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Difference Between Verbal And Nonverbal Communication

Explain the difference between verbal and nonverbal communication.

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Verbal communication is the use of auditory language to exchange information with other people. It includes sounds, words, or speaking. The tone, volume, and pitch of one's voice can all contribute to effective verbal communication. 

Non-verbal communication is communication between people through non-verbal or visual cues. This includes gestures, facial expressions, body movement, timing, touch, and anything else that communicates without speaking.

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The other answers do a good job when it comes to verbal communication. So, I will focus on nonverbal communication.

Nonverbal communication is communication between people through nonverbal or visual cues. This includes body language (kinesics), distance between people (proxemics), voice quality (paralanguage), and touch (haptics).

Based on these considerations, nonverbal communication communicates just as much or, at times, more than verbal communication.

For example, if a person has an angry facial expression, enters into an aggressive stance (kinesics), encroaches upon another person's personal space (proxemics), and touches another person in an inappropriate way (haptics), then it is clear that a confrontation is in view, even if the verb communication sounds neutral. The nonverbal cues override anything verbal.

Another consideration is that even in written text, there is nonverbal communication such as handwriting style, spacing, and the like.

In conclusion, communication is both verbal and nonverbal, which shows that human communication is more complex than it might first appear.

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psyproffie eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When you are looking at verbal communication, you are looking at the use of auditory and written language. Language is the symbolic representation of actions or items within the environment. For example, humans have developed words to represent items (nouns) and actions (verbs) and to describe items (adjectives). We use these words to express our needs, wants, and intentions to others within our environment.


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Clair Heathcote eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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