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Patricia Noller

In: The SAGE Handbook of Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 21: Nonverbal Communication in Close Relationships

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Nonverbal Communication in Close Relationships
Nonverbal communication in close relationships

The importance of communication in close relationships may be seen in Wood's (1995) claim that “communication is not only a central, generative process of intimacy, but is actually what we experience as relationships” ([italics added] p. 125). Whereas communication can be both verbal and nonverbal, evidence suggests that the nonverbal channels may be particularly crucial to relationship processes and outcomes (Gottman, Markman, & Notarius, 1977; Noller, 1984; Nowicki & Duke, 2001). The communicative potential of nonverbal cues contributes to their importance in relationships. As Manusov (2002) points out, “One of the most intriguing aspects of nonverbal communication is its ability to be interpreted in myriad ways” (p. 15).

Nowhere is this fact more evident, or more problematic, ...

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