10 Examples of Non-Verbal Communication
Below, you will be able to read about 10 examples of non-verbal communication. Had you been able to think of them all?
1. Facial expressions: smiles, frowns and winks can convey a lot! Sometimes, we cannot control our facial expressions, but we usually can. There are differences, though: it is said that people can instinctively tell a forced smile from a genuine, spontaneous one.
2. Gesture: from a handshake to an ‘OK’ sign, gesture can also speak volumes. Gestures can be conscious acts (for example reaching out a hand to clasp a friend’s in salutation) or they can be unconscious (for example when we unwittingly make a dismissive gesture whilst thinking about something that has exasperated us). Either way, gesture is a very powerful way to express our thoughts.
3. Body language: the way we sit, stand or move our feet as we talk can show how confident, relaxed or nervous we are feeling. This type of non verbal communication is very often unconscious. Learning to read other people’s body language gives us a powerful insight into their minds.
4. Writing: writing down our thoughts, or even turning them into great literature, is a fantastic way to communicate sophisticated ideas. We can write to other people in a traditional way, using letters. Or, we can use text messaging, instant messaging online, emails or social media platforms to communicate our thoughts in writing. Writing can be spontaneous or it can be the product of years of editing and re-editing.
5. Images: art and other visual representations of things (including pictograms) is another key type of non-verbal communication.
6. Sign language: sign language is not the same as gesture, and it is not the same as speech, either. It is a different language in its own right. There are also various forms and dialects of sign language out there in the world for us to learn.
7. Touch: a simple touch on the shoulder can communicate volumes: it is caring and comforting all in one. The language of touch is perhaps underrated, but we use it all the time without thinking about it.
8. Secret signs and symbols: from different colored handkerchiefs to knots tied in intricate patterns, humans all over the world have developed secret symbols that only those who are in the know can decipher.
9. Telepathy: some people believe that they can communicate their thoughts directly into another person’s mind, without having to speak a single word.
10. Emoticons: this ‘language’s is fast becoming ubiquitous. Whether we use instant messaging services, SMS, or email, emoticons are very useful for expressing our emotions in a succinct and often humorous way. This is also the most modern type of non verbal communication on this list.
How many of these forms of non verbal communication you use to communicate? Which ones are most useful to you and why is that? Can you think of any other forms of non-verbal communication that could be added to this list?