Since the very beginning of human history, even during the primitive times, communication has been seen as one of the main necessities of our kind. One of the types of communication people use the most is nonverbal communication, which is a way to communicate without using words. Putting nonverbal communication into practice, people usually use many types of signs which include body gestures, signage and facial expressions. Among the most significant types of body gestures are emblem, illustrators, regulators, adaptors and affect.
Emblems refer to those movements of the body that have a verbal translation that is direct and can stand by itself. I enjoy running around my neighborhood in the afternoons so this week I took one day to walk around and pay attention to those gestures that most of the time we do not even notice. I had only been walking for a couple of minutes when I realized that the person walking in front of me had dropped a piece of paper from her purse. I called her attention and point to the floor. She raised her hand in form of gratitude. She did not need to use words for me to understand that she was thanking me with her gesture. After that I went to a park nearby and I saw a father and a daughter playing in the grass. They asked me to take a picture of them. After I took it and gave the father his phone back, he gave me a thumb up confirming they liked the picture. They did not need to use words to let me know they had liked the picture I took.
On the other hand, illustrators are those signs that go together with words or phrases to illustrate a verbal message. During my walk from the park to the town library, I witnessed two teenagers standing in a corner. One was giving directions to the other one. When she was indicating that the person needed to turn right, she would point with her finger to the correct direction. After my walk, I went to a restaurant to grab lunch. I saw the host greeting a family. When she asked how many people were going to be dining, the father of the family counted out load and also pointed his finger at the people in the party as he was counting.
Furthermore, regulators like emblems and illustrators are gestures as well, only they are primarily unintentional. Regulators are the body movement that control, modify and endure the conversation. I was the restaurant with some of my friends and in the table in front of us was a couple arguing. While the man was talking to the girl she was not saying anything. However, she was rolling her eyes up showing disapproval. Also, another group of people were sitting back having a lot of fun. One of the girls was telling a story to the rest of the group, while the others where nodding with their head to indicate approval.
Adaptors are forms of nonverbal communications that include movement made with little awareness. Involve gestures that make you feel more comfortable in a communication situation. After we ate, I went to the restroom and as soon as I got back, I saw my girlfriend drumming the finger and one of my friend scratching. I was under the impression that they wanted to leave as soon as they could.
The one mentioned in last place was affect displays, which occurs when emotions motivate facial expressions. My day continued at the beach. When I was walking down the boulevard I saw a woman approaching and smiling. At the time she got in front of me, tried to convince me to eat in the restaurant she works with a kind invitation, although I felt tented, I was not interested and kept walking. Then a man frowning caught my attention. I noticed the reason of his expression was because he received a ticket and he was not precisely happy about it.
At the end of this interesting day I was able to conclude that people use the body to communicate very often. Kinetics is the given name to the study of nonverbal communications. Emblems, illustrators, regulators, adaptors and affect are the five more common used body gestures. They are used unintentionally most of the time, but when a time is dedicated to pay attention to their use, it can be noticed everybody around use them constantly.