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The Main Function of Nonverbal Communication

What is Nonverbal Communication? When most people hear the words "Nonverbal Communication" the first image that pops into their mind is a picture of a person who is deaf or someone who cannot speak and has learned to communicate through sign language or other nonverbal means of communication. Most people are not aware that in reality almost 30% of communication between human beings is nonverbal and that it exists in our everyday conversations. In this paper I plan not only to talk about the functions, uses, types, and development of nonverbal communication but I would also like to discuss the importance of it in our every day lives.

Nonverbal communication is a silent form of communication, which has a great influence over our social environment and the whole communication process. Nonverbal communication allows us to send messages to others conveying what we are feeling or thinking without verbal language. Nonverbal Communication has many different functions in the communication process. It regulates relationships and can support or even replace verbal communication in some situations.

Before we look at the specific types of nonverbal communication I would like to take a moment and look at the different functions of it. There are five main functions that are associated with it, Regulatory function, Interpersonal function, Emblematic function, Illustrative function and Adaptive function.

The first function is the Regulatory Function, which is there to provide vital clues so the listener can interpret what the speaker is really trying to tell them. This function helps people communicate with others whose self-presentation, feedback, and manner are different from what they are accustomed to. For example If you meet someone who speaks a different language you could still tell them hello by tipping your hat to them or simply smiling at them. These gestures are the same throughout ...

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The Main Function of Nonverbal Communication. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:53, July 29, 2014, from