Nonverbal versus Verbal Communication: A False Dichotomy?
Imagine this scenario: It's dark in Cebu City, 7:45pm. On Mango Avenue sits a well-lit bookstore. On the shop front, a sign reads 10am-8pm.
Two potential customers arrive at the front door. They are obviously not locals, and perhaps are not aware of the norms of the store. They try to enter the main door but find it locked.
Inside the shop, a store security man stands at attention as a cashier rings up a final customer. Outside, the two would-be customers stand in surprise when they note that the door has already been locked nearly 15 minutes before the end of the opening hours stated in the language of the sign.
One of these potential shoppers becomes angry. Without a word, he waves at the security guard, points at the shop sign, grimaces, then tugs at the door handle. The guard looks on but doesn't move. The would be customer throws up his hands in frustration, looks directly at the guard and points yet again at the sign, and when he receives no response other than an indifferent look from the guard, he turns and walks away.
What has just happened in this mainly nonverbal exchange? Why is there a problem?