Importance of Non –verbal communication


Non –verbal communication is process wherein wordless message/s is sent across and received primarily through visual contact between one or two people. Most of the times we commonly refer it as body language. Experts say that a major portion of our communication is dealt in non- verbal form of communication. The behaviour and communication of non –verbal form of communication came into the limelight of Darwin’s book “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals” which was published in the year 1872. This form of communication is so elusive and understated that most of the times we are not aware of its happening. In many a times we express our disapproval in the form of a frown and that’s an example of non –verbal way of communication wherein no words were exchanged.


Non – Verbal Communication is the most important characteristics of communication, it has various functions which are stated below.

  • Firstly it works as an echo or repetition of the communicated verbal interaction.
  • It is often used to determine the tone of the voice
  • At times it balances the verbal communication but chances are there that it may just controvert the whole message.
  • Non –verbal communication controls connections or exchanges where it suggests the other person to speak or not to communicate.
  • And lastly it substitutes and standbys for verbal exchange of communications just like a simple nod for an yes or a finger on the lip may indicate the necessity or requirement to remain quiet.

A famous proverb says “Action speaks louder than words” and that is so much relevant for non-verbal mode of communication. This form of communication involves a method of converting and deciphering a communication which we find amongst the toddlers. Where only a very small fraction of their communication is through words. The various forms non-verbal communications are the pointed hereunder. They are the following:

  1. Motion of the body.
  2. Contact of the eye.
  3. Bodily gesturing.
  4. Thoughts expressed through the face.
  5. First impression.

The major function of Non-verbal communication is to signal the group that forms an identication factor. It signals and controls the intimacy regarded as the relationship purpose. The emotional and social meaning of communication is though facial expression and is noted as the emotional function whereas transferring or communicating the verbal text through a medium of being vocal or through body gestures is known as the delivery. There is no denying to the fact that clothing forms a very significant importance on the society and the very first impression is derived as to how a person is dressed. To expect a doctor in a white spot less doctors’ jacket is the most important non-verbal message sent that the person is a doctor even without the person saying that by profession he/she is a person who practices medicine. The most basic reason of putting on clothes is to protect our body from the extremes of the weather and also many a times it denotes from which religious background do we hail. Clothing expresses our nationality sometimes it denotes our ranks in the service who serve the nation as a soldier. Besides expressing beliefs and nationality clothing forms a major non-verbal exchange of words to draw an appeal by being in trendy and fashionable outfits. Through clothing it expresses our social status, our wealth, our appeal and our personality. Recently at a fashion week held at New York stated that clothing represented a society’s state of economy. Many people think that body language, gesture, facial expression and voice accent or modulation are the only few factors to determine non-verbal way of communication , but clothing forms the spine of a communication and speaks a lot about the wearer even before a conversation brews up. Clothing is an indicative and an extension of the psychology of the wearer.

It is actually fun to observe a toddler while he is busy at play. A kid aged 1.5 years can hardly communicate through words. For him simple gibberish and non- verbal form of communications are the only weapons of expressing himself. After observing my neighbour’s one and a half year old boy I learnt that when the kid soiled its diaper it started howling may be because it was irritating for him to remain in such a wet nappy. While at play it came up to me and gave me some of his toys to which I mistook that he wants me to play with him. But he made a fist and bumped that into me to which I asked his mom what does that mean. The mother came to my rescue saying don’t play with him he wants you to hold the stuff till he gets few of the other toys from the other room. Kids and their non-verbal communication is quiet perplexing at times but how wonderfully a mother understands every bit of the child’s needs and never confuses it with the other. Seeing his grand-parents come to the house made the kid to scream with joy and also clapping hands and jumping on its feet. We as adults welcome our guests with greetings likewise the child did the greetings and expressed its joy on seeing people at home thereby increasing the number of playmates .Grand-parents are really a child’s first playmates and it’s very important to get the warmth of his grandparents while his growing up phase. After sometime the grandparents arrived the mother of the kid served them with savouries and with some hot beverage to which even I was lucky to be a part of it while performing this observation. The tray of goodies was served on the centre table and to our utmost surprise the kid came to the guests with its toy glass and asking them to pour some hot beverage into it and also to give him a wedge of the savoury that was served to them. It was hilarious to watch when he was denied cause such things could really upset a soft and tender stomach which though he failed to understand but expressed his displeasure by throwing things around him and then finally attacking his toys to show his tantrums. Just to cool him off the mother dressed him up and got him readied so that he can be taken to the park to play. The moment he understood that he will be going out for some outdoor activities the child started waving his hand at me with a very happy face. The park was a lush green with nicely trimmed grasses. The child had some good time and when it was getting dark it came running to his mother and pulling her by her hand made her tell me that since its getting dark outside he wants to go home and watch his favourite cartoon. This particular cartoon is on air only at that particular time and the child has registered that it is telecasted only after sunset. The kid though being in his tender age knew how to switch on the television set and knew that only a set of remote can telecast his favourite he brought the TV remote to me and pointed at the television. Happiness sparkled through his eyes and body language and the applause he gave while seeing the show.

It was amusing to see the kid busy at play and the moment he was hungry he started putting very toy in his mouth, seeing that the mother rushed to the kitchen to warm up a bottle of milk for the young boy. He was so happy to see his bottle of milk that he had a twinkle in his eyes. An hour or so passed and I concluded that non-verbal communication (NVC) forms the only basis of a child’s way of expressing himself and if taken some keen interest it can be understood immaculately just like the mothers can understand and make out every bit of the unsaid conversation. The child in his own world and with his own language of no words communicated every bit of his likes, dislikes, happiness and sadness, his enthusiasm to go out and play and to come home with the same eagerness because of something he exactly knows the time for. the meal times though being the most nasty part cause meal if not cooked of his liking would spit out on the floor and will not open his mouth for the next spoonful. A kid has many a ways to express himself without even uttering a single word and through his acts of his body which forms his language and gestures is able to express himself very well in  his own way of Non-Verbal way of communication.

Thus, Non-verbal communication plays a very vital role in conveying meaningful messages and information to others and also as how we interpret those around us. The most important thing to remember while looking for non-verbal communication is that it forms in a group. When such a thing occur the expression the tonal quality and the appearance will tell a great deal about the person and what the person is actually thinking and trying to communicate.