6.1.0: Defining Nonverbal Communication

In this section, we will define what nonverbal communication is.


6.1.1: Definition of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication consists of meaning that is conveyed through behaviors, sounds, spatial use, and artifacts such as clothing and accessories. While nonverbal messages may substitute for verbal messages, they often work together to help aid in understanding and create shared meaning by enhancing, modifying, or contradicting an accompanying verbal message. For example, take the word ‘yes’. We may nod our head up and down to substitute for saying it verbally. However, we can also simultaneously nod and verbally say ‘yes’ to emphasize the message or modify it by changing our tone of voice to convey an excited or begrudging yes. Finally, we may unintentionally contradict our verbal message by subtly shaking our head no while we say it.

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