Time and nonverbal communication

Although nonverbal communication tends to be one of the most interesting chapter for students in the basic course, there are a few concepts that learners occasionally struggle to grasp. The biggest struggle is how time is used in communication. I’m going to focus on that in this post, and hopefully, you will clarify some of this in your mind.

Let’s start with the easiest part of how time is used. We expect to be punctual for some activities, because we know that time is important to certain people (like our bosses, instructors, or doctors). But we don’t necessarily have to be early or on time for meeting our friends for dinner. In fact, when we look at the time named for a party, we often presume people will come much later.

We also view time in our culture as something to be bought or sold, something that we can trade. For example, we ask what hours someone will work at their job, and in return, they will be paid for that time invested in their labor.

As your textbook states, even the words we use to describe our use of time indicate how we view it as a commodity. We invest time with work, or in relationships. We waste time playing games or binge-watching television. We spend time with our family or friends. All of these are the same words we use to describe other things that are tied to money. We waste money on junk food or entertainment, but we save money for a rainy day.

Think more on this concept, because time is such a very cool concept, and a great way we communicate with others.

Oh, by the way, thanks for taking a little of your time to read through this post. Hopefully you have invested it wisely and learned something that might be helpful for your test! By reading this, you have already communicated to me that you find learning important. Comment below that you have read this, so I can see which of my students are taking some extra time…

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