Verbal and nonverbal behaviors are an integral part of human interaction. For this assignment, I have chosen to teach my friend several types of these communication components: vocal behaviors, facial expressions, and gestures. After we discussed each of these types, my friend shared his perception of some of the tendencies that I display when communicating. For example, he mentioned that I do not always talk loudly enough when I want to say something to others. He also said that I often smile when I talk to my friends or people I like and that my body language is usually friendly, but at the same time, I rarely use gestures.
These three components are some of the most common communication behaviors that have numerous manifestations in the daily interactions of all people. Vocal characteristics, such as the tone of somebody’s voice, its loudness and pitch, can help people define the speaker’s mood and understand their intentions and emotions. This is especially important when other nonverbal signals are impossible or difficult to assess, for example, when people talk on the phone or use voice messaging. Facial expressions, in turn, can help to understand someone’s feelings even when that person is trying to display different emotions. Gestures can also communicate a wide range of messages: handshaking, waving, and pointing are some of the most commonly used gestures (Floyd, 2018). I would like to use more gestures and facial expressions to improve my communication practices. I sometimes try to prevent myself from being too emotional in that respect by using gestures or facial expressions that would truly convey my feelings. I can suggest that this tendency is probably caused by my fear of seeming annoying or intrusive.
I see myself as a calm and well-balanced person, but sometimes I can get too emotional, especially when arguing with someone. I also feel uncomfortable with people standing too close to me when we talk, so I tend to step back a little and try to maintain the distance between us for the rest of the conversation. I am not sure what the reasons for that could be, but I do not necessarily want to change this nonverbal component of my communication. I asked my friend if he had the same perceptions of my interaction behaviors, and he said he did. However, he did not feel offended by my tendency to step back, saying that it usually seemed casual and normal.
It is hard for me to assess the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis in relation to myself because nothing about my childhood seems unusual. In my family, we always communicate friendly, openly, and honestly, and that is how I was taught to communicate with other people. I used to be shy when talking to strangers, however. I think that shyness may have resulted in my tendency to speak too quietly sometimes, even though now I am rarely shy or lacking confidence when talking to someone. That is another thing I would like to change about my communication because I think speaking clearly and loudly enough is essential to show one’s confidence.
It can be concluded that while there are some communication behaviors I would like to change, I am generally confident about my verbal and nonverbal practices. I try to be considerate and caring when talking to my family members and friends. Such communication components as vocal cues, facial expressions and gestures often help me to convey messages and show my attitude. Thus, the three concepts that I would like to apply to my daily life and interactions are vocal cues, facial characteristics, and gestures.
Floyd, K. (2018). Communication matters (3rd ed.). McGraw Hill Education.