A friend learns that you are taking a course in interpersonal communication and remarks, "Wow, I'll bet you know all about how to read nonverbals.
A friend learns that you are taking a course in interpersonal communication and remarks, "Wow, I'll bet you know all about how to read nonverbals. Tell me the rules." Write out your response to ypur friend. Be sure to address the assumptions behind your friend's statements as well as what you might tell the friend about the rules
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"Well, friend, one course doesn't make me an expert, but I am learning some terms to discuss the subject. While a great deal of communication goes on on the verbal level (written or spoken), we did learn that there is also non-verbal communication -- body language, for example, or proxemics (the hidden communication in the physical distance between sender and receiver), or even social convention compliance, that can communicate across the model (sender-receiver,code, interference, feedback, etc.), some of it conscious (like a hand-wave) but much of it unconscious (like not making eye contact). We are also learning in class the difference between, for example, interpersonal communication versus group or corporate or official or business communication, and how each kind has its own "rules" and codes. But, friend, the best thing about your request is that it means you would like me to share my educational experience with you, which I take, from your smile and your hand on my arm, to mean you want to become an even closer friend."
This is a great request. There are a few points that we can make.
First, it is clear from your friend's statement that he or she understand that communication is not just verbal. We can communicate in non-verbal ways and this can be very effective. Hence, there is a level of sophistication on your friend's part.
Second, your friend may assume too much. Just because you take a course, it does not make you an expert on any type of communication. As important as a class is, much more research is required, not to mention real life experiences.
Third, in light of all this, I would say that I am in the process of learning about communication and that I hope to grow in communication in the future. I would also say that communication is essential for not only personal relationships, but also relationships between corporations, countries, and much more.
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