Human beingsare social in their nature. They live by interacting between each other. Theirinteraction includes in verbal and nonverbal communication. People use languageas a verbal mean to communicate. On the other hand, Nonverbal communicationsconsist of some features according to Laver “gesture, facial expression,eye-contact and gaze-direction, body orientation, posture, proximity, physicalcontact, and the audible features of tone of voice and non-linguistic vocalsignals with specific communicative meanings”. The purpose from the nonverbalcommunication is to support the massage by signals, thoughts, body language andbehaviors (Barmaki, 2014).
Some nonverbalcommunication forms such as smiling, crying and pointing (Burgoon, Guerrero andFloyd, 2016).The difference between our body language happened becauseNonverbal communication gets influenced by sociocultural, developmental andpersonal levels (Mayo & Henley 2012). Therefore, body language is an effectivemeans of communication that helps to support the message and increase people’srelationship. The first argument is that people use body language to supporttheir message. For example, people sometimes node their heads after answeringyes to support their approval. Sometimes nonverbal communications providebetter understanding than spoken language, especially when we want to show ourfeelings to others. For example, all I need is a hug to show my mother that Ilove her or lean forward and look directly to my brother’s face to show that Iam interested in the presented topic. Also, smile can explain our feeling morethan saying it in words (Bambaeeroo & Shokrpour, 2017).
According to,research indicates that over 70% of messages sent by individuals are conveyednon-verbally (Burgoon, Guerrero and Floyd, 2016).Teachers usually use different nonverbal signals to support the presentedinformation and to keep students attracted such as the change in the voice toneand moving hands. According to Bambaeeroo & Shokrpour (2017) to have a goodcommunication skill is important to be good teachers and most troubledclassrooms happens because of the limited communication.
Students can read theteacher’s body language and feels his excitement or if he is bored and wantingto finish quickly (Bambaeeroo & Shokrpour, 2017). Therefore, As Barmaki, 2014 mentioned, it is important forteachers to know how to send clear signals to the students during theclass. The second argument is that nonverbalcommunication is important to serve the human being. The developmentfrom Infant to adulthood. They all depend on body language to communicate.Especially Infants who don’t have other means to communicate except crying,cooing, singing and holding (Burgoon, Guerrero and Floyd, 2016). Infants cansense nonverbal signals of positive emotion from others and respond to it.
Forexample, they will laugh as a reaction to playful physical games (Sauter, 2017). Unlike infant, when people getolder they depend more on complex body language and verbal language as(Burgoon, Guerrero and Floyd, 2016) said. The developmental change occur genderinteraction. Nonverbal communication differs between men and women and thedifference become clear when it is between a male and female than two females.According to Mehrabian (1972), females more likely to have eye contact betweenthemselves more than males, while, eye contact become less preferred betweenmen and women especially when it is unpreferred. In Arabian culture separationbetween women and men is favored. Nonverbal communication such as eye contactis limited between males and females.
In counter argument, not all massages that we understand fromnonverbal communication is correct. Some feelings such as happiness is easy torecognize by most of the people by reading the facial expression only (Burgoon,Guerrero and Floyd, 2016). The confusion begins when it comes to read thenegative emotions like anger, fear, and disgust by looking to the face only(Custrini & Feldman, 1989; Horatcsu& Ekinci, 1992; March et al., 2005;Zuckerman, Lipets, Koivumaki, & Rosenthal, 1975) as cited by Burgoon,Guerrero and Floyd (2016). Some emotions are really similar and not easy to recognizeby the facial expression such as fear and nervousness, love with sadness orsympathy, pride with happiness, surprise with happiness, anger with disrespect,or interest it pride or happiness (Apple & Hecht, 1982; Banse &Scherer, 1994) as cited by Burgoon, Guerrero and Floyd (2016). Also, dependingon age getting the correct observation, the older the better people become indecoding (Burgoon, Guerrero and Floyd, 2016). As a result, young people maymisunderstand the massage received from other through their nonverbalcommunication. The second counter argument is that nonverbal communication couldcause serious problem between people from different cultures.
They mightmisunderstand the intention of each other’s. For example, people from NorthAmerica can misunderstand and feel worried and violated toward Arab’s closenessand expressiveness while, the distancing style in the North Americaninteraction may leave Arabs with uncomfortable feelings by questioning theirintention (Gudykunst & Mody, 2002). This difficulty was happened because ofcertain idea that leads both parties to explain then feel uncomfortable towardeach other’s (Mehrabian,1972). Another example, in Asian culture, beingemotional means that you lack self-control.
On contrary, Arabs tend to beoverly expressive by showing the effect of correctness, image over meaning andform over function(Mehrabian,1972). on the other hand, people should take theircautious when using gestures even if it’s a clear and agreed on the meaning ofit (emblems) by most of the people still some who come from different culturemay find it offensive. They may use the same body gestures but to supportdifferent meaning. For example, German used to useindex and middle fingers in a “V” shape to express victory , while people fromBritain will feel offended if you use index and middle fingers withpalm-facing-in , because it means “up yours” in their culture (Pease & Pease,2004).The story behind this signal in the British history behind using thissign is that people used to cut the archer two fingers to prevent him fromshooting his bow and arrow, so holding up the two fingers up is to annoy theenemies(Pease & Pease, 2004).
Another negativity of nonverbal communicationis that most people believe in body language more than verbal language itself. sadly,nonverbal communication can play as deception tools as well as telling truth(Manusov & Patterson, 2006). This would make being tricked so easily byothers if you are not a good translator of body gestures or too young to recognizethe deception. In conclusion, nonverbal communication has negative and positivesides. However, nonverbal communication it is very important because this isthe only way to communicate with infant.
Our nonverbal communication changedbased on three levels developmental, personal and sociocultural. It takes manyshapes and present different information, some of them will support the truthwhere the others meant to deceive others. People should understand and respectthe differences between each other’s, because there are other cultures withdifferent ways of communications. They also, should understand that the natureof men and women could affect their body language and their ways ofcommunication.