By Nathan Beavers
In his book, O’Rourke goes into great detail about nonverbal communication. He details the various types, from body movement, eye contact, physical appearance and even the five senses; sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing (even hearing can be important in nonverbal communication, as often, silence can speak volumes). Someone, who wishes to convey a message with more effectiveness than simply speaking their message, can use all of these various types of nonverbal communication together, or separately.
In high school, we had a psychology class for the very first time. We did not have a legitimate psychology teacher, but the school offered it as an elective for those students who already had enough credits to graduate but still needed a class or two to fill their schedule. One of the more interesting cases we studied was that of hypnosis. When someone thinks of hypnosis, they often think of the classic swinging watch while being lulled to sleep technique. However, this is far from the actuality. Hypnosis is something that deals very much with a few of the types of nonverbal communication that O’Rourke details. Smell; there should be some type of scented candle that isn’t too “loud,” something like vanilla or peppermint, that would help the subject feel more at ease. Sight/color; the room should be dim to dark to keep the subject relaxed and offer few distractions. Ideally, the room should have little to no windows and as little light sources as possible. Essentially, hypnosis is about using the environment and subtle suggestions through the atmosphere and the experimenter to achieve suggestion on the part of the experimented.
O’Rourke argues that nonverbal communication is important and vital, and rightfully so. As I’ve shown, different types of nonverbal communication are very powerful in influencing people, whether they are aware of it or not. Even though it is an often overlooked skill, nonverbal communication is a vital part of communication.