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The Difference of Nonverbal Communication between Genders

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According to ThoughtCo, “Nonverbal communication, also called manual language, is the process of sending and receiving messages without using words, either spoken or written (Nordquist, 2019). Communication whether verbal or nonverbal is the way in which persons interact, communicate ideas and experiences with one another. Nonverbal communication is a common practice in which persons communicate with others, it can be expressed through the motions of gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, eye contact, body language and posture.

Communication is vital in our everyday lives because it is how persons communicate about every aspect of their lives such as work, relationships and social lives. Thus, in communication men and women communicate differently, and they communicate differently through nonverbal cues. In this paper I will explain and identify the difference in nonverbal communication between genders, including the workplace, dating and sexual interest. In communication information can be misinterpreted or mistranslated that can contribute to an enormous gap that can occur during the transfer of messages. It is a known fact that women and men have different opinions and styles about mostly everything and communication is not exempted. Similarly, men and women communicate differently amongst one another. It is stereotyped that in the workforce and in general women are more talkative and emotional than men.

Whereas, men are more reserved and not opened with their emotions to everyone. Women talk to bring a sense of comfort to them and their surroundings. They are also natural emotional creatures that talk about their problems and situations. “Women are nurturers, and this quality can enhance any work situation. Men are natural providers. They are task-oriented and like to get the job done” (Mohindra, 2012). Women lean on other ladies for a sense of comfort and understanding. However, according to research (Onnela, Waber, Pentland, Schnorf, & Lazer, 2014), “a recent meta-analysis suggests that men are more talkative than women, while earlier meta-analyses give mixed results. Some of the variability in results can potentially be explained by the use of different measures for talkativeness.” In this research, it is also indicated that women engage in longer conversations and they are comfortable in talking in a small group setting. Whereas, for men they engage in longer conversations when the group consists of more than five (5) persons.

Nonverbal communication is common in the workplace. In the workforce women tend to build relationships with other women and to look for common interests that they have amongst one another. Whereas, for men they tend to build relationships with other men base on the dominance and their social relationship with one another. On the other hand, women tend to build relationships by sharing experiences and asking questions. In contrast, men rather take or give information than to build relationships with their coworkers. It is a common thing for men in the workplace to want to have the upper hand on their coworkers, it is never in their intention to build a close bond. Also, if a woman encounters a problem at the workplace with her colleagues the relationship will be truly impacted and she will be and devasted, where she will try to find a common medium to resolve the situation. While if men have a disagreement with their colleagues it will not affect them in no type of way, they will go on to the next task that is on their agenda. Moreover, when men and women are in a meeting, they will use gestures to say that they agree with one another.

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For instance, in a meeting if a man is making a presentation and he makes a point that the woman agrees with she will nod her head. It may surprise the man that the woman agrees with his point, because in meetings there is commonly a disagreement between men and women on their views about business. Meanwhile, if the roles were reversed and the woman was making the presentation the men will nod if he agrees with her statement and the point that she made. When a man does not nod his head in agreement and is listening earnestly to what the lady says she automatically thinks that he is disagreement with her. Quite often men and women notice the differences in their communication skills in the workplace. Besides, when a conversation is being carried out both genders look at the approach and the insertion of interjecting a conversation differently. When a woman and a man carry on a conversation, the woman relies heavily on nonverbal cues.

Men think that when a conversation is being held that is polite to remain quiet while someone is speaking. Women believe that during the conversation and an interest point is established it is imperative that they interject and that their point is heard. However, when a man is speaking and he realizes that the woman stops communicating he feels that she is disinterested in the conversation; whereas, the woman feels that the insightful comments that the male is making are rude which results in her departure of the conversation. In communication there is a major difference in which both genders communicate with one another. Nonverbal communication is subject to be hereditary and children model the same sex roles that are exhibited. Gender communication differences occur during the early stages of childhood. Children tend to model the characteristics shown by their parents. Sons follow the characteristics that are shown by their father such as playing rough and to be tough. Hence, the girl follows the patterns of their mother such as showing feelings and being emotional. These stereotypical guidelines for the workplace are subconsciously guiding persons on how they are supposed to act based on their genders.

According to Gender Communication: A Comparative Analysis of Communicational Approaches of Men and Women at Workplaces, “Girls are told to use their manners, play quietly, and be ladylike. However, it is okay for boys to use rough language, play loudly, and be rambunctious. Girls are allowed to show feelings” (Mohindra, 2012). In addition, the characteristics of maleness and femaleness are the developmental components that are exhibited through our bone structure, it affects the way that we speak, walk, body posture, gestures and body shape. In addition, the way that men and women communicate nonverbally contributes to the effect that it has on dating and relationships. Women and men view touching differently. When a woman wants to communicate with someone, she is most likely to connect with them face to face and to touch them in an attempt to develop a relationship/friendship.

Whereas, for men they are keener to associate touching as a chance to establish a relationship with a woman. According to Do Men & Women Use Nonverbal Communication Differently, “men are more likely than women to associate touching with sexual intentions, heterosexual men are less likely to use touch during conversation with other men. Women, on the other hand, are far less reticent about touching other women because they also use touching as an expression of friendship or sympathy” (Carnes, 2019). In the dating aspect the nonverbal cues between genders have an enormous gap where touch is communicated differently between one another. Social interest and dating can be affected by nonverbal communication. Men and women interpret proximity differently, and their tolerance for bodily proximity is different between one another. While women are communicating, they are comfortable standing side by side with the person they are talking to. Whereas, for men they rather communicate face to face with the person they are speaking with. Hence, both genders perceive proximity differently from one another.

However, when it comes to intimacy women are more likely and open to be of close bodily proximity of someone; men perceive proximity as an act of being aggressive or being confrontational. “Nevertheless, different cultures have different tolerances for bodily proximity, and these differences often exceed the difference between genders” (Carnes, 2019).

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