Essay on Between the Lines: The Importance of Nonverbal Communication

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Between the Lines: The Importance of Nonverbal Communication
The symbols we use to communicate are the vital fabric that holds human society together. Every day, billions of people around the globe use a plethora of symbols to relay information, exchange ideas, and solve problems. When these symbols are used in an effective way, they can change how someone views life, rouse people to a common cause, or infuse emotions and ideas into those that can understand. But what kind of symbols am I referring to? Most would think that I speak of verbal, oral, and textual symbols, and, to a certain extent, they are correct.
But there are other symbols that many do not pay much attention to, symbols that speak between the lines of normal conversation
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When I meet somebody for the very first time, my impression of them before they speak is made largely on how they look. During that period, questions such as “is he/she well dressed or well groomed?” or “is his/her apparel appropriate?” usually cross my mind; while I know that my rapid assessment of a person by appearance is by no means fair, accurate, or thorough, it nonetheless a powerful factor in first time impressions that gives some insight into a person.
As a result of this, I change my appearance depending on what is deemed appropriate by the social situation. If I am attending a formal lecture or seminar, for example, I definitely would not throw on a T-shirt and jeans, as it would be deemed inappropriate by those attending. Rather, I would suit up for the occasion and wear something more formal. On a similar note, it would be both outrageous and impractical for me to attend a workshop or activity of some kind that demanded physical activity; the social circumstance deems it inappropriate and I would be sending a negative symbol.
Another form of nonverbal symbols is proxemics. It is a form of nonverbal symbolism that pertains to “personal space”; more specifically, it deals with the physical distance between a person and the individual that he/she is interacting with. That is not to say each individual has but one boundary; on the contrary, the average person has several, ranging from the
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