Reflect and Relate: Nonverbal Communication

Communication is crucial to all relationships, and many nonverbal behaviors help to create and strengthen bonds. According to the textbook “Nonverbal Communication” by Judee K. Burgoon, Laura K. Guerrero and Kory Floyd, “Nonverbal behaviors play a critical role in communicating intimacy and affection across various types of relationships.”

I feel this is something many people can relate to and I have seen in many of my personal relationships. The book gives a few examples of nonverbal behaviors in relationships, including how friends adopt each other’s traits. In many relationships I have seen this, even I have adopted others traits over time, and what I find amusing is how you do not really realize it is happening until it is pointed out. I know my brother has adopted many of my mannerisms, and sometimes I’ll comment on it and he’ll be like “I hadn’t realized.” Even my former advisor at Crowder College, Latonia Bailey, has adopted a few of my mannerisms, although, at the same time, she has pointed out areas where I have adopted some of her behavior, so it is a kind of back and forth type interaction. Also, if I have a mentor (which I suppose Mrs. Bailey would fall in that category) I notice that I have more of a tendency to emulate their mannerisms.

I think it comes down to a matter of respect and knowing, and on a subconscious level this is how our body communicates that we are listening, that we do notice and that we do care. We adopt these traits and mannerisms, become aware of the others nonverbal patterns and learn to respond appropriately and immediately, and basically become in-tune to the other person. In marital relationships an entire conversation can take place without a word being said; in a parent/child relationship comfort can be offered through touch rather than through voice. Without the nonverbal language I feel most intimacy would be lost. With my youngest daughter, who is nonverbal, most of the communication between us is in the form of action or affection, and without that we would not have a relationship. Words only convey so much, but nonverbal communication can say what words only attempt to say.


Reflect and Relate: Interpersonal Communication Model

Communication is essential to the human species; a method of survival that predates written history. From nonverbal behaviors to cultural differences, written or electronic messages to the spoken word, communication has played a major role in the evolution of humankind. The most significant form of communication has been interpersonal.

According to, Interpersonal communication is “the process by which people exchange information, feelings and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages…” (Interpersonal Communication Skills. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2015.)

Just imagine a world without interpersonal communication. People would not have the ability to work together, to make friendships, strengthen bonds, or find a mate; we would, as a species, perish or cease to exist.

BasicElementsInterpersonalCommunicationsSmallThe interpersonal communication model (shown  right) depicts the process of sending and receiving information. The sender sends a message to the receiver, and an open line of communication is created.

Internal and external noise, however, can alter one’s perception of a sender’s intent, changing an intended message to mean something entirely different. Nonverbal and verbal communications do not always coincide, and pending upon the receiver, more weight can be put into one or the other, or the entire message can be misconstrued.

In my personal experience, I have come to see many instances where nonverbal communication has altered my perception of what someone is trying to express to me. In my relationship with my girlfriend there are many times when it seems her facial expression or tone of voice does not match what she is saying, and the overall message becomes misconstrued. We will spend time arguing or debating over a small tidbit of information that was honestly irrelevant because of noise that came into play: past experiences, previous situations and what is going on in the world around us can alter how we hear and perceive things.

I feel understanding the communication model can help people to better understand their interactions with others, to identify how messages are misconstrued, to realize how to maintain healthy relationships. Interpersonal communication is an important part of our every day lives, and is interwoven into our every interaction.



“Jurassic World” continues decline of franchise

Jurassic-WorldJesse O. Walls

The much anticipated fourth installment in the “Jurassic Park” series, which many had hoped would redeem the series after “Jurassic Park III,” failed to deliver and managed to continue the decline of a once great franchise. Continue reading “Jurassic World” continues decline of franchise