Symbolic Nature of Language Symbolic Nature of Language Nonverbal immediacy is a term that is used to show the nonverbal behaviours that exist in people. They are often used to show a positive effect and/or attitude towards someone else or others. These behaviours often include, looking at someone, touching someone, sitting or standing near someone, smiling or even talking animatedly. Below are some examples of nonverbal immediacy cues that could help identify how one relates to others.
1 Often, I use my hands and arms to gesture while talking to people.
2 Occasionally, I touch people on the shoulder or arm while talking to them.
3 Rarely do I use a monotone or dull voice while talking to people.
4 Occasionally, I look over or away from others while talking to them.
5 Often, I move away from others when they touch me when we are talking.
6 Occasionally, I have a relaxed body position when I talk to people.
7 Never do I frown when I talk to people.
8 Occasionally, I avoid eye contact when talking to people.
9 Rarely do I have a tense body position while talking to people.
10 Occasionally, I sit or stand close to people while talking with them.
11 Rarely is my voice monotonous or dull when I talk to people.
12 Often, I use a variety of vocal expressions when talking to people.
13 Often, I gesture when I talk to people.
14 Occasionally, I am animated when I talk to people.
15 Rarely do I have a bland facial expression when I talk to people.
16 Often, I move close to people when I talk to them.
17 Often, I look directly at people while talking to them.
18 Never am I stiff when I talk to people.
19 Often, I have a lot of vocal variety when I talk to people.
20 Rarely do I avoid gesturing when talking to people.
21 Occasionally, I lean toward people when I talk to them.
22 Occasionally, I maintain eye contact with people when I talk to them.
23 Occasionally, I try not to sit or stand close to people when I talk with them.
24 Rarely do I lean away from people when I talk to them.
25 Often, I smile when I talk to people.
26 Occasionally, I avoid touching people when I talk to them.
The score from the above:
Step I. 78+46 = 124
Step II. 30
Step III. 124 – 30 = 94
In comparison to the score found by Richmond, McCroskey and Johnson, the above score could mean that they were right. Men have a lower non-verbal immediacy score than women (Richmond, McCroskey &. Johnson, 2003). This is true since they are the more emotionally attached of the species. They are more likely to exhibit some of the tendencies listed above on a larger scale than men. However, men can also exhibit such tendencies but it all depends on the age and level of maturity that they have.
On self-reflection, language has a huge impact on how one perceives themselves. It helps also in how they perceive others around them. This leads to better understanding of society’s call for better living and interaction between people. Language can also help in hypothetical thinking. It helps put one in a scenario that allows them to think of only positive connections and relations.
Manusov, V. L. (2005). The Sourcebook of Nonverbal Measures: Going Beyond Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Richmond, V. P., McCroskey, J. C., &. Johnson, A. D. (2003). Development of the Nonverbal Immediacy Scale (NIS): Measures of Self and Other-Perceived Nonverbal Immediacy. New York: Macmillan.
Riggio, E. R., &. Feldman, R. S. (2005). Applications of Nonverbal Communication. New York: Bantam Books.