Communication as Verbal vs Nonverbal

Communication as Verbal vs. Nonverbal

By Austin Merritt

            Communication may be defined in multiple ways, but two distinct forms of communication include verbal and nonverbal communication. The unique part is that both of these ways portray a message to the receiver but by different mediums. Verbal communication is a more recognizable form of communication to the naked eye. Examples may include talking to your boss, teacher, friends or family. A message is encoded, by words, to a receiver who decodes the message. It is very obvious to see verbal communication. Nonverbal communication requires a little more literacy in that department. Nonverbal communication is a language involving the body language. For example if I look slumped over during class with my head on the desk, one would assume I would be sleeping or relaxing. In reality, I could have my head on the desk while writing my paper. Nonverbal communication, also, has an encoded message that is to be decoded by viewers. The decoding of a message can either be hard or relatively easy. Between these two sources of communication, the major difference exists in the decoding of the message. It is easier to express yourself with words compared to only using actions. This is where we can put an interesting twist to communication. We can combine verbal and nonverbal communication and get a very animated individual. This is a more common form of communication we find in society today. Have you ever noticed a professor talk with their hands, or raise their eyebrows with a response to your question? They are showing us an example of how we combine verbal and nonverbal communication without even thinking about it. It comes so naturally to people. Portrayed alone neither may fully express the details or emotions you may want to describe. I see verbal communication as a more detail-oriented form of communication. Nonverbal communication is more emotion driven communication. They have their differences, but combined together they form an incredible way to communicate with others.

I found a story about Jay Cutler and the body language he showed on the field of play. Jay Cutler was described as showing negative body language which in turn made people question him. It goes to show us that our body language may not always match our motives, but that doesn’t matter to the decoder. The decoder is decoding the message as best as they can.


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