Nonverbal communication - Kinetics

As humans, we are always communicating in different ways in our everyday lifestyle. Nonverbal communication is a way to communicate but it does not include words. When I say words it means that we do it by gestures or signals. In my SPC lecture, I learned that there is a study of body motion and behaviors that are called Kinetics. Also, there are some body gestures affiliated with kinetics which are: emblems, illustrators, regulators, adaptors and affect displays. In this paper I will be discussing examples and how to understand these gestures.

First, I will begin with emblems which is the body gestures that translate directly into words. For example, last summer my family and I decided to go on a road-trip to Tennessee. It was a long trip but I remember that during the days we spent there we visited a small town called Gatlinburg were almost everyone did not use cars but walking. I remember that my aunt was driving and there were some pedestrian on the sidewalk trying to cross the street and my aunt stopped to let them pass.

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While they were crossing the street one of the guys raised his hand and did the thumbs up on a way of saying thank you. The guy did not said a word to us but we understood that he was saying thank you for letting them pass. Minutes after we parked the car at a parking lot there was couple that wanted to have a picture of them together and I took it.

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After I took the photo they check it and did the “ok” sign as a way of saying that it was a good photo.

Illustrators is another gesture that enhances the verbal messages they accompany. For example, I remember that in Tennessee we visited the Aquarium and at the entrance, the guy that gives the tours was not only explaining the route but also pointing with his hands the places that we were going to visit. Then after we finished the tour around the Aquarium we decided to stop at a small pizza place and while I was counting each of us to tell the waiter I pointed with my fingers.

Regulators are the ones that control, coordinate or maintain the speech of another individual. While we were eating the pizza, I saw that the manager of the restaurant was fighting with one of the employees and the employee was rolling his eyes showing discontent. We saw that discussion between the manager and the employee like everyone else around us. I heard the couple that was seated behind us talking about how rude the discussion was, and my aunt started nodding her head because she was listening to what they were saying.

Adaptors are gestures that satisfy some personal needs, such as scratching to relieve an itch or moving your hair out of your eyes. After we saw that discussion between the manager and the employee my aunt started to move her legs like if she wan impatient. We noticed that she wanted it to leave the pizza place. Even though my aunt did not say a word the body language was easy to understand.

Last, affect displays which are movements on the face, could be smiling or frowning. After we left the pizza place my aunt said that we were going to walk around the town to take some pictures and buy gifts for our family members. While walking, I saw a handsome guy smiling in front of a store trying to convince us to buy wine at his small winery store. We kept walking and I saw a woman with a frowny face because she was trying to take a picture and her phone fell and the screen broke.

In conclusion, as humans, we are always communicating in one way or another. The study of nonverbal communication is called Kinetics. The five types of gestures affiliated with Kinetics are: emblems, illustrators, regulators, adaptors and affect displays. Many times we put these gestures in practice without even noticing them. In my case at a vacation in Tennessee, I could say that we use gestures constantly in our everyday life.

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Nonverbal communication - Kinetics. (2019, Nov 22). Retrieved from

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