Nonverbal behavior - Essay Example

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Nearly each person touches others while interacting with them, although the meaning and type of touch in an interpersonal relationship varies greatly. Touching in…
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Nonverbal behavior
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Touch behavior is considered a global perspective as it illustrates the social exchange that exists between people. Nearly each person touches otherswhile interacting with them, although the meaning and type of touch in an interpersonal relationship varies greatly. Touching in a social situation may take many forms, including quick touch and release, touch and hold, or arm-around form of touch. As touch behavior differs from one culture to another, it is true that is has different functions. In this paper, I will focus on the Heslin and Alper’s (1983) approach to illustrate how I interact with touch behavior during my daily undertakings in the U.S.
According to the taxonomy of different types of touching, Heslin and Alper (1983) have provided individuals with explanations as to what touch behavior entails. Based on the taxonomy, the messages communicated carry different meanings, which extend from less personal touch to touch that is more personal (Knapp and Horgan 238). In this case, I will emphasize on the warmth/friendship type of touch behavior. From my experience with this type of touch behavior, I have understand the need to extend my closeness to other people. Nonetheless, other people may misunderstand this type of touch behavior increasing discomfort.
Understanding the different kinds of touch behavior has the potential of boosting an individual’s knowledge to interpret the messages portrayed. The taxonomy by Heslin and Alper (1983) explains how touch behavior is understood based on personal interactions. For instance, as Arabs living in the U.S., we practice our own unique touch behavior. When we meet with our colleagues, we fancy handshakes and chest kissing. On the contrary, non-Arabs misunderstand this practice by considering it as inappropriate and aggressive when practiced towards them. Furthermore, it may indicate intimate relationship, which is annoying for the Arabs. In my case, I have started feeling uncomfortable with this practice, as I do not want my non-Arab colleagues to misunderstand me based on the relationship I have developed with people of my race. Read More
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