How do we communicate without using words?I am doing this project on how people communicate with others without using words, and i want to know all the ways they can.



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literaturenerd's profile pic

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The most common way to communicate without using words is through the use of non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication takes facial expressions and looks at the meaning transferred through their use.

For example, one may be answering "yes" to being asked to do a favor but the way their face answers is completely different. They may be showing worry, exasperation, or anger (in regard to the expression on their face) even though their words are telling a very different story.

lmetcalf's profile pic

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Another way we communicate without words is by the intentional use of silence.  Perhaps we screen the calls of people we are angry with; perhaps we stare across the table in stony silence during a big fight; perhaps we "give a cold shoulder" to a friend who has hurt our feelings.  All of this silence communicates our anger or frustration.  We could also use silence to communicate patience.  We can wait in silence for a friend or a child to find the words to talk to us, rather than just filling the silence with words for them.

pohnpei397's profile pic

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To be really obvious, we can use touch to communicate.  When we punch someone, we communicate hatred.  When we hug them, we communicate affection.

On a more subtle note, we can communicate with our body language.  We can shrink away from people that we do not feel comfortable with.  This communicates our unease in their presence.  My students for a few years would laugh at me because whenever a certain teacher came into my room to talk to me or a student, I would physically move away from her, stand farther away and then lean away as well.  I really did not like her and this communicated itself to my students, who thought it was very funny.

stolperia's profile pic

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Art provides another medium for non-verbal communication. Paintings can convey emotions based on use of color and form as well as whatever might actually be represented. Sculpture can be inviting or threatening. Music is a powerful means of conveying feelings - think about the background music in any movie you've ever watched. It's easy to know when the "bad guy" is approaching, even with your eyes closed!

mwestwood's profile pic

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If anyone has a pet for long, he or she understands how effective non-verbal communication can be.  Not only do pets communicate efficiently without saying a word, but they can actually become manipulative, much to the owners embarrassment.

Sign-language is another human form of communicating effectively without using words.

wannam's profile pic

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I have to disagree with post 6 about sign-language.  Usually, sign-language is considered a form of verbal communication.  The signs represent specific words or grammatical concepts.  It does use words and has it's own distinct language rules, dialects, etc.  In most places, it is recognized as an official language. 

On the other hand, mwestwood might have been referring to causal gestures.  I would agree that we can often use our hands to communicate.  For instance, a wave is a casual gesture that most people understand the meaning of instantly.  I find it interesting to compare the casual gestures of one culture to another.  I remember learning it Japanese class that the wave Americans consider to mean "hello" or "good-bye" looks the same as the wave Japanese consider to mean "come here."

kiwi's profile pic

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We say a lot through our eyes to those who can read us. My mother can tell my emotional state without words or touch just by looking into my eyes. Involuntary gestures give us away too.

kplhardison's profile pic

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"Body language" is the current number one explanation for non-verbal communication. I'm sure you've been exposed to some of the theory: folded arms means you're closed to friendly advances (or that you are being determined or have a shoulder injury ...); toes pointing at someone means you like them (or that your foot keeps hitting the wall or table leg or that your reclining and twisted in your seat ...); etc. The hippies used to talk of non-verbal communication through "vibrations" (e.g., Those are good vibes, man). Now that science has verified that everything living (and non-living) emits an electro-magnetic energy field, some are once again talking about communication through vibrations, but this time it is electromagnetic wave-length frequency vibrations.

litteacher8's profile pic

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Nonverbal communication involves facial expressions and body language. Body language includes posture and gestures. We communicate so much, often without knowing we are saying anything at all. Even when we use words, it's not just the words we say that matter- it's the tone of our voice too.
noweednomore's profile pic

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Semitoics. That is what i think would best answer your question.Semitiocs as wiki defines it is the study of signs and sign processes  indication, designation, likeness, analogy, metapohr, signification, and communication. Verbal communication, facial expressions, body language, visual art all form a part of semiotics.

To understand semiotics better let us take an example of linguistics. When we say H-O-R-S-E we use something to denote something else. This is what we call a  'Signifier' to denote the 'Signified', the warm-blooded mammal we know of.

Again, taking an example from visual arts, whenever we see a soldier on horseback slaying a dragon in a painting we immediately recognize the soldier as being St. George. The legend has been reproduced in paintings since 7th century and again, the Dragon and the soldier on horseback act as the 'Signifier' for the 'Signified' the legend.

Thus, semiotics can help you identify many ways of communication other than the most common verbal communication. The wiki page on semiotics, i think, will really help you in this direction.

valie77's profile pic

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i think we can speak three ways without using words which are

1. with our eyes

2. sign language

3. body language

sionii's profile pic

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How do we communicate without using words?

I am doing this project on how people communicate with others without using words, and i want to know all the ways they can.

People Communicate without using words during a normal day without even realising a common way to find out how someone is feeling is through body language for example if a person is jittery and looking around constantly and touches there own face regulary it is most likely that they are lying .And of course there is sign language for mutes a combination of all ten fingers to portait different words .Also if you look at bees they communicate through movement of the body or 'Dance' Thus there many many ways you can communicate without using sound .

adi4672's profile pic

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Just a late note, however something I find important to emphasize: non-verbal communication involves at some basic level the agreement between the communicants that such and such gesture means one thing and not something else. Agreement means that all communicants agree to a set of pre-established rules as regards non-verbal communication. It may very well be that these rules are innate in each of us, the way we were born with Linguistic Principles, but it may also very well be that we could create new parameters within the basic system of linguistic acquisition.

kyliemathews's profile pic

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How do we communicate without using words?

I am doing this project on how people communicate with others without using words, and i want to know all the ways they can.

Non- verbal communication is anything that does not require the written or spoken word. Body language, eye contact, and focus all play huge roles in non-verbal communication.

kychong7's profile pic

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The best way we can speak without using words seems to be a combination of sign language, body language and with our eyes.

justaquestion's profile pic

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communication is a process that can be done verbal or non verbal thus if you can't go with the verbal ways you can do it non-verbally by using your hands, body language, gestures, facial expretions, writing, etc.

thewanderlust878's profile pic

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This is a great question, and one that I am excited to answer. The first thing I immediately thought of was love. When you are in love with someone, whether it be your boyfriend or girlfriend, or even your best friend (which is a different kind of love) it is easy to be able to speak without words. You understand each other on a deeper level and are usually able to tell what the other is thinking through simple hand gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, etc. 

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