Essay, Research Paper
Non-Verbal Behavior at the Bus Stop Every culture has developed its own way of communicating. Communication can takeplace either verbally or non-verbally. Some forms of non-verbal communications are handgestures, eye contact, touching, space, and time. We all communicate non-verbally every day.Most of the time we do not even realize it. For example, some Americans do not realize howuptight they are about sharing space with a stranger. If an American was to walk into an elevator,he/she would most likely stand farthest away from someone already in that elevator. However, inArabia a person walking into an elevator would stand close to the other person already in thatelevator. This example also shows how two different cultures communicate non-verbally in thesame situation. While I was waiting for the bus to come, I observed how people communicatednon-verbally amongst each other. As I was standing there I saw the many different ways in whichpeople communicate without saying a word. Eye contact was the main style of communication.People, both passing and waiting at the bus stop, would look at me. The women looking at mehad a different look towards me than had the men looking at me. The people were not onlylooking at me, but also at one another. Some looked with admiration, jealousy, humor, and someeven gave a mean look. I noticed that guys driving by would scan the bus stop area and look tosee if an atrractive girl was there. I could tell if a guy driving by found another girl attractive. Theguy would look at her straight in the eyes and smile. The girl would either look away or smileback. If the guy did not find a girl attractive, he would give her one look and quickly glance away. Hand gestures were the second major way in which people communicated non-verbally. Isaw school children waving hello and goodbye to their friends. Guys were also giving unusual
handshakes to their friends. One woman indicated a foul smell in the area by closing her nose withher fingers. A man pointed to his watch to indicate to his friend that the bus was running late. When the bus came the large crowd rushed towards the bus. People were entering the busfrom the left, right, and center. No one spoke to say that he/she was going to enter next. The waythat one knew who was going on the bus next was made clear non-verbally. There were twoways that one knew when to go. The first way was to stand aside and let the person next to youenter the bus. The second way was to push oneself towards the door and disregard anyonestanding next to you. I noticed that the bus driver did not greet everyone with a verbal greeting.He simply nodded his head forward to acknowledge t hat he saw me and that I paid the correctfare. On the bus everyone wanted to sit in a seat. There are usually two rows down the center ofthe bus and two seats in one row. If a person did not want someone to sit next to him/her, thatperson would sit on the seat closest to the aisle instead of moving down to the window seat. This preventing another person to go into the next seat. During the ride home, I observed a childshowing displeasure to what his mom said by sticking out his tongue and making a funny face ather. I saw another child showing pleasure by clapping his hands together and laughing at what hismom told him. One lady told a little boy to stop making noise by putting her index finger to herlips. These were just some of the non-verbal ways which people communicate with oneanother. There are many more ways. I think that I understood and interpreted these non-verbalmessages because it is part of my culture (American Culture). Anyone who is not American wouldhave had some difficulty understanding what was going on.