Nonverbal Messages

For this assignment I decided to construct nonverbal violations in proxemic distance and eye contact. During my night class in Family Law on Wednesday May 23, 2013 at around 5:45 p.m., I applied my plan by sitting next to a male class mate that I never interacted with before. All the students arrived early that day and class had not yet began. I began to stare at the student for unreasonably long periods of time. Each time he felt my gaze; he turned and looked at me, I then would turn and look away. This interplay took place for about three times. The first time he caught me staring at him; he just simply nodded and smiled. The second time he caught me staring he cleared his throat and just smiled again. The third time he caught me staring at him; he no longer was smiling. I could tell by the look on his face that he felt very uneasy and tense about the situation that was taking place. The student’s facial expressions showed his discomfort each time he caught me looking at him. Although he attempted to mask his feelings with a smile, I could tell I was getting under his skin. He tried his best to remain polite even though my actions were forward and inappropriate and obviously made him feel very uncomfortable. After I violated the student by ogling him, I waited about five minutes before I began invading his personal space. This time when I violated the student; I used inappropriate spacing. I slide my chair so close to the student that our arms were touching. Immediately after that, I began sniffing the student. The student tried to move away but unfortunately, did not have much room to do so. It took everything in me not to bust out laughing. Since the student did not have enough room to move his chair over; he just simply shifted his body to the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the teacher walked in and began speaking, so he shifted his attention away from me and on to the professor. I thought to myself that I had toyed with the student enough for one day but still decided to mess with him one last time. I leaned over and began sniffing the student again. This time the student scooted his chair back, raised his eyebrows and said, “What in the heck are you doing”? I finally laughed and told him all the things I did to him were for an assignment I had in my Communications class. He then began to laugh and stated that I had him going for moment. I received two different reactions from the student by violating two different rules. The first thing I did wrong was excessively staring at the student. Although direct eye contact is viewed as an expression of honesty and forthrightness to most Americans; there is a limit. The student reacted the way he did because in our culture; gazing at a person for longer than normal periods is considered awkward and tends to make people feel uncomfortable. This happens regardless of the type of relationship you have with a person. It is considered rude to stare at people for long lengths of time. I believe this rule is noteworthy because it causes less tension and anxiety among individuals when the rule is followed. This rule shows that even though our culture is open and

When I invaded my class mate’s personal space. there is a limit to everything. this all depends on the culture and in America. . Examples like these make each culture unique. direct eye contact signifies certain equality and is often avoided when speaking to a person in authority. “what’s wrong and if there is a problem?” In contrast. people tend to become aware of when they are too close to an individual because that person may take a step backwards. standing too close to a stranger in public is considered inappropriate because it invades a person’s personal space. there’s a limit to everything. Our culture empathizes keeping a certain distance between people. For an example. and can cause tension and feelings of discomfort. he did still shift away in the opposite direction. although. given the location. Once the student realized that he could not remove himself from the situation. In other cultures that type of behavior is sometimes accepted. the same concept applies when referring to proxemic distances. Similarly. In Hispanic cultures. Even in my own household. he proceeded by asking me why I was all up in his personal space. Clearly. and may be interpreted as being friendly and polite. Normally. however. the behavior I demonstrated caused the student to feel uneasy and for this reason. his natural reaction was to move away. I’m liable to ask him. having a rule in place to govern this type of behavior is a plus although not necessary. if my husband stares at me for too long. Again. especially in Interpersonal Communication. the Japanese often view direct eye contact as a lack of respect. depending on the relationship that you have with that particular person. it was almost impossible for him to do so.versatile.

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