Nonverbal communication is an alternative means of communication whereby the parties involved pass messages or information without using audible voices or words. In nonverbal communication, gestures are used to symbolize the information being passed across. In some cases, facial expressions or body postures may be used to signify an emotion, a feeling or an attitude towards an individual, an event or as a response to another person’s advances towards the subject. Physical gestures may also be used where the situation does not give an option for verbal communication or when the person trying to pass a message does not wish to use words or verbal means (Burgoon, Judee, Guerrero & Floyd, 2016).
The photograph below depicts a very happy couple. The people in this photograph seem to be comfortable around each other. They both are holding a cup probably with their favorite beverage. The message of comfort and love is seen through the posture in the picture. The lady leans closer to her partner as a sign of trust and appreciation of care. The smiles on both their faces show that they are happy with each other and that they enjoy the moment. The gentleman is holding the lady at the back and this signifies the protective factor and a sense of possession. Their choice of dressing also comes out as a way of communicating the type of weather they are experiencing. Heavy sweaters, beverage in hand and the headgears show that they are protecting themselves from cold weather since warm clothing keep the body warm.
Happiness is shown through those smiley expressions in the picture. The mouths are wide open with the corners of the lips lifting, cheeks rising up and eyes slightly shut. The tight grip and closeness indicate the joy in being together. The forehead is smooth with no grin wrinkles while the outside corners of their brows seem to pull down a bit. Finally, their noses seem relaxed as a sign of comfortable breathing without aggression anxiety, anger or resentment.
Courtesy of: Aesha Adams Roberts, PhD
Burgoon, Judee K., Laura K. Guerrero, and Kory Floyd. Nonverbal communication. Routledge, 2016.