How people communicate verbally and non-verbally

By Erik Hinch

Communication verbally and non-verbally can express completely different, but equally essential parts of communication.  For instance, the tone in someone’s voice can hint towards the mood they are in.  If someone is usually energetic and peppy, but today they are quiet and isolated, they may be in a bad mood, sad, depressed, etc. and there are ways of detecting it through communication.  Just as you can with verbal communication, there are also non-verbal ways of expressing the same emotions and feelings as well.  A simple smile can express your mood. Half-open eyes and an almost dead facial expression?  They are probably tired. This sounds like common sense to us because these are things we find each and every day in our lives, whether we realize it or not.

This is a photo I took myself of a man (right) who was preaching on our campus about Christianity and homosexuality, deeming it “evil” and thought it to be “demonizing”. A fellow student felt the urge to create the sign, and stood next to him in protest. Now, what can we gather from this photo? The shirt that the old man is wearing certainly will raise some eyebrows and garner some attention.  This is non-verbal communication.  He is speaking towards students and trying to verbally send a message to them.  The tone, along with the words that he was speaking sent a message that didn’t quite sit with people the right way, including myself.  The male on the left looks very happy, actually, as he holds this sign up next to the old man.  The sign communicates with the viewer as well.   Many photographs can communicate in many different ways in order to get a certain message across.


4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    rockyoyole said,

    You’re definitely right when it comes to communication expressing our feelings and emotions. Sometimes nonverbal communication makes it hard to really express that, but as soon as you add verbal to the nonverbal, it’s a whole new story.

  2. 2

    katherinehwoods said,

    I completely agree that tone is very important when verbally communicating, it was infact because of this mans “tone” that i approached him and verbal voiced my opionion to him that what he was doin was wrong. I was willing to communicate with this man but in order to do that he would have had to listen, instead he damned me and my friends to hell. Verbal communication can sometimes be hurtful but at the same time influence others to non verbaly come together and stand together. Good picture, and reasoning.

  3. 3

    kristinmarq said,

    The student had a strong non-verbal communication too. Even though that man was damning people to hell and yelling, I think the student actually made a stronger impression by standing next to this man without saying anything. And this is like mass communication in non-verbal. Whoa…

  4. 4

    hinchea said,

    I agree, and I think that the student made a stronger impression without saying anything and just putting the sign out there. The fact that he can spread this message, one that was much more appealing to everyone there, just went down so much better than the old man.

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