Nonverbal Behavioral Norms

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Good behavioral attributes are part of ones activities because of the necessity to coordinate or work as a team to ensure success. Additionally, human beings are considered sociable and efficient communication increases understanding between people and their ability to interact. One of the most common types of communication is nonverbal. Individuals must understand the standard the nonverbal norms and use them during communication to avoid being misjudged or misunderstood. Violating some non-verbal behavioral norms such as staring directly at an individual while in an elevator or avoiding eye contact may make the other party perceive the actor in a different way. A repeated occurrence of such behavior can even lead to the breakup of friendships because it is considered unethical. The paper will be based on an analysis of the impacts of violating the two norms separately based on Codys disengagement and Duck's relational dissolution model.

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Avoiding Eye Contact

Eye contact is one of the key elements of face-to-face communication as it acts as a sign of listening and being committed to the conversation. When I decided to violate this nonverbal behavioral norm, I felt that there was no essence of continuing with the discussion. We had discussed issues affecting our education and at the crucial point when we had to brainstorm on the way forward, I decided to avoid eye contact. Immediately, I started thinking about other things. I noted that my friend was disappointed in my behavior and as a result, he informed me that it was necessary to break the conversation because we were only together physically and not mentally as expected. That marked the first time for me to come to a disagreement with my five-year friend. He reacted bitterly by informing me that the conversation was so important than what I was thinking about. According to him, he believed that I was thinking about how to get home and be engaged in other activities that valued most than the conversation.

By applying Cody's disengagement in characterizing behavioral patterns, it is clear that once an individual has or seems to have lost communication, relational deterioration starts immediately. During relational deterioration, the initial steps are withdrawal from the conversation as it happened in my situation and then self-disclosure decline because of violating the eye contact norm. As a result, my friend became convinced that I was no longer concentrating on the conversation but in the real sense, I was. Breaking this norm sent a negative message to my friend that resulted in the breakup. Therefore, as identified by Cody, it is necessary for the parties to a conversation to obey the behavioral norms.

According to the relational dissolution model by duck, relationships are broken because of a continued breakup of a particular norm. As explained in this case that involved avoiding eye contact during face-to-face conversation, the relationship with my friend was at risk of a breakup. When we met on a different occasion, I realized that he was still frustrated with me. If I could behave the same again, it is clear that he had no option apart from walking away. The nonverbal behavioral norm exists not only to show interest in a conversation but also to ensure that the participants engage their minds. Even if I behaved so as a class work activity, I did realize that my levels of concentration had reduced significantly.

Staring at Somebody in an Elevator

Breaking this nonverbal behavioral norm had a lot of challenges than I had expected. In the first place, I had not done this before, and I felt uncomfortable because it is against my norms. While in the elevator with a young lady, I decided to violate the nonverbal behavior. The lady was scared, and I guess that that as her first experience. While in the elevator, my behavior had signaled that may be I was disappointed with her, and she was left worried. By the application of Cody's disengagement model, it is clear that I could not even engage in a free conversation with her. Before we even started conversing, she had already withdrawn a sigh of dissatisfaction and disappointment with my behavior. The only strategy I was left with is using a polite and positive tone to start a conversation and break tension. Even if the incident took less than two minutes, its impact was apparent.

Dock explains that disengagement in a relationship is facilitated by a recurrence of breaking the behavioral norms. Such behavior is usually compounded or sequential. This means that once we meet again in the elevator, the lady will not be comfortable even if I will not repeat my behavior. However, a repeat will act as a catalyst for a tempestuous relationship with her. From the experience, it is now clear to me that the norm is significant in the society. It acts as a strategy of curbing tension, increasing confidence, and making social relationships lively.

In conclusion, breaking up of relationships is not a single event, but a process. However, if one breaks a certain behavioral norm before knowing each other, it becomes difficult to correct the mistake. Member of the society must understand the behavioral standards and apply them in their daily life as this is the best strategy for ensuring healthy relationships.

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