Importance of non-verbal communication

Communication is the key to all relationships, and the human society banks on relationships of all kinds. The inability to communicate would make everything very difficult for us, as is evidenced in cases of people who find it difficult to convey their thoughts to others. Language is considered the chief mode of communication; interestingly enough, however, the lion’s share of what we communicate happens not through spoken or written words, but via non-verbal communication. Needless to say, non verbal communication is just as, if not more than, important as verbal communication. Sadly, while most of us place a conscious emphasis on and effort into improving our verbal communication skills, we do not place as great a value on the other kind of communication. This in itself leads to a whole lot of setbacks for us without us even realizing the same. In this article, we will discuss why it is so important for us to hone our non verbal communication skills as well.

non-verbal communication

Conveying and understanding emotions

Non verbal communication is probably the most effective way of conveying our emotions. While words are there for us, they might not always be adequate. It is not always possible for us to express what we are feeling through words; we might be at a loss to find the right words, or we may simply find ourselves n a situation where we are unable to express ourselves. For instance, if you are hurt by the words or behavior of a loved one, you might not want to engage in a conversation. But your behavior will change, and the way you touch and look at the person will convey your feelings far more effectively than words ever could. Similarly, if you are afraid in a situation, your body language will change and your fear will be picked up by the others around you.

Choosing the right candidate

Non verbal communication is extremely important in a professional setting. When you are attending an interview, it is necessary that you present yourself as confident. No employer likes to hire someone who is not able to remain calm and composed in an interview, because that creates the impression that the person will buckle in high pressure situations. Now it is common knowledge that everyone will be at lest slightly nervous during an interview or a presentation, but that does not mean that you have to exhibit the symptoms. Shaky hands and a fidgety demeanor denote nervousness, and these aspects of the body language need to be worked upon. Besides, the employer will also look at how you sit and use your hands, which also give a good insight into your personality.

Crossing language barriers

Being proficient in non verbal communication will often get you out of sticky situations, or come to your aid when the spoken or written word is of no use at all. For instance, if you happen to go to a country where no one speaks your own language, or you have no language in common between you, non verbal communication will be the only way to ‘speak’ to the people. You will need to be able to use basic signs that are universally recognized and make yourself understood, and vice versa.

Benefits law and caregiving

Non verbal communication includes the usage of images to depict what one is trying to convey, and that is highly useful in psychological trauma care. Recently, in a breakthrough incident in India, a court convicted a person of raping a little girl. There was no evidence of the rape as such, and the girl, being too young and too traumatized, was unable to express what she had experienced. It was when she drew pictures of a graphic and symbolic nature that the suspicions were aroused, and she was able to describe how she was drawing herself and her experience.

Non verbal communication consists of any kind of communication that takes place without the exchange of words- spoken or written. This includes body language, eye contact, and physical touching. We convey a million things through the way we stand and sit, the way we look at a person or a thing, and the pressure and duration of our touch. Think of this: how easily can you differentiate between a hug that is friendly and warm and one that is a tad too overlong? It is this split second difference in time that takes the touch from being normal and acceptable to creepy and downright offensive. Not knowing the right way to communicate nonverbally can indeed spell trouble for a person.

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