Nonverbal Communication

Emotional people

 Nonverbal Communication 

Emotional You; Nonverbal Communication

 Everyone knows that actions speak louder than words, or do they? Some experts would agree,” at least 93% of human behavior is emphasized through non-verbal communication,” The remaining 7% is allocated to verbal communication. Albert Mehrabian conducted research on inconsistent messages of feelings and attitudes, and his research leads to what is now referred to as,”55% 7% 38% rule.”

Attributing percentages to various mediums of communication, based on their relative importance 

  • 38% percent is allocated to voice Tone 
  • 55% to body languages
However, if one decides to implement this rule when evaluating the communication process, one ought to consider the sender's feelings and attitudes. It is my belief that these percentages will indeed fluctuate depending on the context of the dialog and that this rule is best utilized as a baseline when evaluating modes of communication.

You can improve your nonverbal communication skills with your body language.

  1. Posture
  2. Body Position
  3.  Arm Barrier
  4.  Leg Barrier - crossing legs
  5. Gestures


There is an old saying, 
"believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see"
According to research, when verbal communication is not clear or conflicts with non-verbal communication, the receivers innately utilize non-verbal communication cues to decipher the meaning. In my experience working with clients who have various mental illnesses, cognitive disabilities, and developmental disabilities, I have realized how important and necessary it is to systematically break down communication barriers and become in tune with the non-verbal communication clues of others.

Nonverbal communication can be classified into four categories: 

  • Aesthetics
  • Physical
  • Signs
  • Symbols
Meaningful conversation with someone can be really frustrating 

Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see: 

Trying to have a meaningful conversation with someone can be really frustrating when the message that they are trying to get across is unclear. Have you ever had a conversation with someone and received mixed messages? 

Maybe you assumed someone of the opposite sex found you physically attractive? Maybe, it was the way they smiled at you or the tone of their voice? Only to realize later that the person is married, and was only being kind, but had no romantic interest in you. 

Ever assumed that you're significant other was angry with you when in actuality, they were under the influence of stress from some emotional, or physical issue at the time. For example, they may have had a headache, or just been passed up on a promotion at work. Although our words may come out clear, body language can say something completely different.

Are Facial Expression universal? 

Evidence from research suggests that facial expression is culturally universal. It does not matter where, or what part of the world a person comes from; people can discern an individual's emotional state by observing facial expressions, and other forms of non-verbal communication cues. People can detect whether a person is angry, afraid, disgusted, surprised, or happy. 

However, gestures can have different meanings culturally, and regionally. 

According to Paul Ekman, “compelling evidence for universals in any aspect of emotion was endorsed by 88% of the respondents. The evidence supporting universal signals (face or voice) was endorsed by 80%." 

These findings support the existence of universal facial expressions.

 Our emotions and behaviors can be contagious and have a positive or negative effect on the emotions and behaviors of those around us and can spread like an infection. Research supports this claim. The research suggests that people innately mimic one another's moods and emotions this assertion is related to status; therefore, the more influence that an individual exerts on a group of people, or the higher a person is on a hierarchy the greater the likelihood of their moods and, or emotional disposition impacting individuals, or group members. 

It is my belief that individuals ought not to jump to conclusions; however, people should seek clarification and understanding, while being empathic during the communication process in order to develop and maintain positive working relations and avoid conflict. Gustave Le Bon, a French social psychologist born in 1841, is considered to be the founder of crowd psychology. He gained notoriety with his Social Contagion theory

Author on Inveigle Magazine

Author: Gregory M. Green is a Rehab Therapist. He is the author of various topics in the Social Sciences section of Inveigle MagazineHe writes on informative topics that bring awareness to the world. We are so pleased to have him as a part of Inveigle Magazine's Team. Follow us @Inveiglemagazi1 View more articles by Gregory M. Green

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