What do you do when you meet a friend you haven’t seen in years? Quickly run to them and give them a hug! But this is not how you treat a person you meet for the first time as this is restricted to merely a handshake or a wave. This is where proxemics comes in. This article aims to make you understand the importance of proxemics in communication, how is proxemics used in nonverbal communication, and the importance of Kinesics in communication.
1. How do You use Proxemics in a Sentence?
Have you ever thought about why you go straight into a hug with a friend of yours, a handshake with your boss or colleague, or just a hi for a person your friend just introduced to? These are all examples of proxemics that you subconsciously perform. Proxemics is considered a branch of knowledge that deals with the amount of space that people feel necessary to set between themselves and others in specific situations. In short, this is the study of how people subconsciously structure the space around them.
An example of how proxemics is used in a sentence is- Brian has always been a difficult person to open up to but now he finds it easy to talk and has a grip on his body language.
Now, using the word proxemics we can construct a sentence which is: Based on Brian’s research on proxemics, we can conclude why some people form a close-knit group. (See What is personal space in body language?)
2. Which is an Example of Proxemics?Photo by Erika Giraud on Unsplash
As discussed above, proxemics is a part of the non-verbal form of communication that relates to people and the distance they maintain from others. If you trust and like a person and are a person who likes physical touch, then it would be natural for you to hug the person or walk close to them.
On the other hand, if you are meeting someone for the first time or in a formal setting, you might keep enough distance from them. Both of these are examples of proxemics and changes according to individuals and their environment. This, to a great extent, is a way people express themselves, for instance, if you like a subject in school and the teacher then there are chances that you will stay in the front seat and be alert by keeping your spine straight and ears open. (See Is Smile a Physical Attribute?)
3. What is the Study of Proxemics?
The study of proxemics is about how people unconsciously and subconsciously structure the space around them. It is about the way the person is and their environment plays a huge factor. This is also how people from various cultures and ethnicities all utilize their time, space, and body position including other factors for the purpose of communicating with others.
It is said that everyone has a body bubble within which only the most trusted and loved ones can come apart from the times such as there being a crowd. For instance, a wife or girlfriend can stand in their significant other’s bubble but would be unhappy if someone invades this sphere of privacy. (See Physical barriers to communication are?)
4. What do You mean by Proxemics in Communication?Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels
There is the importance of proxemics in communication as the study of space and distance to a great extent has an influence on communication as well. This is a type of non-verbal communication that can encourage or discourage communication depending on how they put forward their body language and the norms of society.
Like if you see a person standing aloof and with their arms folded in a social setting you might assume that they do not want to talk and not go to them whereas if you see a person looking around surprised and trying to mix with the crowd, it gives an assumption that the person wants to mingle. So space and distance do have a lot of impact on people and how they are perceived. (See Which is an Internal Influence on Physical Activity?)
5. How is Proxemics used in Nonverbal Communication?
Let us look into how is proxemics used in nonverbal communication. It is always said that one has become distant if there is no communication. This shows how important of a factor distance is. There are different proxemic distances that happen as a part of non-verbal communication. First comes the intimate space where we draw an invisible line of 1.5 feet from our body and entry to this space is reserved only for family, partners, and close friends.
Personal space is the zone that is given to friends and close acquaintances to enter and is called our personal space bubble. Social space is the distance we maintain in a formal setting or while having casual interactions. Lastly comes the public space which is kept during formal speeches or between the audience and high-profile people. (See What are some persuasive communication examples?)
6. What is Importance of Proxemics in Communication?
Proxemics as discussed earlier is the study of the use of space in human interactions. Space plays a huge part in the importance of proxemics in communication or more specifically, non-verbal modes of communication, and if observant enough, you can understand the way people express their body language using space. This is important because one can communicate things like- likes and dislikes, comfort, and discomfort as per the movements such as getting closer if comfortable and moving farther away if uncomfortable.
This also changes largely according to different cultures. Chinese people for instance are known to have less boundary space as compared to others and they tend to move much closer while talking to you and they find it comfortable even if you stand close and it takes a long before they feel uncomfortable or so. (See Cross cultural communication barrier examples)
7. What is the Importance of Knowing about Proxemics in Space Planning?
Besides researching all about the importance of proxemics in communication, note that proxemics is used a lot in space planning. The study of proxemics is about how people unconsciously and subconsciously structure the space around them and this is also very important in space planning. Space planning is known to be the process of analyzing how space will be used in structures and rooms. Interior designing is an example where space planning is used and is an important factor. Check out the Outhouse Design.
Once you know about proxemics, it becomes easy for you to take into consideration what will go where. For instance, if a room has to be organized for two students then it has to be done in a manner that both of them have access to things and it is not difficult to have their personal space. So, there are generally two beds, two desks for them to work on, and two cupboards so that even in a small space both have their individual space and time.
8. What is the Importance of Proxemics in Teaching?Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
There is the importance of proxemics in communication and teaching is a spectrum where communication is key. You might have seen that desks or tables are all directed to the side where there is a black or whiteboard and this is where the lecturer or professor stands so that they are visible to everyone and vice versa. This helps in increasing comprehension and expression, holding the attention of the listener, and being successful in the communication process.
In short, this is how teachers and students use the classroom space and also the impact it has on learning. The distance that the teachers and students maintain impacts the influence that they have on communication and the same works for the communication between students as per their seating arrangements. (See What is Narcissistic Rage Silent Treatment?)
9. What is the Importance of Kinesics in Communication?
Let us start with the meaning of kinesics and the importance of Kinesics in communication. Kinesics is known for the study of the way in which specific body movements and gestures are regarded as a form of non-verbal mode of communication. This is the study of hands, body, and face movements which includes expressing emotions such as laughing and crying as well. Kinesics is the method that helps in understanding effective communication as it makes the interactive quality better. Even in places where verbal communication such as talking or exchanging sentences may not take place, kinesics comes into play.
Talking about the importance of proxemics in communication, as an example, you can think of the non-verbal communication that takes place in an exam hall. Without speaking and only using gestures, there have been exchanges of answers such as by showing up the answers on your fingers or through the eyes and body postures. (See Morse code uses in communication)
10. How would You use Poxemics to your Advantage in a Professional Presentation?Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash
Proxemics is a part of the non-verbal form of communication that relates to people and the way distance they maintain from others around them. Social space is the distance we maintain in a formal setting or while having casual interactions and giving presentations comes under this type. Once you know about the importance of proxemics in communication it becomes easy and much more effective to communicate with others.
In a professional presentation, it becomes an advantage for you if you know about proxemics as you can calculate the distance that you need to maintain while giving the presentations and the physical touches such as handshakes that need to be given at appropriate times. Here in the presentation, the pitch of your voice plays an important role. Modulate your voice according to the need and stress important aspects.
Hope this helped you understand a bit about the study of proxemics and the importance of proxemics in communication while answering certain questions along these lines. Must read How to make Voice Sound Better?