The different elements and consequences of body language

The ability to understand and use nonverbal communication, or body language, is a powerful tool that can help you connect with others, express what you really mean, and build better relationships. What is nonverbal communication and body language?

The different elements and consequences of body language

Children learn this important fact at a very early age. In addition to specifying comfortable interaction distances, culture tells us when and how it is acceptable to touch other individuals. In North America, culture generally discourages touching by adults except in moments of intimacy or formal greeting hand shaking or hugging.

This informal rule is most rigidly applied to men.

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If they hold hands or kiss in public, they run the risk of being labeled homosexual and subsequently marginalized socially. Similar culturally defined patterns of physical contact avoidance are found in most of the cultures of Asia and Northern Europe. Cultural Use of Space Culture also tells us how to organize space in such a way as to control the nature of interaction.

In North American corporate offices, for instance, the boss is usually physically isolated in a very separate private room. This tends to minimize his or her personal contact with ordinary workers. This maximizes his interaction with them.

In the United States, the judge usually wears a black robe and sits behind an elevated desk. This intentional setting makes those present feel respectful and subservient to the judge, thereby making it easier for him or her to control the proceedings.

Culture also guides our perception of space by defining units of it. In the industrial world, space is divided into standardized segments with sides and position.

Acres and city lots with uniform dimensions are examples of this in the United States. Our property boundaries are referenced to such segments of space.

The different elements and consequences of body language

As the density of population increases, the importance of defined spatial boundaries grows. Land owners in densely occupied neighborhoods have been known to get angry enough to kill each other over disputed fence lines between their properties. In less dense rural areas of the American West, where people own ranches of hundreds and even thousands of acres, the movement of a fence three feet one way or another is rarely of consequence.

Cultural Use of Time Culture tells us how to manipulate time in order to communicate different messages. When people appear for an appointment varies with the custom, social situation, and their relative status.

In North America, if you have a business meeting scheduled, the time you should arrive largely depends on the power relationship between you and the person who you are meeting.

People who are lower in status are expected to arrive on time, if not early. Higher status individuals can expect that others will wait for them if they are late. For instance, most people who have medical appointments are expected to arrive early and to wait patiently for their doctor to see them rather than the other way around.

An invitation to a party is an entirely different matter. It is often expected that most guests will arrive "fashionably late.

By years old, they usually only know the days of the week, the difference between day and night, morning and afternoon, meal and nap time. By years old, most can consistently use the clock to tell time. However, it is not until about 12 years or older that they begin to know the situational aspects of time, such as when to arrive at a party.

When people come together with very different cultural expectations about time, there is a potential for misunderstanding, frustration, and hurt feelings. This could occur, for instance, if a Brazilian businessman does not arrive "on time" for a meeting with a potential North American customer in New York and fails to give an apology when he arrives.

For the Brazilian, time may be relatively "elastic" and the pace-of-life a bit slower. He believes that he was sufficiently prompt for the scheduled business meeting, having arrived within a half hour of the appointment. It is not surprising that he is astonished and offended when he is treated coldly by the North American who also feels slighted by what he perceives as rudeness.

Compounding the situation is likely to be differences in their comfortable physical interaction distances. This dismal scenario can be avoided, of course, by foreknowledge about the other culture and a willingness to adopt a cultural relativity approach.

The old saying "when in Rome do as the Romans do" is still good advice. Communicating with Clothes Papua New Guinean man wearing a penis sheath Throughout the world, clothing has multiple functions.

It is used to provide protection from the elements. However, the parts of the body that must be covered vary widely throughout the world.

For instance, the man from New Guinea shown in the picture would feel undressed in public if he did not have the narrow gourd sheath over his penis tied in an erect position. Throughout most of the rest of the world, this would be viewed as a highly inappropriate style of dress to say the least.

Some clothing is worn to provide supernatural protection.The most obvious form of paralanguage is body language or kinesics.

The different elements and consequences of body language

This is the language of gestures, expressions, and postures. This is the language of gestures, expressions, and postures. In North America, for instance, we commonly use our arms and hands to say good-by e, point, count, express excitement, beckon, warn away, . Edward B.

Tylor’s Primitive Culture articulates one of two major theories of culture to emerge around His theory defines culture in descriptive terms as the “complex whole” that makes up social ideas and institutions, and in this it helped to establish anthropology as a recognized science.

Body language refers to the nonverbal signals that you use to communicate your feelings and intentions.

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It includes your posture, your facial expressions, and your hand gestures. The ability to understand and to interpret body language can help you to pick up on unspoken issues, problems or negative feelings that other people might have.

Aug 10,  · Body language is an essential part of public speaking success. Your non-verbal cues will impact on the way your message is received, how engaged your audience is, and what they think of you as an individual. GFOA Best Practices identify specific policies and procedures that contribute to improved government management.

They aim to promote and facilitate positive change or recognize excellence rather than merely to codify current accepted practice.

Communication: Communication, the exchange of meanings between individuals through a common system of symbols.

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This article treats the functions, types, and psychology of communication. For a treatment of animal communication, see animal behaviour.

For further treatment of the basic components and techniques of.

Communication | social behaviour |