Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication is best understood as the processes by which information about a person or situation is conveyed through the face, body, or voice. This information may include tremendously varied content, including emotion (e.g., furrowed eyebrows), dominance (e.g., towering stance), familiarity (e.g., sitting near someone), or expertise (e.g., confident vocal tone), and can be communicated intentionally or unintentionally. The two basic skills are receiving and sending. These two skills—recognizing what another person is communicating nonverbally and conveying appropriate messages about one’s own person or situation—are essential components of successful and meaningful social interactions throughout the life span. It is important to recognize what other people are spontaneously thinking or feeling as well as to recognize messages that have been deliberately posed or concealed. Similarly, ...

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