The art of subtle communication… an informal type of communication, can be on multiple levels and multifaceted in its application. Communicating effectively requires a working knowledge of several techniques… proxemics, Kinesics, and Haptics.
Proxemics: proxemics relates to how people unconsciously use and perceive the space around them. Space can be subdivided into public, social, personal, and intimate. The size of these spaces can vary depending on one’s culture, and specific social situation. The use of space maintained between people, can influence the way messages are interpreted.
The observation of people and how they use proxemics in certain situations, can convey the general nature of their relationships to others. For instance, two people in very close proximity to each other, could be indicative of romantic involvement. Two people keeping a lot of distance between, could indicate unease or distrust.
Kinesics: A form of communication through the use of body language. This can be accomplished through the use of gestures, body movement, posture, facial expressions, and eye contact.
Flushing of the skin, crossing one’s arms, and certain types of eye contact are examples.
Haptics: Relating to the use of touch to communicate. Touch can convey sympathy, fear, love, etc.
Understanding how to interpret proxemics, Kinesics, and Haptics… we can more accurately gage what someone is subtly telling us. Depending upon that person’s response, we can tailor the tone of our non-verbal cues to encourage, persuade, reject, or even change the other’s opinions and actions. Specific delivery of these three major components of communication is essential in successfully relating to others.
There are many sub-categories relating to the proxemics, Kinesics, and Haptics, if you’re so inclined to learn more about the subject matter.