Nonverbal Communication With Examples

  • By: Phil Taylor
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Nonverbal communication is one of the most important tools for understanding other people. It can involve gestures, body language, facial expressions, and eye contact.

Nonverbal communication is not just a way to understand what someone else is thinking; it also establishes how we feel about them. When we maintain eye contact it shows that we are interested in what they are saying and engaged in the conversation. We also use nonverbal cues when we want to send a message without verbalizing it.

Non-verbal communication can be anything such as facial expressions, gestures, and eye contact. We will take a closer look at them below.

When people approach nonverbal behavior, they do it in the wrong way. It’s common for many to presume and not fact-check the meanings. Learning to read nonverbal communication is like learning to play the guitar. It takes years of daily practice, patience, and understanding before you can play at a good level or perform for people.

Reading people is a much more complex task than many people would think. However, after learning about a few of the basics, it becomes easier for most to figure them out over time.

Learning tells and cues in conversation can be a game-changer, such as noticing the other person is getting hesitant or feeling pressured when you say something.

You could avoid an awkward or risky situation by recognizing nonverbal cues and by steering the conversation towards a move positive outcome for both partys without ever mentioning what they’re doing.

Now that is a super skill worth learning, isn’t it?

Facial Expressions Nonverbal Communication

Facial Expressions Nonverbal Communication

Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication that is used to communicate feelings and emotions.

Facial expressions are a powerful way to reveal emotions and communicate with others. Although there are many different expressions, we have listed the main ones below:

  • Jaw Clenching
  • Lip Compression
  • Lip Retraction
  • Foreign Object Insertion
  • Sadness
  • Surprise
  • Teeth Sucking
  • Nostril Flair
  • Yawning
Connecting and Reconnecting Words
Connecting and Reconnecting Words

Examples Of Verbal And Nonverbal Communication

Examples Of Verbal And Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication can be more expressive than verbal communication. This means that we can communicate more with our body language and tone of voice than with words. For example, what is the girl communicating to you in the picture above? She wants to keep a secret, right? That’s what reading nonverbal means, spotting the tells of others and then adjusting accordingly.

There are a variety of misconceptions about nonverbal communication. One common misconception is that verbal communication is more important than nonverbal, even if it may not seem like it because it seems like people spend their time communicating with each other by talking.

Nonverbal communication is actually just as important as vocal, but the two complement each other to form a cohesive message to the person receiving it.

Nonverbal behavior is any gesture, act, or expression made by one person and understood by another without the use of words.

Verbal communication is a form of expression that uses speech to convey an idea, opinion, feeling or thought in any language.

Nonverbal communication is “the process of sending and receiving messages without using words.” Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, body language, posture, proximity to other people or objects, and eye contact.

There are six universal languages of nonverbal communication. They are facial expression, body language, posture, proximity to other people or objects, eye contact, and gestures. These languages can be interpreted from a culture to another.

Nonverbal Communication Percentage

Nonverbal Communication Percentage

There’s been a lot of exciting research done on body language in recent decades and experts often go back to the 1970s study done by Albert Mehrabian. It says that 93% of what we communicate with others is nonverbal and that words account for only 7% of it! However, this is not true and we can prove this quickly.

For example, if you’re face-to-face with someone and they don’t speak your language, chances are that you won’t be able to communicate anything substantive nonverbally. The percentage maybe a little on the high side.

Chase Hughes, the world expert in human behavior, claims that 66% of communication is nonverbal.

What Are Verbal Cues With Examples

What Are Verbal Cues With Examples

Verbal cues are often used to show how a conversation is going. When someone disagrees or agrees with what another person is saying, they might use verbal cues. Verbal cues can also be used in business settings and can help people understand what will happen next in a meeting.

Some examples of verbal cues can be:

  • A nod of the head shows that someone understands or agrees.
  • A shake of the head means that someone disagrees or doesn’t understand what was said.
  • Eyebrow flash for telling me more or for confirmation of acceptance.
  • Head down for sadness.

A full list of these cues is available at the bottom of this article.

Nonverbal Communication Touch Examples

Nonverbal communication is the process of sending messages to another person without using words. When you touch somebody, you are sending a message without saying anything.

Touching someone for them can be very rewarding and personal. It leaves an impression on both parties, which is why it’s important not to touch someone who doesn’t want to be touched.

Usually, touching someone on the arm or shoulder is seen as a friendly gesture whereas touching their hand or neck is perceived as more intimate and may lead to more serious implications.

When building rapport touching is one of the strongest ways to get people to like you.

Nonverbal Communication Examples In Movies

Nonverbal communication examples in movies are very influential in establishing empathy for the characters. Nonverbal cues give insight into what the character is thinking or feeling without relying on dialogue.

A good actor will master nonverbal communication, for example, the actress Lily James does in almost any movie she has starred in. They’ll have a brilliant skill of expressing themselves on camera without words.

Nonverbal Communication Is Ambiguous At Best

It is important for writers to be aware of nonverbal communication because it has the potential to create misunderstandings.

Nonverbal communication, such as hand gestures, facial expressions, and tone of voice, can vary depending on cultural background. This poses a problem when trying to decipher someone’s message-based strictly on their words.

To make my point easier to understand, let’s imagine a high school group where you can tell who the popular people are. It can be the star athlete, cheerleader, or someone with a large social media following.

Then there are the rest of us. In this group are normal kids with average social skills who just fit in with others.

The next person you find will be a geek with no social skills. Depending on where you fit in with social settings, people will have different nonverbal cues and skills. So, reading nonverbal cues is ambiguous, depending on how you interpret the data you have received. I’m constantly thinking about what I may have missed.

My point is that some people will give off different nonverbal cues when they are under pressure or haven’t learned to be social.

Nonverbal Communication Examples In The Workplace

Communication is one of the most important skills in any workplace. Nonverbal communication communicates a lot of information without saying a word.

-A nod: A nod usually means that your point is understood or agreed with. It can also be used to express understanding if someone has made an important point.

-A smile: A smile can mean that you are happy, or it could be used to show happiness at an achievement or offer congratulations. Smiles are contagious so the more people smile, the happier the environment will be!

We can also use “de-coded” nonverbal signals to learn more about negative body language. “To learn more about negative nonverbals, click here.”

Nonverbal Communication Examples For Students

Nonverbal communication is a critical aspect of all communication; it is the way we use our body language, vocal tone, and even things like eye contact to express ourselves.

While verbal communication can be found on the internet or in books, nonverbal communication is not written down. It relies on our ability to read the other person’s expressions and use these cues to understand what they are trying to communicate. If you want to learn more about nonverbal check out our best books on the topic.

We have compiled a list of all the nonverbals for you to check out later on in this article

Complete List Of Nonverbals Gestures

NameBody Region
Arm CrossArms
Arms on HipsArms
BarrierArms
Arms Behind BackArms
BatonArms
Elbow ClosureArms
Elbow OutArms
FreezeArms
GuidingArms
Arms in AirArms
Knee HuggingArms
ProtectingArms
Single Arm WrapArms
Gestural AbsenceBody
Eyebrow NarrowingEyes
Eye Blink RateEyes
Eyebrow FlashEyes
Ocular Orbital TensionEyes
Pupil ConstrictionEyes
Pupil DilationEyes
Eye SquintEyes
AngerFace
Confirmation GlanceFace
ContemptFace
DisgustFace
FlushingFace
FearFace
Jaw ClenchingFace
Lip CompressionFace
Lip RetractionFace
Foreign Object InsertionFace
SadnessFace
SurpriseFace
Teeth SuckingFace
Nostril Wing DilationFace
YawnFace
Toes UpFeet
Foot WithdrawalFeet
Toes Pointed InwardFeet
Behind HeadHands
Hands-on the Back of the NeckHands
Chin StrokeHands
Digital ExtentionHands
Digital FlexionHands
Eyelid RubbingHands
FidgetingHands
Finger to NoseHands
Facial TouchingHands
GroomingHands
Genital ProtectingHands
Two-Handed GraspingHands
HushingHands
Knee ClaspHands
Locked FingersHands
Lint PickingHands
Palms DownHands
Palm ExposureHands
Hands in PocketsHands
SteeplingHands
Chest TouchingHands
Clasping the ThighsHands
TappingHands
Throat ClaspingHands
Wrist to ForeheadHands
Wrist TouchingHands
Chin ThrustHead
HappinessHead
Head BackHead
Head DowncastHead
Head SupportHead
Head TiltHead
NoHead
TurtlingHead
Vertical HeadshakeHead
Figure Four Leg CrossLegs
Barrier CrossLegs
Binding LegsLegs
Leg CrossingLegs
Double Leg CrossLegs
Groin ExposureLegs
Locked AnklesLegs
Adam’s Apple RaiseNeck
Shoulder ShruggingNeck
SwallowingNeck
VentilationNeck
Belonging CarelessnessObject
Personal Belonging Security CheckObject
Chair ArmsObject
Clothing CoveringObject
Feet Around Chair LegsObject
Fist on TableObject
Groin ShieldObject
Jacket ButtoningObject
Jewelry PlayObject
Object BarrierObject
Object ConcealmentObject
Object InteractionObject
Interaction With Other’s PropertyObject
Shoe RemovalObject
Watch CheckingObject
Pelvic FacingPelvic
Pelvic TiltPelvic
Constantly Raised ShouldersShoulder
Self HugShoulder
Single Shoulder ShrugShoulder
Breathing RateTorso
Torso FacingTorso
PostureTorso
Postural TiltTorso

Summary

Nonverbal communication is an important part of how we communicate with others. Studying the topic will give us an advantage in social settings and business meetings, or at the very least help us guide others into a better position in life and make them feel better off for having met us. We really hope you enjoyed this post. If so, please check out our other posts on the topics of Psychology, Body Language, and Persuasion.