The Advantages and Disadvantages of Nonverbal Communication
One of the most exciting areas of communication is nonverbal language (body language), the art of expressing yourself without speaking. That is why it is known that non-verbal language has been the object of much study and also the origin of many myths. However, the influence of body language on our social performance is indisputable, as well as being an excellent mirror of the real emotions of our interlocutors.
Without realizing it, the body has its ways of expressing the personality, moods, thoughts and feelings of individuals, through the information it generates with its expressions, gestures or postures. This language shows what the nature of the person is like, their tastes, emotions and the degree of understanding when communicating. For this reason, to deliver a message, not only words are needed, but they must also be supported with what is transmitted through non-verbal behavior. The best communicators are those who are aware of their nonverbal signals, as they can monitor their behavior and measure the impact it has on others.
Importance of Nonverbal Communication:
“Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.” Deborah Bull
Managing nonverbal communication successfully requires generating awareness of those messages to hone this skill as much as possible. Among some of the advantages that can be highlighted, to understand the importance of mastering body language is that it allows developing the ability to relate to others, demonstrate the identity or the individual’s own nature, achieve an understanding of one’s own ideas, transmit emotions, among others. All these benefits contribute to the socialization functions of people and, on the other hand, help to reinforce the verbal messages emitted and give them more strength. Here’s a complete article on the Importance of Nonverbal Communication.
The language of the body is a way of communication based on postures, gestures and body movements. You can know what a person thinks, what traits identify their way of being and their intentions, through their non-verbal behavior, since this, many times, provides very valuable information, beyond words.
Even so, we should not think that we can know for sure what a person is really thinking just by looking at them. The interpretation of a gesture, especially if it is isolated, can bring us confusion, since the gestures obtain their meaning when they relate to each other.
What does body posture say about a person?
In this sense, the postures show the interest that is shown, the openness, the predisposition, the passivity or the state of mind. From the visual point of view, they also have a lot of influence on the perceived personal image, especially when you want to project security, confidence and stability. In the same way, gestures accompany social discourse and represent expressions that can be translated into manifestations of pride and power. These have a lot to do with credibility and symbolize their own meanings. On the other hand, they demonstrate the emotions of individuals and direct the interactions between them. Here are the Secret Body Language Signals in a Romantic Relationship.
For its part, appearance plays an important role and is one of the forms with the greatest impact on communication. It transmits basic personal data, such as sex, origin, culture, among others. In this sense, it generates information to base stereotypes and the impression that people form. There are studies aimed at showing that appearance determines persuasiveness. People’s factions can often positively or negatively influence social interaction. In the same way, facial expressions are the most determining indicator of the different emotions, since the face naturally shows joy, sadness, anger, surprise, among other feelings. Each one has its own interpretation.
However, here it should be noted that nonverbal communication acts in three ways:
- Communicate attitudes and emotions with gestures or micro facial expressions, tears, frowning, smiling, etc.
- Support verbal communication, because, during the execution of oral communication, gestures help to sustain the message.
- Substitute language a sign language that replaces oral language. Although today sign language is used almost exclusively among deaf people, its origin is as old as that of oral languages.
We must know that just as a language is learned, gestures are also learned, imitating them because they are part of the country’s culture (let’s think about our people and their rich vocabulary of gestures).
However, the fundamental gestures are invariable, for example, in newborns anywhere in the world. If a baby is hungry, physically or psychologically unwell, he cries, and when satisfied he smiles to communicate his joy. The “gestural dialect” that alters these roots is acquired as we grow according to the culture of each country.
On the other hand, it has also been seen that the higher the social status, the more moderate the gestures, and the lower the status, the broader and more authentic the expression of non-verbal language. Perhaps the key to explaining why this happens lies in the fact that the more education to “know how to be”, the more repression there is about personal authenticity.
It is even said that women are more intuitive than men. Apparently, it is true that the female sex is innately more intuitive than the male. Women translate non-verbal information from body language more insightfully, and that inevitably encourages them to be more intuitive. And knowing the non-verbal components of communication such as the look, attitudes, expression of emotions, facial expression, gestures, posture, distance or physical contact, allows us to project a coherent image, as women of influence and leadership.
This is why there is a great advantage in interpreting the non-verbal communication of others, especially in critical situations in which a greater emotional understanding can substantially improve the safety of the interpreters and therefore, can lead to a better understanding of the shared information. Create more educational negotiation processes, and promote enthusiasm and confidence when speaking. Here are the Body Language Secrets of Successful People.
Now, Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of nonverbal communication.
Advantages of Non-Verbal Communication:
Among the main advantages of Non-Verbal Communication are the following:
It is an important reinforcement of Verbal Communication. This is evident when we make body expressions or gestures that mark a sense of the messages we want to communicate.
Increases the likelihood that the recipient will not misinterpret the communication. This is especially important when communicating with people who are not part of our cultural space.
Non-Verbal Communication can help us convey the emotions we want to convey (such as discomfort, anxiety, joy, frustration). In this way, we can give the recipient information about our state of mind and thus avoid conflicts.
Unlike Verbal Communication, this type of communication can help us exchange information with people who have some type of physical disability.
Disadvantages of Non-Verbal Communication:
However, Non-Verbal Communication also has disadvantages that should be mentioned:
On certain occasions, it can become a contradiction in oral language. This can occur when our gestures and expressions do not consistently accompany the message we wish to convey orally.
Similar to the previous point, a specific gesture expression can become confusing on its own, so it should always be presented in a context suitable for the sender and receiver.
Although the control of our gestures and non-verbal expressions is necessary to better communicate our messages, the truth is that the vast majority of people are not aware of what they communicate non-verbally, both due to the fact that this type of communication is usually unconscious and due to the lack of awareness.
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