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What is Nonverbal Communication?


Most of us confuse term 'Body Language' with 'Nonverbal Communication'. In fact, 'Body Language' and 'Nonverbal Communication' are two different scientific terminologies but they're also very closely related with each other. Body Language is exactly what body communicates, transmits, expresses, exhibits, conveys, displays, radiates, shows off and responds to without the help of words. Actually, 80% of our entire communication is corporeal or physical.

It's a field of study which is related with biology, neuroscience and sociology. Whatever an (living) individual or a creature is inherently and intrinsically capable of communicating with outer world and people through physical movements, body positioning, body orientations, body postures, hand signals, hand gestures, facial expressions, fidgeting, fluttering, twitching, tones of voice and para-sympathetic reactions should be considered as Body Language.

Term 'Nonverbal' simply means “without, non involving, not using or in absence of words”. Therefore, Nonverbal Communication is what one communicates nonverbally. It is an unimaginably vast, diversified and deep area of study, research and analysis which is related with behavior/behaviour, interactions, exchanges, movements, gestures, expressions, signals, clues, hints, displays, conditions, states and patterns of both natural/biological and artificial entities, including human beings and all other creatures.
 
Universe, cosmos, nature and whole biological world are originally, fundamentally, explicitly and absolutely nonverbal. Hence, everything that we (or any living being) sense, feel, observe, experience, see, smell, taste, consume, touch, hear (other than words), measure, judge, grasp and perceive through and/or using different sensory organs, process inside our brain and eventually respond to is totally free from and independent of any words.
 
Matter of fact, words from any human language fall short or completely fail to describe, explain and illustrate most of the cosmos, universe, nature, (nature of) reality, biological world, overall complexity, different entities, their interdependence and interactions among them. Spoken/verbal and written languages are our own inventions or tools and thus they are relative and imperfect.

Scientifically, Body Language is related with social cognition and affective neuroscience whereas Nonverbal Communication includes Vocal (Para Linguistics), Peripheral and Contextual factors according to which human and animal body language can be preciously analyzed.

Perhaps, most of us might have skill or ability to pick body language clues but may not be able to interpret them precisely or accurately through the key factors of Nonverbal Communication.
 
Kinesics is the new scientific field related to interpretation of different elements of body language in different practical situations.

Nonverbal Communication broadly includes the following parameters, factors and/or aspects:

A) Corporeal: Postures, Body Movements, Body Orientation, Gestures (Emblems, Illustrators and Regulators),
Facial expressions (Macro, Micro and Subtle), Oculesics (Eye contact, gaze and glancing), Pupilometry (Interpretation of Psychological state by measuring pupil size), Haptics (Touch), Proxemics (Interpersonal/Social Distance) and Sympathetic-Parasympathetic Reactions

B) Contextual: Physical Environment, Social Situation, Climate, Cultural Norms, Genetic Inheritance and Chronemics (Time)
 
C) Peripheral: Objects, Attire, Chromatics (Color), Olfactics (Smell), Thermal and Chemical Signals

D) Vocal (Para Linguistics): Tone,Tempo, Pitch, Rhythm, Annotation and also Silence
 

 
Without considering, taking into account or emphasizing context, clustering and congruence (the referential and authenticating integrity among different nonverbal clues); both trying to understand and convey even an ordinary or trivial message can lead us to nowhere.


I sincerely wish and also hope that next time anybody confuses body language with nonverbal communication and vice a versa, you would definitely be able to explain the difference and relation between both with confidence, mentioning about this article.


By now, you might have clearly understood both terms and posses the knowledge to
understand, explore, study, analyze, demystify and decode and the unimaginably vast “Nonverbal World” around yourself.

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