Index

Particulars What is non verbal communication? Verbal vs. Nonverbal Communication Importance Barriers due to Cultural differences Types Functions of nonverbal communication To improve nonverbal communication, learn to manage stress How emotional awareness strengthens nonverbal communication Kinesics Posture and body stance Open and closed body posture Modern applications Importance and need for correct analysis of postures and body movements Gestures and body movements Illustrations of various gestures and their varied inferences in different cultures Conclusion Page No. 2 3 4 7 9 20 23 24 25 26 26 27 28 31 32 40

1

What is non verbal communication?
Non-verbal communication is not just body language, gestures or facial expressions as many people mistakenly think. It also includes eye contact, touch, spatial distance between two or more people or positioning within a group, kinesics or body movements, appearance, smell, tone of voice and even silence! Even though the importance of non-verbal communication has grown rapidly over the last few decades and it is now widely used in media, business, interpersonal relationships, education and politics many people still pay little attention to non-verbal messages and body signals, concentrating mostly on words. It is one of the biggest misconceptions to think that what is being said is more important than how it is being said. In reality only 7% of information verbal is sent through is words, the remaining set up for 93% of communication is non-verbal. If one fails to read and de-code nonmessages he/she definitely constant misunderstandings and various communication problems.

2

Verbal vs. Nonverbal Communication
Verbal communication is best suited to convey specific information, and is better suited to communication through technology over long distances. Nonverbal communication is more immediate than verbal

communication, but its Nonverbal communication is typically more ambiguous, notwithstanding the fact that certain forms of nonverbal communication, such as the use of the eyes, can convey emotions more effectively than words can. Some technological means of communication, such as film, can effectively convey many forms of nonverbal communication.

3

Importance
Nonverbal communication and body language play a hugely important role in all relationships Ted, Arlene, and Jack are all articulate speakers who say one thing while communicating something else nonverbally, with disastrous results in their relationships: Jack gets along with his colleagues at work, but not with those who matter most to him. If you were to ask them why, they would say that Jack is “too intense.” Rather than look at you, he devours you with his eyes. And if he takes your hand, he lunges to get it and then squeezes so hard it hurts. Jack is a caring guy but has a terrible time being in sync with people. This awkwardness limits his ability to advance at work. He just isn’t seen as being good with others. Arlene is attractive and has no problem meeting eligible men. Keeping them is the problem! Arlene is funny and interesting, but even though she constantly laughs and smiles, she radiates tension. Arlene’s shoulders and eyebrows are noticeably raised, her voice is shrill, and her body is stiff. Being around Arlene makes many people feel uncomfortable. Arlene has a lot going for her that is undercut by the discomfort she evokes in others. Ted thought he had found the perfect match when he met Sharon, but Sharon isn’t so sure. Ted is very eligible. He is good looking, hard working, and a smooth talker. The trouble is that Ted seems to talk more to himself than to Sharon. When Sharon has something to say, Ted is ready with a reply before she finishes her thought. This makes Sharon feel ignored, and she has started to date other men. Ted loses out at work

4

Non-verbal signals serve to make the message more powerful and convincing. Non-verbal communication helps to clarify misunderstanding and avoid possible communication barriers.for the same reason. This is very true. No matter what you say. None of them are aware of the nonverbal messages they communicate. If a message is too emotional or too complex a separate non-verbal communication channel is needed to transmit this message correctly. inner feelings and personalities. Therefore. you will not be able to sound convincing. “Their actions speak louder than words”. avoid misunderstandings. and enjoy solid. gestures and tone of voice unanimated. His inability to listen to others makes him unpopular with many of the people he most admires. well-intentioned people struggle in their attempt to connect with others. or motivating. If you want to communicate effectively. it’s important to understand how to use and interpret nonverbal signals. As words have limitations. because: • In many situations people tend to hide their feelings behind carefully chosen words. non-verbal communication is more effective in situations where a person has to explain shapes. • • • • 5 . trusting relationships both socially and professionally. it can not be easily controlled and is likely to be more genuine. directions. These smart. We have all heard the expression. A non-verbal message is a subconscious response of the body. Try to convince or motivate another person into doing a certain task while keeping your face expression.

and whether or not they trust you. First encounters or interactions with another person strongly affect a person’s lifestyle. What you communicate through your body language and nonverbal signals affects how others see you. how well they like and respect you. You have less than ten seconds and realistically close to four seconds to make a good impression on those with whom you come in contact. 6 . Nonverbal communication can portray a message both verbally and with the correct body signals. How nonverbal communication can go wrong It takes more than words to create satisfying. smell 3% and touch 2%. People are more likely to believe that the first things they learn are the truth. Nonverbal communication strengthens a first impression in common situations like attracting a partner or in a business interview. both changeable and unchangeable. and the space that you use when communicating with others. The wrong message can be established if the body language conveyed does not match a verbal message. They include physical features. meaning. “Sight makes up 83% of the impact on the brain of information from the senses during a visual presentation. your gestures and signals you send to others at a conscience and unconscious level.Most social psychologists will tell that nonverbal communication makes up about two-thirds of all communication between two people or between one speaker and a group of listeners. strong relationships. Taste makes up 1%. There are numerous elements of what we call body language. Hearing makes up 11%. the other person uses all five senses in the interaction. When the other person or group is absorbing the message they are focused on the entire environment around them. Nonverbal communication has a huge impact on the quality of your personal and professional relationships.

Unfortunately. Misunderstandings occur because the functions of paralinguistic forms vary from culture to culture. many people send confusing or negative nonverbal signals without even knowing it. Nonverbal communication tends to be relatively ambiguous and open to interpretation while its influence often depends on the nature of the ‘listener’. particularly when it is unclear whether the messages conveyed are deliberate or unconscious. in which an individual often performs several tasks simultaneously. both connection and trust are damaged. There are also differences according to gender and age. When this happens. laughter and sour expressions. Nonverbal indicators are most common in polychronic cultures. although there are some universal nonverbals such as smiles. Barriers due to Cultural differences The following are examples of common gestures which have different functions and meanings in different cultures. 7 .

Similarly even Touch is treated differently from one country to another and socially acceptable levels of touching vary from one culture to another (Remland. American children were said to be more aggressive than their French counterparts while playing at a playground. In Thai culture. 2009). the French (5%) and the Dutch (4%) compared to Italians (14%) and Greeks (12. During a study conducted by University of Miami School of Medicine. touching someone's head may be thought rude. It was noted that French women touched their children more. for example. Touch Research Institutes. Remland and Jones (1995) studied groups of people communicating and found that touching was rare among the English (8%).5%). Stoeltje (2003) wrote about how Americans are "losing touch" with this important communication skill. 8 .

family. raised eyebrows) 9 . Kinesics or body language The term "kinesics" was first used (in 1952) by Ray Birdwhistell.Types 1. physical health. education. Kinesics has been discussed in detail in the later part. because it must be interpreted in the context of a person’s lifestyle. raised cheeks. Although many books have been written on this topic. gesture. an anthropologist. intensive stare) Surprise (wide open eyes. body language is still hard to decode. Facial expressions. 2. Kinesics is the study of how people communicate through posture. Facial expression continually change interaction and should be constantly monitored by the recipient. tightly pursed lips. there are six main types that are the same in all cultures: • • • during Happiness (sincere broad smile. cultural background. and other factors that may be obscure. Even though the meanings of facial expressions may vary in different countries.000 facial expressions. round eyes) Anger (lowered eyebrow. Our face is a highly developed organ that can create more than 7. stance and movement. Body language is one of the most important and complicated parts of non-verbal communication. open mouth.

This is why in business cultures a fair degree of eye contact is viewed as a sign of a person’s openness. round eyes. Often. eyes can never lie. Also frequency of eye contact may indicate either interest or boredom. honesty and trust. just by eye contact we can signal to another person when to talk or to finish. Eye-contact is the primary notion to where a message of attention is being conveyed in engagement with Nonverbal communication. Eye contact is when two people look at each other's eyes at the same time. that even if you can control your facial expressions and body movements. and involvement. In interpersonal relationships looking away is often perceived as deviousness and avoidance. attention. In many cultures it is believed. Men stare at the women they are interested in for at least a half an hour were as women tend to always keep their eyes roaming around the room to see who is there. Men and women have different ways of eye contact. but it can indicate social behavior. decreased blinking rate and dilated eye pupils show our interest in a partner. it can indicate interest. Studies have found that people use their eyes to indicate their interest and not just with the frequently recognized actions of winking and movements of the eyebrows. Eye-contact Eye contact is an important feature of social communication. Pupils 10 .• • • Fear (open mouth. pale face) Disgust (wrinkled nose. while gaze holding. raised upper lip. Disinterest is highly noticeable when showing little eye-contact in a social setting. sad eyes) 3. lowered eyelids) Sadness (lowered corners of mouth.

Generally speaking.“Eye contact (also called mutual gaze) is another major channel of nonverbal communication. In addition. the frequency of glances. The space between the sender and the receiver of a message influences the way the message is interpreted. without consciously doing so. probe each other's eyes and faces for positive or negative mood signs. as Pease states.” 4. deceit can also be observed in a person. Unless looking at others is a cultural no-no. Proxemics Proxemics is the study of how people use and perceive the physical distance or space around them. Along with the detection of disinterest. The length of a gaze. patterns of fixation. Eyes act as leading indicator of truth or deception. People. Hogan states “when someone is being deceptive their eyes tend to blink a lot more.” Eye aversion is the avoidance of eye contact. the perception and use of space varies significantly across cultures and different settings within cultures. Eye contact and facial expressions provide important social and emotional information.dilate when they are interested in the other person. Overall. pupil dilation. The duration of eye contact is its most meaningful aspect. and blink rate are all important cues in nonverbal communication. Liking generally increases as mutual gazing increases. lookers gain more credibility than non-lookers. “Give the amount of eye contact that makes everyone feel comfortable. sometimes. the longer the eye contact between two people the greater the intimacy is felt inside. Gaze comprises the actions of looking while talking and listening. 11 . even. According to Eckman.

and public space. the closer we permit them into our personal space. It is reserved for public speaking and interaction in public places (like parks. Violation of “our territory”. irritation. when discussing personal and casual matters. or on the street) The more we get to know the person and the more we like them. social.There are two main types of space or distance: Horizontal and Vertical. This zone is reserved for interactions with good friends. Hargie & Dickson (2004. At this distance a speaker becomes formal. depending on the seriousness may provoke such feelings as discomfort. personal. 69) identify 4 such territories: • • • 12 . p. This is an appropriate distance for impersonal. There are four horizontal space zones: • Intimate space – from actual touching to 18 inches.baby relationships. Public space – more than 12 feet. • Horizontal space determines the distance. which people intuitively feel comfortable with when approaching other and having others approach them. Personal space – from 18 inches to 4 feet. social gatherings and business communication. It is assigned for intimate relationships and mother. Social space – from 4 to 12 feet. supermarkets. Space in nonverbal communication may be divided into four main categories: intimate. The term territoriality is used in the study of proxemics to explain human behavior regarding personal space. anxiety and even anger and aggression. At this distance the physical presence of another is overwhelming.

but only for a set period. • • • Vertical space often indicates a degree of dominance and subordinance in the relationship. Although people have only a limited claim over that space. others will walk around the group rather than disturb their interaction territory. but people may still feel some degree of ownership of such space as they develop the custom of occupying it. For example. An example is a house that others cannot enter without the owner’s permission. Public territory: this refers to an area that is available to all. 5. Even a handshake can tell a lot about the individual’s character and social 13 . For example. it was found that people take longer to leave a parking space when someone is waiting to take that space.• Primary territory: This refers to an area that is associated with someone who has exclusive use of it. For example. someone may sit in the same seat in church every week and feel irritated if someone else sits there. there is no “right” to occupancy of secondary territory. Interaction territory: this is space held by others when they are interacting. such as a parking space or a seat in a library. they often extend that claim. when a group is talking to each other on a footpath. Haptics “Haptics” is a nonverbal communication study of touch. The way one person touches another can tell a great deal of information. Secondary territory: Unlike primary territory.

Such physical contacts as handshakes. ruffling thier hair may reflect elements of intimacy. sex. Experimental findings suggest that people tend to listen more attentively to men with deep. grabbing. the manner of touch. 6. In most interpersonal relationships touching can (arm pat) expresse tenderness. age. a pat on the shoulder. If used improperly it can become a cause of aggravation. volume (loudness). holding another person on the shoulder. The meaning of touch depends highly on the context of the situation. high fives. A person’s character. culture and your character. 14 . the relationship between communicators. embracing. communication barriers and mistrust. and enunciation of vocal speech. pushing. pitch (highness or lowness of voice). lack of attraction. back slapping. give encouragement and show emotional support. patronizing or gentleness. These behaviors are referred to as "adapters" or "tells" and may send messages that reveal the intentions or feelings of a communicator. sexiness and self-confidence. brushing an arm. holding hands.position. lips. Paralanguage Paralanguage is a non-verbal element of communication that includes rate (speed). kissing (cheek. hand). low voices and resonant tones as these vocal cues are associated with strength. patting on the back. emotional condition and ability to get a message correctly to a receiver can be revealed by vocal cues.

polite and unsure of themselves. nervousness and helplessness. People who speak very loud are often perceived by others as aggressive. Silence Silence is also viewed as a part of non-verbal communication that depending on the situation and usage can influence conversation in a positive or negative way.High pitch voices are associated with rage. structure our time and react to time is a powerful communication tool and helps set the stage for communication. Time perceptions include punctuality and the willingness to wait. while on the other it may give another person time to collect his thoughts and calm down. On one hand silence may create tension and uneasiness. a phrase. plus the speed of speech and how long people are willing to listen. Soft spoken people are viewed as timid. overbearing and uncompromising. The way we perceive time. 8. When a vocal message contradicts a verbal one it is considered an indication of sarcasm. For example. The timing and 15 . Silence can also be an indicator of agreement or disagreement. 7. depending on other non-verbal aspects such as facial expression. it has the opposite meaning. body language or eye contact. “Great job” can either mean a sincere praise or if intoned sarcastically. while despair and depression is often vocalized by a lower pitch and slower word pace. Chronemics Chronemics is the study of the use of time in nonverbal communication.

where "factory life required the labor force to be on hand and in place at an appointed hour" (Guerrero. “the schedule is sacred. 1999. 238). The United States is considered a monochronic society. DeVito & Hecht. Monochronic cultures include Germany. For Americans.frequency of an action as well as the tempo and rhythm of communications within an interaction contributes to the interpretation of nonverbal messages. Monochronic Time A Monochronic time system means that things are done one at a time and time is segmented into precise. the United States. and Scandinavia. p. As communication scholar Edward T. Under this system time is scheduled.” These cultures are committed to regimented schedules and may view those who do not subscribe to the same perception of time as disrespectful. place a paramount value on schedules. such as the German and Swiss. This perception of time is learned and rooted in the Industrial Revolution. Switzerland. arranged and managed. Hall wrote regarding the American viewpoint of time in the business world. “time is tangible” and viewed as a commodity where “time is money” or “time is wasted. Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey (1988) identified two dominant time patterns: Monochronic time and Polychronic time. tasks and “getting the job done.” The result of this perspective is that Americans and other monochronic cultures. Canada. For instance. 16 . small units. time is a precious resource not to be wasted or taken lightly.” Hall says that for monochronic cultures.

” [2] Polychronic cultures include Saudi Arabia. Egypt. They are not ruled by precise calendars and schedules. the invariant pattern of rural life. their culture is more focused on relationships. polychronic cultures are deeply steeped in tradition rather than in tasks—a clear difference from their monochronic counterparts. Instead. The arbitrary divisions of the clock face have little saliency in cultures grounded in the cycle of the seasons. 1997. They have no problem being “late” for an event if they are with family or friends. polychronic cultures have a much less formal perception of time. Mexico. 17 . Latin American. These cultures are much less focused on the preciseness of accounting for each and every moment. the Philippines. Arab and African cultures use the polychronic system of time. and the calendar of religious festivities" (Cohen. Cohen notes that "Traditional societies have all the time in the world. rather than watching the clock. 34). because the relationship is what really matters. p. India. As a result. and a more fluid approach is taken to scheduling time. Rather. and many in Africa. As Raymond Cohen notes. Native American. “cultures that use the polychronic time system often schedule multiple appointments simultaneously so keeping on schedule is an impossibility. Unlike Americans and most northern and western European cultures.Polychronic Time A Polychronic time system is a system where several things can be done at once.

Olfactics “Olfactics” is a non-verbal communication study of smell. People we find attractive are perceived as more credible. However you have to remember that forming stereotypes based on other people’s physical characteristics and attractiveness may lead to false assumptions and communication barriers. Appearance Appearance plays an important role in non-verbal communication.9. accessories. sociable. Clothes. successful. hairstyle.” This demonstrates a certain 18 . For both men and women body smell is one of the most important subconscious factors of choosing a life mate. 10. occupation and even attractiveness. and how others will respond to them. for instance. background and financial status. kind and popular. Clothing Clothing is the most common form of non-verbal communication. wealth. choice of colors and uniforms usually offer signals relating to person’s individuality. “Miniskirts can give a woman the appearance that she is not approachable. sensitive. 11. The types of clothing that an individual wears convey nonverbal clues about his or her personality. We tend to react to people based on their smell. During interaction body odor or too much perfume can make even the most attractive person seem repulsive. interesting. status. makeup.

An individual’s clothing style can demonstrate their culture. a woman who wears a tight dress with a low-cut neckline may convey the message "I'm attractive and sexy" or “Want to come back to my place tonight"? By showing the positive aspects of his or her self through dress attire and grooming. level of confidence. It is important to understand that their exterior and demeanor influence how others will react to them. simply via appearance. one can inspire confidence in his or her abilities.response. Also. a negative and unapproachable response. authority. and their sexual identity. age. 19 . "I don't care". Some examples of a person’s clothing type in which a negative message is being conveyed could include the following: A person with a sloppy appearance. in this case. and wrinkled clothes sends the message. value/beliefs. interests. messy hair. mood.

and how much is communicated non-verbally? This was investigated by Albert Mehrabian and reported in two papers. It is considered more polite or nicer to communicate attitudes towards others non-verbally rather than verbally. The latter paper concluded: "It is 20 . humans communicate interpersonal closeness through a series of nonverbal actions known as immediacy behaviors. touching. and eye contact. Criticism An interesting question is: When two people are communicating face-toface.Functions of nonverbal communication Argyle (1970) put forward the hypothesis that whereas spoken language is normally used for communicating information about events external to the speakers. Examples of immediacy behaviors are smiling. open body positions. how much of the meaning is communicated verbally. Argyle (1988) concluded there are five primary functions of nonverbal bodily behavior in human communication: • • • Express emotions Express interpersonal attitudes To accompany speech in managing the cues of interaction between speakers and listeners • • Self-presentation of one’s personality Rituals (greetings) In regards to expressing interpersonal attitudes. Cultures that display these immediacy behaviors are considered high-contact cultures. for instance in order to avoid embarrassing situations. non-verbal codes are used to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships.

First. ". the relative importance of spoken words and facial expressions may be very different in studies using different set-ups. the figures are obtained by combining results from two different studies which potentially cannot be combined. 21 . and . and 55 % respectively to the total meaning. vocal.3 times the effect of verbal cues.e. a study by Hsee et al. analysed the communication of submissive/dominant attitude and found that non-verbal cues had 4. however. Third.07. is widely cited. Fourth. . 38 %. had subjects judge a person on the dimension happy/sad and found that words spoken with minimal variation in intonation had an impact about 4 times larger than face expressions seen in a film without sound. On the other hand.with coefficients of . a very artificial context. In reality. respectively." This "rule" that clues from spoken words. using video tapes shown to the subjects. It is presented on all types of popular courses with statements like "scientists have found out that . it is extremely weakly founded.38. from the voice tone.55. Argyle.suggested that the combined effect of simultaneous verbal. Second. Since then. it relates only to women. . it is based on the judgment of the meaning of single tape-recorded words. other studies have analysed the relative contribution of verbal and nonverbal signals under more naturalistic situations. contribute 7 %. Thus. as men did not participate in the study. and facial attitude communications is a weighted sum of their independent effects . . The most important effect was that body posture communicated superior status in a very efficient way. i. it relates only to the communication of positive versus negative emotions. and from the facial expression.

complementing. conflicting. or frustration.Interaction of verbal and nonverbal communication When communicating. ambivalence. great attention is placed on bodily movements and positioning when people perceive mixed messages during interactions Complementing Accurate interpretation of messages is made easier when nonverbal and verbal communication complement each other. Conflicting messages may occur for a variety of reasons often stemming from feelings of uncertainty. A person verbally expressing a statement of truth while simultaneously fidgeting or avoiding eye contact may convey a mixed message to the receiver in the interaction.[23]When mixed messages occur. messages have been shown to be remembered better when nonverbal signals affirm the verbal exchange. substituting. Conflicting Verbal and nonverbal messages within the same interaction can sometimes send opposing or conflicting messages. and body positioning as corresponding with specific feelings and intentions. nonverbal messages can interact with verbal messages in six ways: repeating. People learn to identify facial expressions. regulating and accenting/moderating. body movements. Nonverbal signals can be used without verbal 22 . nonverbal communication becomes the primary tool people use to attain additional information to clarify the situation. Nonverbal cues can be used to elaborate on verbal messages to reinforce the information sent when trying to achieve communicative goals. Substituting Nonverbal behavior is sometimes used as the sole channel for communication of a message.

To improve nonverbal communication. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress. When you’re stressed out. Your upset is very likely to trigger upset in others. and lapse into unhealthy kneejerk patterns of behavior. verbal methods are used to enhance understanding. send off confusing or off-putting nonverbal signals. you’ll be better equipped to deal with the situation in a positive way. you’re more likely to misread other people. Stress compromises your ability to communicate. Furthermore. learn to manage stress Learning how to manage stress in the heat of the moment is one of the most important things you can do to improve your nonverbal communication. Take a moment to calm down before you jump back into the conversation. 23 . it’s best to take a time out. Once you’ve regained your emotional equilibrium. making a bad situation worse. emotions are contagious. when nonverbal behavior does not effectively communicate a message.communication to convey messages.

you need to be aware of your emotions and how they influence you. This is where emotional awareness comes in. Create trust in relationships by sending nonverbal signals that match up with your words. You also need to be able to recognize the emotions of others and the true feelings behind the cues they are sending.How emotional awareness strengthens nonverbal communication In order to send accurate nonverbal cues. and care. • • • 24 . giving you the option to either repair the relationship or move on. Emotional awareness enables you to: • Accurately read other people. notice. Respond in ways that show others that you understand. including the emotions they’re feeling and the unspoken messages they’re sending. Know if the relationship is meeting your emotional needs.

Birdwhistell argued that all movements of the body have meaning (ie. Several other anthropologists.Kinesics As stated earlier. but which may be used interchangeably without affecting social meaning". including Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. 1985: 158). 25 . also studied kinesics. Part of Birdwhistell's work involved making films of people in social situations and analyzing them to show different levels of communication not clearly seen otherwise. (Knapp 1972:94-95) Birdwhistell estimated that "no more than 30 to 35 percent of the social meaning of a conversation or an interaction is carried by the words. Drawing heavily on descriptive linguistics. the term "kinesics" was first used (in 1952) by Ray Birdwhistell. gesture." (Birdwhistell. an anthropologist who wished to study how people communicate through postures. He also concluded that there were no universals in these kinesic displays . Thus. are not accidental).a claim disproved by Paul Ekman's analysis of universals in facial expression. body stance. a "kineme" is "similar to a phoneme because it consists of a group of movements which are not identical. body movement etc. and that these non-verbal forms of language (or paralanguage) have a grammar that can be analyzed in similar terms to spoken language.

whether it is large. that is how the body looks like (e. tilting the head. hostile. leg imposed on the leg. Posture deals with: • how the body is positioned in relation to another person or group of persons (e. have similar behavior: the enclosure of the neck by leaving or propping up the chin. large head. People with a closed body posture give the impression of detached. standing. has a broad back. etc. People with an open posture are perceived as friendly and positive attitude. posture. arms weaving on the chest or abdomen. creating a sense of security around him.Posture and body stance In humans.g. In humans.g. sitting. posture can provide important nonverbal communication.) and how they are positioned relative to each other various body parts (e. both humans and animals try to protect those vulnerable to injury part.) Physique. etc. A Closed posture is one in which parts of the body most • susceptible to trauma are obscured. hand in pocket. Damage to the genitals prevents the transfer of their genes to future generations and is synonymous with the death of the "point of view of the gene" Therefore. etc. They are easily damaged and the damage could have fatal consequences.) •  Open and closed body posture The researchers distinguish these two opposing attitudes. weak legs. stomach and genitals. uninterested contact.g. leaning stance. hands clasped 26 . These body parts are: throat.

A slight forward bend. bag on shoulder or in hand. open palms up. Also. golf. loosened tie. crossed arms. hanging head. draped jacket.Substitute for words and phrases Illustrators . kinesics are used as signs of deception by interviewers. clothing may close stance: buttoned suit.Accompany or reinforce verbal messages Affect Displays . • abdomen and neck. Closed and open postures also apply while sitting.obscure the genitals ("the attitude of the Soviet dignitary").Show emotion Regulators . gripping them. crossing the legs. shirt undone at the neck. An open posture is one in which they are exposed: genitals. especially if the hand is relaxed . slightly raised hips. etc show the closure of the body. The open character of the body can be characterised by raised head. friendliness.Release physical or emotional tension 27 .Control the flow and pace of communication Adaptors . his fingers gently touch each other. An important element of the closing or opening position of the body are the hands. Some related words may be: • • • • • Emblems . etc show an open position. Shown palms read as openness.  Modern applications In one current application. Interviewers look for clusters of movements to determine the veracity of the statement being uttered. etc. clinching legs.that is. hiding the thumb is a signal closure. willingness to contact. Feet together. Showing the back of your hand. handbag or briefcase held in front of you.

relaxation. Kretschmer. and the level of fondness a person has for the other communicator.such as confidence. where one person’s left side is parallel to the other person’s right side. position in the social hierarchy (particularly if it is analyzed in the context of postures callers) Current emotional states .fear. etc. sense of security. Sheldon.social origin. Communication expressed through posture and body stance Non-verbal communication developed in humans earlier than verbal communication. etc. tension Frustrations of developmental traits or character. mental injuries (traumas). the need Social standing . such as its position in the hierarchy of the group or attitude toward others.Importance and need for correct analysis of postures and body movements 1. submissiveness. Characteristics of temperament .according to the theory of Hippocrates. openness.for example I like . is the appropriate attitude gain. In humans. Posture conveys information about: • Attitudes of interpersonal relations . • • • • • Posture or a person's bodily stance communicates a variety of messages. 28 . one of the means of communication. Studies investigating the impact of posture on interpersonal relationships suggest that mirror-image congruent postures. Posture can be used to determine a participant’s degree of attention or involvement. want to avoid.I do not like. Personality traits . depending on body “openness”. the difference in status between communicators.

leads to favorable perception of communicators and positive speech. and friendly. left hand based on the table. receptive. 29 . stand straight when speaking. curious. and leaning forward communicates to a person that you are approachable. as though seeking support. where the norm is 60% eye contact. “Lean forward when listening. a person who displays a forward lean or decreases a backward lean also signifies positive sentiment during communication. Flirting. A person talking to someone that is constantly looking at the floor or ceiling makes it seem as though disinterest with the conversation. straight neck: a signal of well-being. and perhaps prone to.” 2. Always try to avoid negative posture. and a construction worker in the state of Washington will use different postures than a salesman in Chicago. Job Interview with a relaxed and open body language. parted lips: to encourage contact. Business Negotiation where the norm is leaning back while steeping and Buying a Car where most have hands on hips with feet more than ten inches apart. grooming. good self-esteem. Posture can be situation-relative “A nineteen-year-old college student from New York will use different postures than a Mid-western housewife. Hidden hand carries an element of mystery and anxiety. Interpersonal attitudes Slightly bending the head. Another example of posture being situational on more of a daily basis can be described in Driver’s book: “Four situational norms of posture would be.” 3. Straight silhouette. intrigued. An example of good posture includes standing erect.

The inclination "towards" is an expression of sympathy and acceptance. the body of speakers are turned toward each other. forced and unpleasant. Reverse Buckling occurs along with the survival of dislike and disapproval or desire to break the relationship. This happens when the conversation runs seamlessly and is enjoyable for both parties. but not in the position of "face to face. It is usually unconscious behavior.this happens for example in a crowded elevator Closed or open body position. people talk directed toward each other.set the side (shoulder) .) are communicated through: • Inclination of the body: During the conversation leaning slightly toward the speaker's trunk or tilting slightly away from him. When you ignore someone. but are set at an angle." which is a confrontational attitude. • • • 30 . trust. people have an unconscious tendency to imitate their behavior. Therefore. Orientation of the body. etc. During the conversation. Usually. Similarity.Interpersonal attitudes (sympathy-disapproval. This approximation of the attitudes and gestures and body movements indicate the emergence of a bond and sympathy. Lack of synchronization leads to a sense that this contact is artificial. we tend to ignore or avoid contact . acceptance.

Gestures and body movements Gestures may be made with the hands. The most familiar are the so-called emblems or quotable gestures. culture-specific gestures that can be used as replacement for words. hunched shoulders to protect the throat from attack. some broad categories of gestures have been identified by researchers. Speech-related gestures are intended to provide supplemental information to a verbal message such as pointing to an object of discussion. this form of nonverbal communication is used to emphasize the message that is being communicated. arms or body. 31 . face and eyes. Speech-independent gestures are dependent upon culturally accepted interpretation and have a direct verbal translation. Although the study of gesture is still in its infancy. There are some universal gestures like the shoulder shrug. and also include movements of the head. Speech-related gestures are used in parallel with verbal speech. It’s a multiple gesture that has three main parts: exposed palms to show nothing is being concealed in the hands. such as winking. such as the hand wave used in western cultures for "hello" and "goodbye. A wave or a [V-sign| peace sign] are examples of speech-independent gestures. nodding. submissive greeting” Gestures can also be categorized as either speech independent or speech related." A single emblematic gesture can have a very different significance in different cultural contexts. or rolling one's eyes. “The shoulder shrug is a good example of a universal gesture that is used to show that a person doesn’t know or doesn’t understand what you are saying. and raised brow. ranging from complimentary to highly offensive. These are conventional. which is a universal.

held horizontal or upwards. 32 . please: This gesture. used to mean that a dinner patron wishes to pay the bill and depart. "a thumping") • Crossed fingers: are used to superstitiously wish for good Cuckoo sign: touched or screw loose. is speaking nonsense or is crazy. circle. or wavy line (as if signing one's name) in the air. it threatens physical violence (i. gossips. or is boring.. may signal the word okay.Illustrations of various gestures and their varied inferences in different cultures Single hand gestures A-ok or Okay: made by connecting the thumb and forefinger • in a circle and holding the other fingers straight. Facing the signer. The gesture can be used to indicate that someone talks too much. • Blah-blah: The fingers are kept straight and together. The same gesture is offensive in parts of southern Europe and South America." i. • making a circling motion of the index finger at the ear or side of the head signifies that the person "has a screw loose. is saying nothing of any consequence. while the thumb points downwards. The fingers and thumb then snap together repeatedly to suggest a mouth talking. is executed by touching the index finger and thumb together and "writing" a checkmark. luck or to nullify a promise. especially as a diving signal. • Clenched fist: is used as a gesture of defiance or solidarity. In North America.e.e. • Check.

simultaneously raise one hand and then slap these hands together. • High five: is a celebratory ritual in which two people Hitchhiking: gestures including sticking one thumb upward. Their meaning is similar to that of scare quotes in writing. • especially in North America. This gesture resembles the act of rubbing coins or bills together and is generally used when speaking about money. • Añjali Mudrā: is a sign of respect among yoga practitioners. • Handshake: is a greeting ritual in which two people grasp each others' hands and may move their grasped hands up and down. • Loser: made by extending the thumb and forefinger to Money sign: The thumb rubs repeatedly over the tip of the resemble the letter L is an insulting gesture. 33 . • index finger and middle finger. • raised before the torso and subsequently drawn down in a vigorous. swift motion. Two-hand gestures Air quotes: are made by raising both hands to eye level and • flexing the index and middle fingers of both hands while speaking. It is made by pressing the palms together.• Fist bump: is similar to a handshake or high five which may Fist pump: is a celebratory gesture in which a closed fist is be used as a symbol of respect. or pointing an index finger toward the road elsewhere to request a ride in an automobile.

roughly in the center — originates in American sports. • Guns Up: is the slogan and hand signal of Texas Tech University. fingers extended outward from the hand and thumbs stuck out to the sides. • Forefinger Rub pointing one index finger at a person and rubbing the other against it: conveys the meaning "shame on you" and is usually performed when the other person has done something shameful or inappropriate. indicates either Jazz hands: are used in dance or other performances by Time-out: a "T" formed with the hands. • Hand-rubbing: rubbing both hands together. The thumbs are rotated to symbolize flippers. the batsu (literally: ×-mark) is a gesture made by crossing one's arms in the shape of an "X" in front of them in order to indicate that something is "wrong" or "no good". • Batsu: In Japanese culture. The gesture is made by extending both arms in front of the chest and clapping the hands vertically. • displaying the palms of both hands with fingers splayed. It is used 34 . • moment as awkward. One hand is placed flat atop the other with both palms facing down. The gesture is made from a closed hand by extending the index finger forward and the thumb up. with one hand with one feels cold or one is expecting or anticipating something. • Gator Chomp: displays support for University of Florida athletic teams.• Applause: is an expression of approval made by clapping the The Awkward turtle: is a two handed gesture used to mark a hands together to create noise. • flat palm placed perpendicular to the other hand with flat palm. This hand sign may be made with one or two hands.

Chicken: performed by making one's arms into wings by many cultures. often while also sticking out one's tongue. In basketball. • Victory clasp: is used to exclaim victory by clasping the Whatever: made with the thumb and forefinger of both hands together and shaking them to one's side. • sticking out the tongue and blowing to create a sound similar to flatulence.by players to signal for a time out. • Anasyrma: is performed by lifting the skirt or kilt. and is a childish insult in Japanese culture. to form the letter “W”. • Bowing: lowering the torso or head. • putting the hands onto one's chest. • hands. • expose the red underneath. is a show of respect in Cheek kissing: pressing one's lips to another person's cheek. Popularized by the movie Clueless. Used to signal that something is not worth the time and energy. or brief pause in play. • may show friendship or greeting. the gesture is additionally used by referees to indicate that a player or coach is guilty of a technical foul. but is Akanbe: is performed by pulling a lower eyelid down to • performed without making bodily contact. It is used Blowing a raspberry or Bronx cheer: signifies derision by in some religious rituals. Gestures made with other body parts Air kiss: conveys meanings similar to kissing. extending the elbows outwards 35 .

It is performed by two people touching noses. This gesture is done to make fun of a cowardly person afraid to do something risky or go somewhere scary. • Curtsey: is a gesture of greeting typically made by women. while the other fingers are close together as if holding an imaginary pint of beer.and flapping them. or exasperation. usually provoking the person to overcome their fear to get them to stop. It Dhyanamudra: sitting with both hands in the lap. when the person cannot speak. frustration. • Eye-rolling: performed by rotating the eyes upward and back down. the gesture for drinking (used for is performed by bending the knees while bowing the head. such as a heart attack. boredom. tipping it repeatedly. • Elbow bump: is a greeting similar to the hand shake or fist Eskimo kissing: is a gesture in Western cultures loosely bump made by touching elbows. often accompanied by chicken noises (bwuckbwuck-bwuck!). can indicate incredulity. either literally or insultingly. • Choking sign: to indicate that one is choking is to hold the throat with one or both hands as if strangling oneself. contempt. signifies Drinking sign: In UK. This gesture can also be used to imply that somebody is drunk. • concentration. • based on an Inuit greeting. It is promoted as a way to prevent onlookers from confusing the victim's distress with some other problem. This is recognized as a request for immediate first aid for choking. • example as an invitation to "go down the pub") is made by putting the back of the thumb just below the lower lip. The gesture can be unconscious or can be 36 .

It has a number of uses.performed consciously. It is of British origin and then was popularized in America by the movie The Sting. 37 . In some cultures. it is used as a gesture of respect towards flags or during singing of a national anthem. • head to the ground. it is also performed as a part of the rituals of the Pledge of Allegiance. • Hat tip or doff: is a salutation or show of respect made by Kowtow: shows respect by bowing deeply and touching one's Nod: tilting the head up and down. • Facepalm: is an expression of frustration or embarrassment Genuflection: is a show of respect by bending at least one Hand-kissing: is a greeting made by kissing the hand of a Hand over heart: involves placing one's right hand. • Western Europe. In the United States. • Touching or tapping the side of the nose with the index finger: means "we share a secret". The gesture occurs in many countries of the world. may indicate assent in two people removing their hats. palm made by raising the palm of the hand to the face. among other places. It also means the opposite in other places. such as Bulgaria. Male hat or cap wearers typically remove their hats and hold them in this hand. over one's heart. • knee to the ground. and is especially common among adolescents. and the Indian subcontinent. • outstretched and facing in. North America. • Orant: is a gesture made during prayer in which the hands Puppy face: consists of tilting the head down with eyes are raised with palms facing outward. • person worthy of respect. • looking up.

under the chin and then flicking the fingers out (usually once or twice): is a common gesture in Italy for expressing indifference. with palm down.• Putting a slightly cupped hand. • pressing the palms and fingers together. shows respect or reverence by Throat slash: is made by moving one's finger across one's drawing the shape of a cross over one's body or in the air. • those to whom it is directed. • throat. This gesture became the center of a controversy in March 2006. consists of Thai greeting. The index finger is placed vertically in front of the lips. • Sign of the Cross: used in many Christian rituals.] • made by lining up the palms and fingers together while bowing. the gesture imitates cutting a person's throat with a blade. when Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was photographed allegedly making the gesture to illustrate his response to his critics. • Salute by Scout and Guide organizations. The index finger of one hand is extended. extreme anger. indicates lack of knowledge or Salaam: is an Arabic gesture of greeting or respect Sampeah: is a Cambodian greeting or gesture of respect Scout sign: and salute refers to the use of the Three Finger Shush: gesture is used to demand or request silence from concern. • consisting of low bow with the hand touching the forehead." • Shrug: lifting both shoulders. Boston Herald reporter misinterpreted it as "obscene" but Scalia later explained that he merely meant "I couldn't care less. or wai:. with the remaining fingers curled toward the palm with the thumb forming a fist. or 38 . The gesture indicates strong disapproval.

as if making a dimple. and is sometimes referred to as cocking a snook. for audio recording purposes or inability to communicate vocally. whether for social decorum. In Italian culture this can mean "I see a pretty girl" or that something is delicious. In Germany the gesture can be used to suggest that someone is crazy. is made by twisting the wrist. It consists of bowing deeply and lowering one's head to the ground. and a screwing motion. • Thumbing the nose: is a sign of derision in Britain made by putting your thumb on your nose and wiggling your fingers. This gesture is also known as Anne's Fan or Queen Anne's Fan. It can also be a direction to another party to bring an action to an end and is done in order for the sign initiator to avoid speaking. • Twisting the cheek: Thumb and forefinger are placed against the cheek. 39 . • Zemnoy poklon or "Great bow": is used in some Eastern Orthodox Christian rituals.displeasure with others or with oneself.

If words disagree with the tone of voice and nonverbal behaviour. these three parts of the message need to support each other . people tend to believe the tonality and nonverbal behaviour. Nonverbal communication can have meanings in objects as well. Vocal & Visual. and body language accounts for 55% of the liking. tone of voice accounts for 38%. especially when they are incongruent with the words. and even clothing and hygiene.they have to be "congruent".Conclusion Nonverbal communication is the process of sending and receiving messages from another person through gestures. In case of any incongruence. The three elements account differently for our liking for the person who puts forward a message concerning their feelings: words account for 7%. engagement. posture. Certain articles in a person’s life can say a lot about them and can sometimes 40 . This can tell someone whether they are likes. the receiver of the message might be irritated by two messages coming from two different channels. For effective and meaningful communication about emotions. interesting or hated. Nonverbal communication can convey a very different message than a verbal conversation. They are often abbreviated as the "3 Vs" for Verbal. giving cues in two different directions. The non-verbal elements being the tone of the voice and the body language are particularly important for communicating feelings and attitude.

A person’s handwriting can also tell a lot about the way they can communicate with others. People can interpret body signals better than they can talk most of the time.even talk for them. 41 . Nonverbal communication can be easiest practiced when the two communicators are face to face. Nonverbal communication is an important aspect in any conversation skill people are practicing.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful