In this reading response I will be discussing and analyzing components of nonverbal communication…

Point 1) Eye Contact

One of the components of nonverbal communication is eye contact.  The text discusses the ways in which eye contact is essential in superior/subordinate interaction.  Let’s use a business example.  If a subordinate displays a presentation to their superior, then that individual will be tuned into what their superior is saying about their presentation.  They will be displaying important eye contact to show interest and attentiveness.  In regards to gender differences, women in distant cultures tend to not look higher-status persons in the eye.  The reasoning behind could be because men might be extremely superior in other nations, more so than in the United States.  Women might feel a little threatened by people of higher status, who are usually men in other cultures.  This reasoning can be related to Jackson Katz’s clip, “Tough Guise.”  Katz claims that traditionally in many cultures men are the ones who are abusive to the women.  I believe the statistic was 95%.  What I’m trying to state is that women might have that “non-eye contact” appearance because they feel so threatened by their significant other or another man in general.  Men and women have different reasonings behind their eye contact.  Women rarely stare.  They engage in more eye contact while conversing.  Women have a high level of interest in their conversations, which explains the sustainment of eye contact.  They do however break eye contact more often.  On the other hand, men stare, perhaps to challenger power or status.  Their interest in conversations is due to staring.  Generally, men don’t make as much eye contact as women do.  That observation is key because women feel as though men aren’t paying attention, aren’t interested, or are distracted by something else.

When men stare to gain a sense of power, do they go too far?  Meaning, does a woman become uncomfortable, freaked out or scared because of this?  Men seem so overpowering at times that it can be detrimental to women.

Point 2) Body Adornment

The decisions individuals make about their dress, appearance, cosmetics, fashion, etc is body adornment.  Actually, I shouldn’t quite say “decisions”.  It’s more of that individuals norms and trends that lead to what appearance is made.  The way a person dresses tells a lot about themselves.  I will get to those examples shortly, but I would first like to say that I believe that judgment can rise from the way someone presents themselves, especially in the eras of middle school and high school.  I don’t appreciate individuals who criticize people on the way they dress.  It is an individual’s own choice how they present themselves, and you never know, you could be insulting their culture and values.  In high school, you might find girls who wear sporty t-shirts all the time along with long shorts and tennis shoes.  They carry the reputation of being very into sports and sport related activities.  They even may carry the term “tomboy”.  Also, you might find the “preppy” boys who wear collard shirts all the time along with jeans or some type of nice shorts:  the typical “Hampden Sydney” boy.  These are people’s choices, and they are totally comfortable with the way they dress, as should others who see them for who they are.

Other people dress to impress.  To impress a man, a woman’s adornment could consist of hair products, tight clothing, jewelry, high heels, and many types of facial makeup.  To impress a woman, a man’s adornment could consist of shaving materials, hair products, steroids, etc.  In most cultures, women dress feminine and men dress masculine.  However, don’t some appearances clash?  Piercings, tattoos and hair products can be shared by both genders.  This doesn’t make an individual the opposite gender.  It is just a compatible appearance trait.  Then, you have the group of people who are cross-gendered.  They like to display themselves in an appearance of the opposite sex.  That is what they are most comfortable with and that is what they truly believe they are.  Do certain people have insecurities about their masculinity or femininity that they have a problem with people who are more comfortable in the appearance of the opposite sex?  I find it appalling that certain individuals criticize these people.  They’re human beings just like everyone else, and they should not be ridiculed for being WHO THEY ARE.  They get criticized so much that there is a website for how to cope with cross-dressing.  People have their own interpretation of their self-image.

Point 3) Body Movements

Bodily movements represent a person’s gestures and demeanor.  These representations are important parts of successful communication.  It reinforces, emphasizes and clarifies verbally expressed ideas.  Body movements create messages for others because they can tell how you are reacting to a certain situation.  I believe that body movements are shared between men and women.  Sure, men do more body gestures than women and vice versa, but some are in fact shared.  Both genders can put their hand on their chin to represent thoughtfulness.  Both genders can scratch their head and cringe (under the category of facial expressions) to represent confusion.  In relation to businesses, I believe that men and women differ in body movements.  High status men such as CEO’s and head managers can be lackadaisical with their body movements because they represent a sense of power.  They have the higher authority to be able to prop their feet up on their desk, put their hands behind their head to use as a pillow and lean back to make life at the office more comfortable.

Women do not use this type of behavior in the office.  More women than women have a sense of respect and attentiveness to their subordinates.  That is why typically men exert and contain more power than women.  I was thinking through entertainment and seeing if I could think of an example of a woman who exerted this form of bodily comfort that men impose in the office, and I thought of a great one.  How would a woman like Sandra Bullock in “The Proposal“, be portrayed and how would you classify her?  She might be considered the exception, but even though the movie was fiction, I believe there are some women out there who are similar to the body style she imposed in that movie.

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