Discussion Board- Interpreting Nonverbal Communication

Discussion Board- Interpreting Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal communication replaces, reinforces, and can contradict verbal communication. Nonverbal communication may also regulate interactions and express cultural values.

For this discussion, please respond to the following:

  • Describe a time when one of the six categories of nonverbal cues (kinesics, proxemics, haptics, chronemics, artifacts and paralanguage) caused you to misinterpret a message in a personal or professional setting. Be sure to highlight which category is represented in your example.
  • Explain the steps you would take to avoid misinterpreting a message the next time you are in a similar situation.

Points and Rubric

This discussion is worth 30 points. Refer to your Discussion Rubric for specific grading criteria. The deadline for your initial post and additional responses is Tuesday night at 11:59 p.m. ET; however, you must participate over multiple days throughout the unit to earn full credit.

This discussion addresses the following unit learning outcome:

  • Identify types of nonverbal cues.

It also addresses the following Course Outcome:

Identify the roles of symbolic cues in interpersonal communication.


While reading chapter 5, I learned a lot about the five categories of nonverbal cues. One major cue I have experienced is Kinesics. Kinesics is a word used for body language. It involves eye contact, facial expressions, our posture, etc. One way to catch a negative kinesics is when people are saying normal everyday conversations, but they hardly make eye contact. In a more positive way, some people find it easier to make less eye contact during communication or fidget their bodies. The story I am about to share though, is a little personal, but it happened in my professional setting. I work in an ER checking in the sick patients, one night a young girl came in complaining of a simple headache. No big deal, right? But her body language was very off putting. I did not think much of it and finished checking her in. A few hours pass by, and I noticed the police were walking in the back door. Turns out the little girl was being abused by her father. I wish I would have paid more attention to her facial expressions and the way she was looking at me. I could have helped sooner. The girl is okay now. One way I would avoid this happening again is always keep a close eye on people’s body language. The girl was not making any eye contact and her arms were crossed and she was holding herself very tightly, almost like she was cold. Her father was behind her and had an angry smug look on his face. This could not have been completely avoided because I am not allowed to make assumptions due to my position, but next time I will be calling the nurses.

Resources: Council, Y. E. (2018, May 4). Council Post: 14 Negative Body Language Signals And Speech Habits To Avoid. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2018/05/04/14-negative-body-language-signals-and-speech-habits-to-avoid/?sh=1bdb686822f5.

Referenceware for Professionals. Books24x7.com. (n.d.). https://viewer.books24x7.com/assetviewer.aspx?bookid=137780&chunkid=232518301&resumebookmarkid=aa34a859-c9d9-eb11-80be-00505695593a.


After reading Chapter 5 about nonverbal communication, the cue I chose to focus on is kinesics. The kinesics nonverbal cue is knowns as body language which involves eye contact, the expression on someone’s face, how someone’s posture is positioned, gestures they are making and movement. (Hamilton, 2019). In a personal situation that I can think of is when my boyfriend and I first started dating, we were out to breakfast and I received a message from a friend who said my ex-boyfriend messaged her asking that she ask me to talk with him. It was a relationship that I ended because he verbally attacked two other women saying emotional abuse isn’t as bad as physical abuse, and as someone who is a survivor of an emotionally abusive marriage, I felt this guy was not someone for me. Therefore, I ended the relationship. Apparently, he wanted to talk things out because he needed “closure” because he decided to seek counseling after I ended our relationship. Of course, I said no I wouldn’t talk with this guy, and felt it was not my job to help him find closure. He was clearly using by friend as a go-between to get me to talk to him, which made me upset. I shared with my boyfriend what my ex was trying to do, which he was defensive on my behalf, but as our time at breakfast continued, he wasn’t talking much or looking at me. His body posture was tense and when I tried to engage in conversation his responses were short. After breakfast, I decided to go home instead of with him to his parents. He dropped me off at home and drove off spinning his tires. I perceived that as him being mad at me and the way he left made me feel like he was ending things between us. After some time passed, I sent him a text and he called me in response and we talked. I told him that I felt like he was mad and blaming me for the message I got from my friend about my ex-boyfriend. He said he wasn’t mad at me but was upset that my ex was trying to reach out to me and it ruined our time together. He didn’t want to say something that would make the situation worse for me which is why he left the way he did. He didn’t mean for me to take it the way I did. We managed to talk it through and have since moved on from it. I never did talk with my ex-boyfriend and have not heard from him since then when I refused to talk with him.

The steps that we both agreed we would do to avoid misinterpreting each other’s nonverbal actions would be to communicate with each other. We agreed we would talk things out and be honest about what is on our minds so there is no chance of assuming what the other person is thinking or intends. My boyfriend and I both have experienced toxic relationships and its habit for both of us to think the worst. This has become a good system between us and if anything, this situation helped us grow as a couple.


Hamilton, C., Creel, B., & Kroll, T. (2019). Non-Verbal Communication. Routledge. Wood, J. (2016).

Requirements: 150 for intial 75 for each peer

Answer preview:

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