Communication is very important as people spend about 75 % of their waking hours communicating of which about 80 % happens non-verbally by understanding and sending non-verbal cues. Failure to act or silence is also a way of communication, but the only difference is that results you get are not as you intend. Actions are not always so parallel to words spoken.
Thoughts, ideas, emotions and feelings are shared by people with expressions and movements. Even environmental factors can be taken as non-verbal communication. Wordless communications are mostly true and are not faked. Verbal and non-verbal communication occur simultaneously.
People interpret messages according how you react, listen, look, etc. at the time of communicating. Things like if you care for something or not and if you are reacting as required or not. When verbal and non-verbal signals do not match, it creates distrust, unclear message, misunderstandings and confusion. Non-verbal communication is more impactful than verbal communication.
Convey empathy and emotions
Non-verbal communication is used to show emotions like happiness, anger, sadness, interest, curiosity, hurt, annoyance, anxiety, embarrassment, pleasure, hope, etc. People show these emotions unconsciously most of the times.
They express their empathy through non-verbal communication too. People do not unconsciously fake non-verbal communication but only sometimes do it deliberately. When you communicate, you must compliment what you say with your gestures and body language. You should also work to notice the non-verbal cues of the people you are interacting with.
Interpretation of non-verbal signals us not very easy at all times as it differs from person to person and culture to culture as well as non-verbal communication does not have fixed meanings and is different according to contexts.
But noticing and interpreting it properly gives you an advantage over the other person. We learn to do it since childhood and we try to interpret consciously when we need it. Misinterpretations can destroy relationships and creates problems.
As non-verbal communication is based on instinct mostly, people speak truth. We should believe non-verbal massages more than verbal messages if there is a conflict between two people. They show non-verbal cues as an instinct and accompany verbal communication.
Non-verbal communications are mostly natural like crying or laughing or having a personal space. Not only humans, some animals also show this kind of behavior.
Non-verbal communication makes work in offices better. It can also help in interviews and businesses. Many other professions like teachers, journalists, lawyers, doctors, etc. need to communicate in regular basis.
If their non-verbal communication is not up to the mark, then their work will suffer. For example, eye contact in interviews and meetings show confidence and interest. While eye contact shows those things, it can also show over confidence. It also shows trustworthiness and accuracy of intentions.
Non-verbal communication increases understanding of messages. When verbal and nonverbal communication are similar, it establishes better perspective on the message being sent. The sender of message as well as receiver gets what is the intended meaning of the message and can act accordingly. Process of sending and receiving of message is successful and gets desired results.
Effects of Non-verbal communication
These are the 5 effects of non-verbal communication
Non-verbal signs are important as it puts more emphasis and reinforcement to the things being said. When you are angry and your body language also shows you are, then the person who is being scolded will feel afraid. If body language is different, then the scolding won’t work.
Non-verbal signals can be contradictory to what is being said. At those times, non-verbal signals are true mostly. For instance, when you ask someone and he/she says that they are fine but are crying or having sad expressions. Contradiction in verbal and non-verbal communication is also sometimes important to know emotions of the people involved.
Many times, non-verbal communication take place instead. Sometimes silence also communicates better than words and it is contextual. Traffic signals can make people do things without words. Similarly, signals in games also denote different things which are established and everybody understands.
Non-verbal communication mostly works complimentary to verbal signals. For example, people in pain say that they are in pain whereas their expressions and gestures also say the same thing. Gestures add and accompany words which have similar meanings.
Non-verbal cues can act as a way to emphasize certain points in a conversation. Non-verbal communication acts stronger than verbal communication in most cases. If you want to point or underline a specific part of message, then you use some signs which show that you mean it. For example, you can pound a fist on table to show it is said with power or anger.
Therefore, non-verbal communication is more important than verbal communication in many situations. So, its importance is situational and contextual but without it communication is incomplete. Sometimes, non-verbal communication can stand alone and gives out important messages.
[Related Reading: Activities Related to Non-verbal Communication]