Communication in a relationship is one of the core essentials that bind individuals together. Since communication is a two-way street, people interact by paying attention when someone talks, and vice-versa.
Good and effective communication makes a successful relationship whether in the personal or professional aspect. But communicating is more than just talking. Apart from the use of words, it is also non-verbal.
In fact, we communicate more with our actions than with words. Nonverbal communication is also known as body language, manifested through facial and body gestures, eye contact, posture, and voice tone.
Remember the cliché ‘actions speak louder than words’? There is absolute truth to this proverb. In our interaction with others, our nonverbal cues send a strong message to the person. The way we sit or stand, how we talk, the movement of the arms and eyes are sending off a message that expresses more than verbal cues. In your relationship with other people, the ability to understand and use nonverbal communication is a vital tool in connecting with others, expressing yourself, and building a better connection with the people around you. Depending on how we manifest these nonverbal signals, a sense of interest, trust, and desire to connect will either be developed or not.
Uses of Non-Verbal Communication
In order to help us express ourselves, we employ body language and nonverbal gestures. There are five basic reasons for using this type of communication. First, it is used for repetition.
For example, hand mannerisms in talking such as making circular movements help a person express ideas verbally. In repeating a message, nonverbal cues allow them to do so. Another purpose is for contradiction where an individual is able to show disagreement or opposition to what is being said. This is manifested through glances, movement of the head from left to right, or rolling of the eyes.
If you wish to compliment someone for a good deed, nonverbal gestures may add to the words of gratitude. Two common gestures are patting on the back for a job well done or a handshake. Nonverbal communication can also play the role of accenting or emphasizing. This is usually manifested through strong actions and voice tone since the purpose is to highlight a message. When explaining, for example, an assertive voice tone wants to convey an important point, or pounding on the table wishes to highlight a message.
Types of Non-Verbal Communication
In getting a message across through nonverbal communication, the body language becomes the medium of expression. Body movements and posture convey various meanings. The way we sit, walk, stand, and slouch create a perception on others. The face is also very expressive and can communicate various emotions. The traces of our emotions can be shown through the face. People would know you are angry, happy, sad, surprised, or scared through the facial expressions.
Gestures are already embedded in our lives because hardly do we talk without moving an arm or a hand. Eye contact is a very important type of nonverbal communication. The eyes can speak for the mind that is why we say that the eyes can never lie when in comes to what we truly feel and think. In a business relationship, constant eye contact with our colleagues and bosses when conversing is needed to keep the interaction smooth.
Our voice says a lot since people interpret the message sometimes on how it is being said and not what is being said. The voice volume, tone, rate, and inflection are essential elements of the voice and must be used properly to convey what you mean without having to offend the other.
The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication in Relationship-Building
Being an essential factor in building relationships, nonverbal communication creates a huge impact on the kind of relationships we make with others. When used properly, these nonverbal cues help us understand each other in an interaction by reading the mind and emotions. It increases the level of respect with each other. Trust is also built in the relationship when they are conveyed appropriately.
In building relationships with other people, be aware of the use of nonverbal communication because this can contribute to either a successful or failed relationship. Nonverbal awareness must be heightened especially when talking to another person. The more sensitive you become about these nonverbal cues, the better you can communicate and the better you can develop your relationship with people.