Nonverbal Communication Rules In Society

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Non-verbal communication is a meaningful part of our world. In our society, we have come to accept our non-verbal communication rules as normal and accepted by most. I began to wonder what would happen when breaking a non-verbal communication rule because so many people are used to the non-verbal communication rules in society, thus some people might get upset or react. First, I was curious to see what happens when you break a non-verbal communication rule because people are used to the non-verbal rules that are accepted in society. When initially thinking about what non-verbal communication rule I would break, I wanted to use one that wouldn’t bring too much attention to myself. I decided to step outside of my comfort zone and since I live …show more content…
I broke the rule by simply bringing an item up to the register without waiting while there were other people in line. I just pretended not to notice that other people had already formed a line. I did this at two different clothing stores. The first time, the person I cut in front of didn’t say anything, but I heard the person behind her say I think that person just cut you. Instead of explaining the assignment I was working on, I just apologized and said I didn’t see the line and walked away. The second time I did it, no one on line said anything, but the cashier notified me where the line ended and prompted me to go to the back of the line. I again apologized that I didn’t see the line. Non-verbal communication is symbolic and people will create meaning behind it in different ways (Wood, 2016, p. 136). For example, some people saw me cutting the line and thought that it was an innocent mistake, while others may have thought that I was doing it intentionally to check out …show more content…
We noticed a variety of different reactions when we broke this non-verbal communication rule that included people verbally communicating that we did something that was not socially accepted. The other reactions that we noticed included paralanguage such as whispers from one person to the other that someone cut them as well as grunts and loud exhales to communicate their reaction to what we were doing (Wood, 2016, p. 150). Another reaction that was fairly common was silence. Many people that we encountered on line reacted with silence. This reaction communicated the awkwardness that existed from us breaking a non-verbal communication rule and people not knowing how to react to it (Wood, 2016, p. 151). While it is good to break non-verbal communication rules from time to time to make us think about why we do what we do, it was also interesting to see the reactions you get from others when breaking a non-verbal communication rule. Overall, it seems to make people uncomfortable when these rules are broken and prompts them to react in ways that include both verbal and non-verbal communication. Some people seemed upset, while others reacted by communicating that we were doing something incorrectly and not socially accepted. It was a very interesting experiment that put me outside of my comfort zone. It made me question the non-verbal communication rules that we

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