Nonverbal communication is the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless (mostly visual) cues between people. It is also seen as the nonlinguistic transmission of information through visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic channels. Mistakenly referred to as body language (kinesthetics), nonverbal communication encompasses much more, such as use of voice (paralanguage), gaze (oculesics), touch (haptics), distance (proxemics), time (chronemics), and physical environments/appearance. Only a small percentage of our total brain processes verbal communication,as an infant we learn nonverbal communication from our social-emotional communication, making our face, not our words the major organ of communication. As we become verbal communicators, we begin to look at facial expressions, vocal tones, and other nonverbal elements subconsciously. Messages sent through haptics, or gestures, facial expressions and touch; kinesthetics,or body language and posture; proxemics physical distance; and oculesics eye contact, are all types of nonverbal communication.
Even speech contains nonverbal elements known as paralanguage, including voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm,intonation, and stress. Typically overlooked in nonverbal communication are proxemics, or the informal space around the body andchronemics our use of time. Not only considered eye contact, oculesics comprises the actions of looking while talking and listening, frequency of glances, patterns of fixation, pupil dilation, and blink rate. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the physical layout of a page. However, much of the study of nonverbal communication has focused on face-to-face interaction, where it can be classified into three principal areas: environmental conditions where communication takes place, physical characteristics of the communicators, and behaviors of communicators during interaction. Nonverbal communication involves the processes of encoding and decoding. Encoding is the act of generating the information such as facial expressions, gestures, and postures. Decoding is the interpretation of information from received sensations from previous experiences.
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