Improving Nonverbal Communication

Essay by Manuels1999College, Undergraduate September 2008

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Improving Nonverbal CommunicationNovember 11, 2007Improving Non-Verbal CommunicationNonverbal communication is learned and practiced often on an unconscious level. We attract people by using these nonverbal signals, and sometimes those we attract (or who are attracted to us) are unwholesome. As we grow older and become more aware of ourselves we should be able to recognize and weed out the unwholesome in favor of those for whom we have an affinity. Body language can be disguised behind a mask out of a fear of rejection. This can discourage wanted and needed relationships from developing. Those who want and need certain relationships to develop must relearn their nonverbal skills and unmask themselves in order to avoid alienation. Body language is open to misinterpretation just as verbal communication is. It must be interpreted in the context of one's lifestyle, family, cultural background, and other factors that may be obscure. Each person has a limited repertoire of gestures and uses the same gestures to signify certain feelings.

Gestures also can occur in clusters, so that while any particular gesture alone may not mean much, when it is reinforced by other gestures in a cluster the feeling or attitude being projected is confirmed" (, 1999-2007).

Gestures, for instance "is a form of non-verbal communication made with a part of the body, used instead of or in combination with verbal communication. The language of gesture allows individuals to express a variety of feelings and thoughts, from contempt and hostility to approval and affection. Most people use gestures and body language in addition to words when they speak. The use of gesture as language by some ethnic groups is more common than in others, and the amount of such gesturing that is considered culturally acceptable varies from one location to the next" (Agnes, 2004, p. 982). Perception...