This week I decided to spend my 30 minutes observing people while I was in Subway. I saw many different kinds of communication happening while I was eating my sandwich, and it was interesting to actually pay close attention to that. I never realized the depth of communication and how powerful non-verbals are.
The most interesting things I noticed was between the employees. Without speaking a word, they’re able to work around each other in such a small space and not get in each other’s way. I saw one of the workers hand the other a cutting knife before she even asked. It was interesting because they were both so aware of each other but could still do their own individual jobs.
Another type of communication I noticed was between customers. I noticed an older man and woman who were talking to each other, they looked into each other’s eye when they spoke, and smiled a lot. On the flip side, I also observed a younger girl and boy who both seemed nervous around each other. They looked down at their feet a lot, didn’t look at each other when talking, and filled their quite times by pulling out their phone. I’m not sure whether the difference is age, technology, or just personality, but it was clear to me that the older couple felt much more comfortable being together.
Lastly, as I was walking out to get back into my car, I had to stop because as car was also pulling out. The driver gave a slight wave and I quickly sent back a smile and raised my hand as well. This interaction seems to happen to me all the time but I had never thought about how it is a non-verbal conversation. Those small hand gestures really say “I see you, go ahead!” and then, “thank you!”.