Communicative Gestures in Everyday Conversations

While talking to other people, one may underestimate the effect of their nonverbal expressions. Sometimes the information conveyed by them is arguable more important than what was spoken.

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When uncontrolled, nonverbal elements can hinder communication, but their deliberate use may enhance the message. This paper will be devoted to gestures as a subset of non-spoken mechanics, the meanings, and whether they were appropriate for specific situations.

For interpersonal communication, I apply many gestures, most of which are easily understood. For instance, my most used gesture is beckoning, for which I move the index finger towards myself. It is helpful when there is some distance between the communicating parties, and one may find difficulties listening to the other.

Another common gesture is okay, made using the thumb and the index finger, which signals agreement or understanding. However, I became less inclined to use it after learning that it could be offensive for some nationalities (Weiten et al., 2017).

I also tend to wave my index finger to express negative notions and use the palm of my right hand to make the other speaker stop, which is usually accompanied by words (Weiten et al., 2017). While most of those gestures are conscious or logical, I have an uncontrollable habit of putting my hand under the cheek.

It can mean that I am bored, but it is not necessarily true when I do it, which leads to misunderstandings. Thus, I tend to use various gestures for communication, most of which are instrumental in conveying the message.

In conclusion, non-spoken elements are an essential part of communication. Their role depends on whether a person is aware of the meaning and the context in which they should be used. For instance, I seem to be conscious of the majority of the gestures I use, and they manage to enhance the spoken message.

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However, one gesture, which implies boredom, may contradict what I am saying and cause misunderstanding. Thus, while using nonverbal elements, one should consider their meaning and the circumstances.


Weiten, W., Dunn, D. S., & Hammer, E. Y. (2017). Psychology applied to modern life: Adjustment in the 21st century (12th edition). Cengage Learning.

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