People can say a lot without every opening their mouths through the form of non verbal communication. Non verbal communication is simply the way of communicating with others without speaking. This communication can be done through gestures, touch, facial expressions, body language, posture, or eye contact. Often, non verbal communication can give away a person’s real feelings, no matter what he or she is saying. While some people may be able to train themselves to control some gestures, some non verbal communication, such as pupil dilation, cannot be controlled
Non verbal communication is important in many ways. In the case of relationships, understanding non verbal communication can help someone know what his or her partner is really thinking. For example, if a woman tells her boyfriend she is happy going to a football game instead of shopping, but she is standing with her arms folded facing away from him, her body language clearly says she is not happy with the decision.
Non verbal communication can also be helpful in certain professions such as law enforcement. When the police bring in a suspect for questioning, they can often tell by non verbal communication if the suspect is telling the truth or lying. While this body language cannot be used in court, it can let the officers know they need to further investigate the suspect until they find out the truth.
Non verbal communication may also tell potential employers a lot about interviewees. If a Human Resources manager is interviewing a potential employee and wonders if he or she is telling the truth, shifty eye movement or nervous gestures will say a lot. Psychologists may be best at reading non verbal communication as they, perhaps more than any other professional, know non verbal communication down to the very slightest movement or gesture. Poker players also use non verbal communication to tell what types of cards other players are holding.
Non verbal communication is so important that there are several specialized fields within it. The study of body movement, gestures, and facial expressions is known as kinetics. The study of using touch as a part of non verbal communication, such as giving someone a high five, is known as haptics. Even the pitch and tone of ones voice can give away their non verbal feelings. This is known as paralanguage.
Non verbal communication is a very interesting and highly studied field in which many psychiatrists and researchers have devoted their entire careers.
To Learn more about non verbal communication, check out these sources:
Center for Non Verbal Communication (devoted to the study of non verbal communication)
The Touch Research Institute (studies the positive effects of touch therapy)
Non Verbal Communication Skills (understanding non verbal communication)
Pupil Size as Related to Interest Value of Visual Stimuli (research paper by Eckhard H. Hess)
“ The Naked Face ” (article discussing the important of non verbal communication in police work)
Facial Expression Resource Page (a listing of resources for facial expression research)
Paul Ekman (home page of the father of facial action coding system)
Exploring Non Verbal Communication (resource site at the University of California)
Introduction to Non Verbal Communication (basic features on non verbal communication explained)
“ Six Ways to Improve Your Non Verbal Communication ” (article about improving non verbal communications to help when teaching)
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals by Charles Darwin (first book written about non verbal communication)
“ In Certain Circles, Two is a Crowd ” (New York Times article about proxemics, the study of personal space)
Aspects of Non Verbal Communication (different categories of non verbal communication)
“ The Power of Non Verbal Communication ” (Wall Street Journal/MIT article about non verbal communication)
Using Body Language (site that lists the clusters of body language)
Detecting Deception (how to know when someone is lying based on their body language)
“ Flirting and Body Language ” (BBC article about non verbal communication and flirting)
“ Body Language: What McCain, Obama Reveal ” (MCNBC article about presidential candidates body language)
Pheromones Importance in Flirting, Dating and Relationships (how smell can attract people)
“ The Only Two Flirty Body Language Moves You Need to Know ” (Marie Clare article about flirting)
Dating Service (Communication and relationships take practice, work on non verbal communication cues and flirting tips by getting out there with a dating service)
“ This is Your Brain on Hand Gestures ” (UCLA Magazine article about hand gestures)
Non Verbal Communication Theories (theories from Oregon State University)
Types of Gestures (government page about gestures)
The Truth Behind the Smile and Other Myths (about the myths of body language)
Body Gestures and Their Meanings in Different Countries (what different gestures mean in different countries)
“ Is Your Body Betraying You in Job Interviews? ” (Forbes article about body language)
Non Verbal Communication: Cues, Signals, and Symbols (different cues for non verbal communication)
Don’t Speak, Just Move (using body language to communicate)
UI Study Shows Schizophrenia Limits Understanding Of Body Language (how schizophrenia may limit understanding of body language)
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