Difference Between Non-Verbal Communication and Body Language (With Table)

Communication skills and body language are the key factors that determine someone’s characteristics. Both non -verbal communication and body language sound the same at the first instant. But the in-ground reality shows that they have a lot of difference. When one talks about non-verbal communication, people often mislead it with body language.

Non-Verbal Communication vs Body Language

The difference between non-verbal communication and body language is that the latter refers to non-verbal communication as its main feature. Body language is a form of non-verbal communication that prioritizes physical actions more than words. Actions like facial expressions, the posture of the body, and touch movements are a part of body language and non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication signifies the mode of communication with the help of posture and gesture activities. These gestures can also include eye movements, expressions by the face, and the space between two people. Eye contact and the rate of eye blinking are also a part of the same.

As mentioned above, body language is a form of non-verbal communication that prioritizes physical actions more than words. Kinesics is the interpretation of the body language of humans in technical terms. It is found in humans as well as animals.

Comparison Table Between Non-Verbal Communication and Body Language

Parameters of ComparisonNon-Verbal CommunicationBody Language
MeaningIt is more like communicating with someone through actions.Body Language is how a person controls the movement of their body.
ConnotationNon-Verbal communication refers to delivery of messages with the help of facial expressions and body postures.It is simply a feature of the former one i.e. Non-Verbal Communication.
Symbolism It is used to represent the verbal messages in a different manner with the help of expressions and gestures.Body language is all about intuition. It gives insights into a person’s attitude through the way they move their body.
Conscious /Unconscious languageIt is an unconscious language that delivers the feelings and emotions of a person.It is a conscious as well as an unconscious language that conveys about the attitude of a person.
TypesNon-Verbal Communication is of two types namely the messages that are delivered by a person’s body and the messages that are delivered by broad setting.Body language is a lot different from sign language. It is a subconscious mode of behaving. On the other hand, sign language is delivered as a total conscious act.

What is Non-Verbal Communication?

As the name suggests, it is a mode of delivery of messages and signals with the help of a non-verbal platform. Platforms like posture, gestures, clothing, distance are all parts of non-verbal communication. Another similar platform is Chronemics. It includes the way we use our time in communicating and conveying messages to others. Through various researches, it is shown that genetics and phenotypic traits are also a platform of non-verbal communication.

Non-verbal communication signifies the mode of communication with the help of posture and gesture activities. These gestures can also include eye movements, expressions by the face, and the space between two people. Eye contact and the rate of eye blinking are also a part of the same. When one talks about its origin, the study on non-verbal communication started back in 1872.

With the publication of a book by Charles Darwin named- The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, it was clear that all mammals could show expressions. People almost need 0.1 seconds to know about another person through their mode of non-verbal communication. As it requires such a short time to give some insights into someone’s attributes, non-verbal communication is nowhere less than verbal communication.

What is Body Language?

Body language is a form of non-verbal communication that prioritizes physical actions more than words. Kinesics is the interpretation of the body language of humans in technical terms. It is found in humans as well as animals. Body language is a form of non-verbal communication that prioritizes physical actions more than words. 

One shouldn’t mix body language and sign language with each other. When it comes to Sign language, they have a complicated grammar system of their own, whereas body language doesn’t require any grammar system to convey messages. For instance, expressing happiness and sorrow are parts of body language that can be conveyed by anyone. On the other hand, sign language requires the study of a new language system with its algorithm that is different from others.

Body postures like head and neck signals at times are also part of a person’s body language. The tone of voice, breathing, chest, and shoulders movement signify a person’s mood. A classic example of body language’s result is attitude. One can easily understand from someone’s body language about their attitude and nature towards others. There has been a lot of debate by researchers that whether body language is inherited or not.

Main Differences Between Non-Verbal Communication and Body Language

  1. Non-Verbal communication is more like communicating with someone through actions, whereas Body Language is how a person controls the movement of their body.
  2. Non-Verbal communication refers to the delivery of messages with the help of facial expressions and body postures. On the other hand, body language simply a feature of the former.
  3. Non-Verbal Communication represents verbal messages in a different manner with the help of expressions and gestures. Body language is all about intuition.
  4. The former is an unconscious language that delivers the feelings and emotions of a person, whereas body language is a conscious as well as an unconscious language that conveys the attitude of a person.
  5. Non-Verbal Communication is of two types, namely the messages that are delivered by a person’s body and the messages that are delivered by a broad setting. On the other hand, body language is a subconscious mode of behaving.

Conclusion

Non-Verbal Communication and Body Language are a lot different. First and foremost, body language is the feature of its former. Non-Verbal Communication more like communicating with someone through actions. Also, body language is how a person controls the movement of their body, whereas non-verbal communication is expressing feelings and emotions with the help of facial expressions and gestures.

References

  1. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=KlAPEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=non+verbal+communication&ots=XRgfPqxJD0&sig=J77tjYNIN43AAuZQEDt9aNb0poQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=non%20verbal%20communication&f=false
  2. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yqx1j8ynGfwC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Body+language&ots=UgyWGy5s9p&sig=c3ZqTAbI9mJcfLthLbYNi_HuIfo&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Body%20language&f=false
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