact. (College of DuPage). Lastly, nonverbal communication varies by gender. Females will take up less territory than males, but make more eye contact. Men will smile less, and are less expressive in general than women (West Virginia Department Of Education). Nonverbal communication also relies on symbols to get a message across, like how a peace sign means peace.
Both types of communication are effective in their respective situations. For example, you could say verbal communication would be best for giving directions because words are representing certain things like landmarks, street names, traffic lights, things that stick out so you can tell them where to go. This information is relayed one word after another and that is how your brain processes it. However, if you wanted to console a friend, words might not get through as well as a nonverbal cue. Giving your friend a holistic response may be more effective than a spoken response. Along with holistic, there are proxemics, which is the distance and territory taken by another person. If you were consoling your friend, you would probably be within the intimate to personal distance, which is <18” to 4’. Chronemics is also important in nonverbal communication, if you were consoling your friend, you would need to be patient and take the time to be there for them, instead of rushing them to...

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