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Research of Nonverbal Communication

The field of nonverbal communication has been gaining interest from researchers as it plays a crucial role in establishing connections and understanding others’ intentions. Nonverbal communication includes many dimensions such as body language, emotions, and emotional intelligence, personal space and contingency, the tone of voice, and distinctive signals such as cigarettes and glasses. This essay will examine three types of nonverbal communication: body language, paralanguage, and territory and personal space.

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Nonverbal communication plays a crucial role in people’s everyday lives as it makes the conversation more alive and accurately conveys the message. For example, during job interviews, the nonverbal response is as important as verbal communication. The interviewee’s posture can tell much about his or her personality. For example, crossed arms can tell about insecurity, while the straight position and eye contact can assure the company representatives that they are dealing with a confident candidate. When meeting someone for the first time, people usually pay attention to their appearance and nonverbal communication (Olszewski et al., 2016). This essay will examine different dimensions of nonverbal communication. Some of the forms include body language, paralanguage or voice, and setting territory.

Body language is what has significantly improved communication between people. According to Helmold et al. (2020), “body language is any nonverbal communication in which physical behaviors, as opposed to words and speech, are used to express or convey information” (p. 163). Mokhtari (2013) refers to body language as a pre-verbal dimension, which is related to the whole body and each part separately. During everyday life, people get information about other people’s feelings and thoughts by looking at their mannerisms, gestures, and body posture. This topic is interesting because it allows for understanding people better and integrating with the external environment. Researchers believe that body posture is easily recognized when compared to other neutral or different emotions (Helmold et al., 2020). For example, when people want to attack the opponent during negotiations or debates, they change their posture to display dominance. On the other hand, compared to the frightened, weak, or submissive person, his position would be the opposite of the angry opponent. Gestures can also tell much about a person’s attitude towards others. In a discussion, if the person holds his hands in a folded way, it means that he is close-minded and is not willing to listen to another negotiator.

Another component of nonverbal communication is paralanguage or tone of voice. Elements of paralanguage can modify meanings, convey emotions, or give nuanced sense (Helmold et al., 2020). Among these elements are pitch, prosody, and volume of intonation. Paralanguage can be expressed unconsciously or consciously so that people can change their voice pitch to make additional impressions. People tend to make judgments about others based on the voice they hear (Mokhtari, 2013). For example, if the man calling is 1.8 meters with a tight physique with a low-pitched voice, his appearance would not be surprising. However, if this person has a low-pitched voice, then the picture of his would change. Other than the tone of voice, accentuation also affects communication. The way people accent words when they speak can tell much about their personality (Mokhtari, 2013). Take as an example: the phrase “I love my family.” If the person emphasized the word “my,” it could mean that he or she wants to show closeness to his or her family. Making the right emphasis on the terms is essential in the business sphere when making presentations and delivering thoughts straight to the target audience.

The way people communicate depends on the space in which they find themselves. Some environments seem natural for people so that sometimes they do not notice them, while other situations are completely constricted behavior, forcing people to adapt. Territory in the context of nonverbal communication refers to what people want to possess and claim (Gamble & Gamble, 2016). While territory is a physical place, personal space is what people carry with themselves as a protective buffer zone that helps to feel safe and protects them from feeling uncomfortable. As a defense mechanism or to control the amount of distance between them, people avoid eye contact or set more acceptable boundaries. There are three types of territories, primary, secondary, and public (Gamble & Gamble, 2016). Primary territory includes everything that can be protected from invasion by establishing clear rules—for example, personal effects such as clothes and jewelry, home, car, and bedroom. Secondary territory refers to temporary possessions such as the TV, an open-space workplace, a book, and cutlery. Among public territory are places such as the beach, classroom, parking spot, everything that people can claim temporarily. Some of them can make a higher demand for ownership if used too frequently.

To conclude, nonverbal communication is an essential part of every conversation, either casual or formal. It helps to understand the message that people convey. For example, one can tell something that might differ from his or her body language and posture. That is why nonverbal communication can be extremely useful in understanding others’ intentions. Some of the forms of nonverbal response include body language, paralanguage or voice, and setting territory. Body language consists of gestures, body postures, and mannerisms. Paralanguage refers to how people change the tone of their voice during a conversation. Finally, the territory is what people claim as theirs, along with personal space that serves as a protective zone.


Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. (2017). Nonverbal messages tell more: A practical guide to nonverbal communication. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

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Helmold, M., Dathe, T., Hummel, F., Terry, B., & Pieper, J. (Eds.). (2020). Successful international negotiations. Management for Professionals. Springer.

Mokhtari, M. (2013). The puzzle of nonverbal communication: Towards a new aspect of leadership. [Master’s thesis, Linnaeus University]. Semantic Scholar.

Olszewski, A., Panorska, A., & Gillam, S. L. (2016). Training verbal and nonverbal communication interview skills to adolescents. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 38(4), 206–218.

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