Their Definitions and Examples In today’s world communication is essential to having a relationship with others. One form of communication that is important to look at and analyze is nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication encompasses all aspects of communication other than words themselves. In addition to gestures, and body language, nonverbal communication includes how we utter words, features of environment that affect meaning, as well as objects that affect personal images and interaction patterns. There are five types of nonverbal behaviors; three of these are silence, haptics, and kinesics. Lastly we also have to look how these nonverbal behaviors can enhance or degrade relationships with others.
Definition. Silence is a nonverbal behavior which is a lack of communicated sound. (Wood, 2014) Silence also communicates powerful messages. Another aspect to note is how Silence can communicate a lack of understanding or even hard feelings in a face-to-face discussion. Lastly silence is also able to communicate feelings like awkwardness, as well as the feeling of contentment. In the end Silence is able to communicate in a variety of ways and is able to be communicated in both a positive and negative manner.
Enhancing Relationship Example. Silence is a nonverbal behavior that is commonly used to enhance relationships with others. An example of this is when a boyfriend and girlfriend are talking and the girlfriend offers an idea about their relationship such as “I’ve been thinking about our living situation, and I think you should sell your apartment.” In this situation, silence can be used by the boyfriend to give the girlfriend a moment to reflect on their original statement. This silence immediately shows discontent by the boyfriend and also allows the girlfriend a moment so that she reword what she was trying to convey in a more reasonable and realistic way. After the moment of silence, the girlfriend can then fix what she first said by saying something such as “I mean, I think we should start thinking about a life together as in marriage.” By the boyfriend being silent, it allows for the girlfriend to think of different way to get the point across so that her point is understood and viewed as fair and reasonable by the boyfriend. In the end the relationship is enhanced by silence because it leads to communication that is fair and understanding for both the boyfriend and girlfriend, rather than communication that is one sided and demanding. Degrading Relationship Example. While silence can be used to enhance relationships, it can also be used as a way to degrade a relationship with others. An example of this is when two friends get into a fight, and one of the friend decides to implement the silent treatment on their friend. The silent treatment is when a person tries to show their anger or discontent with someone by ignoring/not speaking to them. Usually this is used by someone to make the other person feel guilty or to get them to apologize for something they did wrong. When the silent treatment is used it can cause the person who the treatment is being used on to feel angry, defiant, resentful, and/or vengeful. When friends use the silent treatment, it only makes the problem that started the silence in the first place harder to resolve. It can also lead the person who the silent treatment is being used on to feel stressed or angry. In the end the silent treatment degrades relationships with others by never resolving the issue, and eventually leading to more problems regarding their relationship as friends. This idea of a nonverbal behavior having an effect on a relationship with other is also seen in behaviors other than silence.
Haptics Definition. Haptics is a term for nonverbal communication involving physical touch. (Wood, 2014) It is believed that touching and being touched are essential to a healthy life. Nonverbal touch