Essay Preview: Metacommunication Case
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Metacommunication is the communication process where meaning is not expressed in words but accompanies a verbal message. It is the underlying message in what we say and do that is expressed through our actions (tone, body language etc.). When my teacher presented the idea of metacommunication to me in class on Tuesday, I interpreted it as the idea that the one can send a message to someone through the way they say something regardless if that message was spoken “verbally”. Also, these messages that one receives, through metacommunication, can influence ones understanding of a certain message whether it is interpreted in a positive or negative way.
I find this issue occurring a lot when I am having a stressful day. When there is a lot going on in my life or if I am in a bad mood and someone asks me how my day is, I sometimes respond with “fine” or “okay”. Verbally, I am expressing positive emotions, but the way I say these words with an angry tone indicates that I am actually not “fine” or “okay”. This can influence whomever I am talking to into thinking that I am not in a good mood.
Another event where metacommunication occurs is when people are dressed up. I often hear people telling others, “Oh thats cute” or “I love your outfit”, but when they say it they roll their eyes. This body gesture is indicating that they are lying about liking ones outfit. Metacommunication occurs in this situation because the person talking about someones outfit is trying to portray that they like an outfit when their body gestures are implying a different message.
Also, sometimes I ask my friends if they like the outfit that I am wearing, and they will say “Yeah its cute.” When they say it in a monotone voice it isnt reassuring that they actually like my outfit. I can tell when someone means what he or she is saying because they pronounce it with expression!
Another example of metacommunication is how my roommate never cleans the kitchen or common area, and always leaves her stuff in our common area. The hidden message that I am receiving from her actions is that she doesnt care about helping out or my personal space. My roommate is not directly telling me that she doesnt care if our house is clean or that she doesnt care if our common room is cluttered but she is sending that message to me through her