Communication has different connotations for different people. A simple definition of communication is the process of sending and receiving messages (Cheesbro, O’Connor, and Rios, 2010). The concept of communication is a complex process that allows individuals to send information to others. The recipients decode this information and provide feedback to the sender, either verbally or nonverbally. Verbal and nonverbal communications work in conjunction with each other to attain an understanding of the message. Developing and maintaining effective communication requires a measure of continuous effort on the parts of both the sender and the receiver. For communication to be effective, both the sender and the receiver should reach the goal of understanding.
Demonstrative communication includes nonverbal and unwritten communication. Nonverbal communication is a very important aspect of communication with many functions. It is used to reinforce, regulate, complement, accent, and substitute the verbal message. The use of nonverbal communication allows you to connect with other people, to say what you mean, to go through difficult circumstances, and to have healthier interactions with your family members and co-workers (Segal, Smith, & Jaffe, 2011). Nonverbal communication involves the use of facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, and touching, to name a few.
Facial expressions, by far, is the most noted form of nonverbal communication. Facial expressions are the same across all cultures. When a person is happy, sad, angry, or scared, it shows on their face. For example, when my children were small, I only had to look at them to put them in check. Going to church on Sunday was never an issue. They knew to get up and get ready without any hassle. Once we were in church, we sat through the services without them getting up and running around like the other children. One particular day a church member commented on our clothes. She said, “I notice every Sunday you come to church with your children and you leave with your clothes looking like you are just coming. Your clothes are not wrinkled at all. Mine always look like I have slept in them when I leave church. What is your secret?” At the time, our children were approximately the same age. I did not have a secret; I had a look that my children knew very well and strictly adhered to while we were out in public or suffered the consequences. I told my church member, however, that I just talked to my children with respect. In turn, they treated me with respect when out in public. Facial expressions have always and will continue to be an integral part of my life because it has been effective and positive for me as the sender.
Gestures are the cornerstones of communication. We use gestures all day, every day. We use our hands to point at someone, to wave goodbye or hello, to beckon someone to you or away from you, and we use them when we are arguing or trying to get our point across to another individual. We use gestures to express ourselves. However, gestures can mean different things across different cultures. We should be careful when using gestures in other cultures to avoid conflict. For example, in the United States, we use our index finger to point; people in Germany use their little finger to point; and people in Japan use their entire hand to point. People from Asia consider it rude to point with your index finger. However, pointing with your index finger is commonplace for the citizens of the United States. For example, someone comes up to you and asks you for directions. The first thing you do is start pointing, trying to draw a picture in the sky with your finger. This has proven to be an effective method of communicating for us.
Eye contact is a very important aspect of nonverbal communication. One look can make a person feel about an inch high or make them feel like the most beautiful person or…