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Non-verbal communication is used so often that we actually forget that we are using it It has been defined as communication without words including apparent behaviors such as facial expressions eyes touching and gestures as well as less obvious messages such as dress posture and spatial distance between two or more people It provides us with a means for conveying messages without the use of verbal language and also plays a role in the perception of the actual message we are trying to convey We do not realise how much we rely on non-verbal communication the reason for this is due to the fact that most non-verbal communication transpires on a level that is below our conscious awareness While many aspects of nonverbal communication are culturally specific some eg facial expressions and gestures appear to have near universal levels of recognition It is suggested that many more feelings and intentions are sent and received nonverbally than verbally Non-verbal messages are also seen as more genuine because behaviour can not be controlled as easily as spoken words Perhaps the most common answer for why we use non-verbal communication so often is because words have limitations It is seen as more effective to describe something non-verbally When communicating non-verbally we tend to use much of our facial expressions to help communicate the message The reason for this is because it is the most difficult to control We make facial expressions so automatically that we barely realised what weve just communicated eg there are 23 distinct eyebrow movements each capable of stimulating a different meaning If an ironic statement is made with a smile the receiver knows to find it humorous instead of disconcerting If we are sending a verbal message intending to deceive and avert our eyes the receiver knows we may be lying Nervous facial expression hinders others perception of our competence and persuasiveness Apart from our face our hands are also very useful
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