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Non-Verbal Communication

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Non-verbal communication is communication without the use of words; it is the communication that takes place through body movements, facial and eye movements, space and territory, artifactual messages, touch, paralanguage, and even the way we treat time (Devito, 2002).

Body movements are the body positions and body motions, including those of the face. The body communicates with movements and gestures and with its general appearance. Slumped shoulders with excessive leaning may signal boredom, whereas movements of the face communicate emotional meaning.

Facial and eye movements is the facial area, including the eyes. Facial movements alone can communicate a wide variety of emotions. The most frequently studied are happiness, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, and disgust. With eye movements, we also communicate a variety of messages. Eye movements may seek feedback, tell others to speak, or signal the nature of a relationship. Eye avoidance can also signal lack of interest--in a person or a conversation.

Spatial and territorial communication refers to space and possession to an area or particular objects. The amount of space we perceive are influenced by a number of factors, such as status, culture, context, subject matter, sex, age, and positive or negative evaluation of other people. Many animals mark their territory. Humans do too. Markers identify a territory as ours; these include central, boundary, and ear markers. Central markers signify the territory is reserved. Boundary markers distinguish territory from belonging to others, and ear markers indicate your possessions.

Artifactual messages are those made or arranged by human hands. For example, the clothing or jewelry we wear, the use of color, the way we decorate space, and even bodily scents.

Touch communication (also called haptics) is the sense of touch that may communicate a variety of meanings, such as playfulness, control, ritual, relatedness,

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