Nonverbal communication (NVC) is sending and receiving wordless messages. Language is not the only way to communicate, there are other means. Much nonverbal communication is unconscious: it happens without thinking about it.
NVC can use gestures and touch, body language or posture, facial expression and eye contact. NVC can be communicated through objects such as clothing and hairstyles. Dance is also a type of nonverbal communication.
Speech has nonverbal elements known as paralanguage. These include voice quality, emotion and speaking style, rhythm, intonation and stress. Likewise, written texts have nonverbal elements such as handwriting style, spatial arrangement of words, or the use of emoticons, such as :).
Nonverbal communication has three main aspects: the situation where it takes place, the communicators, and their behavior during the interaction.
Images for kids
Understanding each other through hand and eye expression; seen in a street near the bell tower of Xi'an, China.
Two photographs from Darwin's Expression of the Emotions, showing the emotion of disgust.
Symbol table for non-verbal communication with patients
Information about the relationship and affect of these two skaters is communicated by their body posture, eye gaze and physical contact.
A high five is an example of communicative touch.
Nonverbal communication Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.