Nonverbal Communication

Action Assignment While walking across campus, I encountered many people, most of whom appeared engrossed in their personal issues and thoughts. Although others were engaged in lively conversations with their peers while walking in groups, other people appeared to prefer walking in solitude. I chose to exchange smiles with other people on campus, including students, visitors and faculty members. Most people received my expression with a smile while others chose to approach me and share pleasantries. However, a few individuals appeared confused by my smile, choosing to look around them to check whether I was, indeed, smiling at them or other people around them. Others chose to ignore my non-verbal expression. Overall, one individual stood out as she not only returned my smile, but also approached me for pleasantries and offered to join my purposeful smiling activity. Overall, people typically smiled back whenever I smiled at them and others chose to wink laughingly (Matsumoto, Frank and Hwang 91).
When smiling at people while walking across campus, I noticed my mood and demeanor change quite positively. Prior to beginning the exercise, my mood was relatively jovial, but not overtly excited. However, as people started smiling back at me, I realized that not only did I become excited to smile at more people, but my moods also turned into utter jubilation and delight. When people did more than smile, for instance, wink or share pleasantries, my moods improved quite dramatically. I was so joyous when people reciprocated with a smile that the negative responses did not affect my mood or demeanor negatively (Matsumoto, Frank and Hwang 187).
For the second action exercise, I chose to watch an episode in the fourth season of Modern Family. Modern Family is a comedy, which was launched in the year 2009. The show is presented through a documentary style in which the fictional characters talk candidly into a camera regarding their interactions with other characters (Matsumoto, Frank and Hwang 115). While watching the show, I became enlightened regarding the manner in which people make use of non-verbal messages in their interactions and communication. The show made it apparent that, although people typically use words to express themselves verbally, they also make use of non-verbal messages in their conversations. For instance, people in the show constantly laughed to exhibit their happiness and feelings of togetherness with other characters.
Perhaps the most prevalent non-verbal message was the use of smiles. For instance, couples in the show smiled at each other or held hands to demonstrate love, affection and intimacy. Parents also smiled at their children to show their approval and affection. Another prevalent non-verbal message was the use of hugs, particularly when greeting, comforting, congratulating or consoling others. I noticed that, in addition to verbal expressions, characters used non-verbal messages to relay their feelings and temperaments. The characters, in the show, used hand motions to relay messages, facial expressions to buttress their verbal utterances and posture to demonstrate their emotions and moods. I also noticed that the characters sometimes chose to use non-verbal messages instead of verbal utterances. This made it explicitly clear that, regardless of the situation. non-verbal messages are just as effective as verbal messages, or even more effective than verbal utterances (Matsumoto, Frank and Hwang 235).
Work Cited
Matsumoto, D. R., Frank, M. G., and Hwang, H. S. Nonverbal Communication: Science and Applications. New York: SAGE Publications, 2012. Print.