Part 1, Part 2
I have here a huge list of various types of non-verbal communication. Whilst my website is largely about verbal communication in couples relationships, it would be incomplete without a page on the non-verbal stuff.
Nonverbal communication is most often linked with talking and more importantly - listening.
Your listening skills - and therefore your responding skills - will really improve if you supplement listening with observing someone's body language and other non-verbal communication. Spend time sharpening your awareness of body language and other non-verbal stuff and everyone around you will benefit from your upgraded communication skills.
With regards to my particular interest - you'll get better at picking up signs from your partner that could otherwise easily go unnoticed! If you communicate (read: listen and watch) well, not only everyone around you benefits, but you'll increase your happiness for sure.
Here is an unmissable presentation - it speaks for itself…
There’s a whole variety of ways in which we communicate meaning. Some kinds of nonverbal communication are more obvious than others.
You could argue that the following sign languages are technically a verbal way of communicating. Although there are no sounds, the languages are made up of a combination of words, expressions and often 'mouthing' words or meanings, as well as gestures.
There are 5 types of sign language:
Visit this fantastic page on sign languages of the world for links to other sign languages.
Of course, not saying anything when there’s an expectation that something should be said is nonverbal communication too. Interpreting this kind of non-verbal communication requires careful exploration, understanding of the context and most probably additional information.
Respect or disrespect for cultural differences also communicates meaning.
All of the above types of nonverbal communication overlap of course. Intentional body language and types of nonverbal communication 'leak' unintentional stuff.
Make yourself a hot drink (or cool one!), sit somewhere comfortable, kick your shoes off and watch this extraordinary video by the dance company Pilobolus. The dance is called "Symbiosis".
This is a great piece for discussing dance as a type of nonverbal communication - perhaps on a course or for your studies. See the highs and lows of this couple’s relationship literally unfold before your eyes. It is rated as "jaw dropping" on TED.com. Enjoy!
Verbal communication 'paints' a different picture that 'sounds' different or 'feels' different for each one of us. That can get very tricky, because 'the truth' as you see, hear or feel it may not be the same truth as that of the next person! And often what you 'spit out' is a representation of what you saw, heard or felt and it may just come out differently than you had intended. No wonder then we so often misunderstand!
But here are some fabulous ways to communicate without words! These art forms can express so much more clearly what you truly think and feel (though of course art too can be misinterpreted): photography, painting, music, sculpture, etc.
This is where an understanding of psychology is helpful. As a counsellor, for instance, I get a lot of information from the following ways people communicate nonverbally. Together with what’s being verbalised, it helps to build a fuller picture of what’s actually going on:
There are lots of other things that give out information about yourself, including…
Your possessions – or things you’d like to own – also communicate without you uttering a word. Things like your house, your car, your gadgets, your furniture… generally your taste in pretty much everything!
Nonverbal communication plays a key role in lots of professions too, including…
…to name but a few!
Read on to Part 2 to discover how we can start learning to interpret body language... and the pitfalls this can entail!
Part 1, Part 2