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Between the Lines: The Importance of Nonverbal Communication Essay

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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 and imply attitudes, thoughts, ideas, and feelings that remain unspoken. These types of symbols, called nonverbal symbolic communication, are experienced and utilized by every one of us. However, the most common ones which others have used to communicate with me—and vice versa—are body language, appearance, proxemics, and haptics.
Body language is arguably the most potent form of nonverbal symbolism. For example, a wild hand gesture can symbolize frustration or euphoria, while a slow shuffle and a drawn face could symbolize sadness or depression. In its essence, body language works closely with spoken symbols, complimenting it, and at times, undermining it. When I walk around the Maple Wood’s campus every day, for example, I constantly read the unspoken symbols that people generate as them interact with their environments; my brain automatically interprets the symbols into rich meaning. From these sometimes subtle cues, I can pick up everything from how a person is feeling to what he/she might ...


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...opriate to another.
In conclusion, verbal communication is by no means the only way by which people can communicate and exchange symbols. The underlying fabric, the glue that holds spoken symbols together are called nonverbal symbols of communication. Out of all the different variations and forms that these symbols take, a few common ones such as body language, appearance, proxemics, and haptics are utilized by us to add extra dimension to what we say.
Number of words in essay: 1245
Number of words required: 500

My apologies for running a bit long on this one! After some focused free writing, I came up with five pages and had a hard time condensing it to a 500 word essay.

One question: Is my use of dashes appropriate? I have been using them for a long time but I’m not sure if it is a better idea to stick with commas, semicolons, and parenthesis instead.


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