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Nonverbal Communication: Proxemics, Gestures, Objects Essay

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2021

Various kinds of communication make it possible for people to cooperate, share their knowledge, and achieve some goals. Even though many tend to believe that everything above can only be performed with the help of words, either written or spoken, the real state of affairs is a bit different. It refers to the fact that nonverbal communication conveys a sufficient amount of information that is essential in many cases. The phenomenon of nonverbal communication is not homogenous, and it includes a few areas of interest. Thus, it is reasonable to draw specific attention to proxemics, gestures, and objects because these fields are useful for effective communication.

Proxemics

The distance from which a person presents their message is as significant as the information itself, and it relates to proxemics. According to Rutsohn (1993), the given term stands for using spatial dimensions for expressing emotions and attitudes. In general, it denotes that people should maintain a particular distance that depends on the number of communicators and the relationship among them.

A private conversation between two people implies a close setting, while the presentation of a topic to many students involves ample space. Hans and Hans (2015) stipulate that proxemics include the following zones: public space (12 feet and more), social space (4-12 feet), personal space (1.5-4 feet), and intimate space (0-1.5 feet). Each of these zones is suitable for various communication situations. For example, public space is preferable for presenting a lecture, social space is ideal for professional or casual interaction, personal space is used for friends, while intimate space involves romantic partners.

The information above denotes that people should maintain a distance depending on a specific situation because the violation of these zones will result in a communication failure. However, it is a typical case when people do not abide by this rule. For example, it refers to those active individuals who tend to penetrate the personal space of people with whom they are not in a close relationship. As for me, I have noticed that if a little-known person enters my personal space, I will not pay attention to what he or she says because I will feel uncomfortable. As a result, the conversation of this kind fails to be productive.

Gestures

It is also significant to consider people’s movements and gestures since they convey essential information. Among numerous options, Mokhtari (2013) emphasizes handshaking and its role in both personal and business relations. Since this gesture is used for greeting, it is crucial for establishing a good first impression, which is necessary for further cooperation and communication. However, the researcher stipulates that not every handshaking can be productive.

For example, negative consequences can arise if a subordinate initiates handshaking with their boss or if handshaking is suddenly interrupted by one of the participants. Thus, Mokhtari (2013) says that “handshaking can make or break a relationship” (p. 51). That is why it is necessary to draw attention to this phenomenon to establish good connections with others.

In addition to that, I have noticed that various people have different attitudes toward this gesture. Some of them actively and willingly engage in handshaking, while others believe that it is not significant. As for me, I agree with Mokhtari’s ideas concerning the importance of the given gesture. In this case, if a person leaves without handshaking at all, it is considered an act of disrespect. However, a situation is even worse when an individual meets a group of people and shakes hands with a few of them. Thus, I believe that handshaking is an essential part of nonverbal communication in the modern world.

Objects

Furthermore, various material objects are also significant for communication. Rutsohn (1993) indicates that clothing, hairstyle, and jewelry can tell much information about people who wear it. This idea is also favored by Deepika (2015), who adds that such objects can either support or contradict a verbal message. In modern society, this information tends to imply controversial interpretations.

In everyday life, people are free to wear everything they want without the fear of being disapproved by others. However, the ideas by the two researchers above are right in business relationships where people should comply with the dress code. As for me, I pay attention to such objects, but I do not allow them to distract me from what a person is trying to say. For example, if I meet an individual who has wrinkled clothes, I think that this person is disorganized and untidy. However, these conclusions do not prevent me from establishing a relationship with this person and trying to know him or her better.

Conclusion

Nonverbal communication plays a significant role in creating relationships with other people and conveying information of different kinds. This phenomenon includes various areas, and each of them implies its peculiarities. It has been demonstrated that distance and specific gestures are crucial for achieving successful results in communication. At the same time, objects are also essential, but their meaning is stronger in the business world in comparison with everyday life.

References

Deepika, P. (2015). The importance of non-verbal communication. IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 9(4), 43-49.

Hans, A., & Hans, E. (2015). Kinesics, haptics, and proxemics: Aspects of non-verbal communication. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 20(2), 47-52.

Mokhtari, M. (2013). The puzzle of non verbal communication: Towards a new aspect of leadership. Kalmar & Växjö, Sweden: Linnaeus University.

Rutsohn, P. (Director). (1993). Nonverbal communication in a global marketplace. Web.

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