Controversy: Nonverbal Communication

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Our hands are one of our most important tools in regard to communication. We can use them to do a number of things such as gesture express emotion with words, or touch to emphasize our words, or even using emblems, which convey a message without the use of any words. We almost rely on our words, and some of us can not even talk without using our hands. Most of us use our hands every day without even noticing. A good example of this is in class, we raise our hands to indicate we have a question or answer to a question the teacher is asking. Another good example of our use of emblems is the simple head nod. We can express so many different things with just a nod of our heads such as yes, no, or even a reassuring nod. We do this without using …show more content…
These gestures are known as Speech-Dependant Gestures. They are known as this because they accompany speech, emphasizing our words to send a more powerful message (Knapp, Hall, & Horgan, 2014, p. 201). Similar to how I mentioned in my essay earlier in the semester, all great speakers use their hands to talk. The book “Nonverbal Communication in Human Interaction,” references Winston Churchill and Richard Nixon, in which they both use the “V” gestures of our fingers (Figure 1). In our culture this means peace typically, a way of saying goodbye, or even “victory” in this case but to the British it is seen as an insult, Regardless of culture clash, it can be seen that we both use the same gestures just for different reasons, and they both can be used with or without speech to convey a message (Knapp, Hall, & Horgan, 2014, p. 207). Also, one can see in Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speech, he holds his hands out while speaking about being together. To me, this emphasizes that “We stand together,” with a open arm, welcoming gestures. John F Kennedy also uses these gestures during his inaugural address. As he speaks, he uses his hand and made a pounding gesture on every work in his sentence. This can be interpreted as a powerful gesture, emphasizing his words (The Daily Conversation, 2015). This is consistent among all great speakers. They all use their hands to emphasize their message, making a more …show more content…
Different touches can mean different things, such as a firm touch could express aggression, or a touch to the should could mean you are supporting, or consoling a person. Some good examples of this can be seen in any situation with consoling. In any given situation, a person will touch somebody whose sad. If you simply Google the word consoling, almost every photo that appears is of a person using their hands on somebody who is sad, typically with an arm around the shoulder or a hand on the shoulder (Figure 3, 4). The hand is a good comfort tool, and is typically used to convey support. It is stated in the text that touch is crucial to our development, and this is why touch is so important to us (Knapp, Hall, & Horgan, 2014, p. 233). A simple touch can go so far, as if you look up “love” or “in love” on Google, many of the photos that pop up are of people touching hands, or using their hands to express affection in some kind of way (Figure 5,

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