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Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Each person is a participant in the communication process daily. People use verbal and nonverbal communication, which are significantly different from each other. Verbal communication involves using words through one channel, and nonverbal – messages transmitted in a way other than words – gestures, clothes, the use of space, and other forms simultaneously through several channels. At the same time, verbal communication is distinct, linear, and nonverbal is continuous.

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When forming a message using words, people use their consciousness, and nonverbal ways can also be unconscious. Moreover, some nonverbal signals are universal and understandable to everyone. Although verbal communication is the primary way to achieve mutual understanding, nonverbal cues can give a lot of information about the person using them.

There are several types of non-verbal communication that people can utilize. For instance, kinesics includes facial expressions and body movements that provide information about emotions, and haptics implies communication through touch. Personal appearance, objects, and artifacts use style, clothing, tattoo, jewelry, and similar things to convey a specific message. Proxemics is an expression of relationships between people through space, which remains between them during communication – the closer the bond, the smaller the distance.

The use of the environment in the room also implies the meaning, for example, calmer colors in schools used for serious attitude to studying and bright colors – in entertaining places are applied for excitement. The use of time, for instance, punctuality, is also part of non-verbal communication – chronemics. Paralanguage is the various shades given to vocal qualities – increased tone or monotony. The last type is silence, which sends a message depending on the context. Cultural and social norms significantly influence different types of communication.

The effectiveness and importance of verbal and nonverbal communication depend on the context of contact and the messages people want to convey. For example, during conversations on working issues between employees, verbal communication becomes of paramount importance. Simultaneously, it is crucial to pay attention to paralanguage and haptics in friendly or intimate relations. In some cases, unconscious nonverbal messages may not match verbal ones giving out deception. However, verbal and nonverbal communication often complement each other to make the interaction more understandable and have an equally critical influence.

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