Being Aloof and the Cues

Through my existence, I have interacted with diverse individuals with varying personalities and even varying cultural backgrounds. I have come to realize that effective communication goes beyond the words we speak. It also entails nonverbal cues such as eye contact, touch, distance, and time. This will be the focus of this blogpost.


Ironically, as a nurse, I often find myself preferring to be alone. I tend to talk less and avoid eye contact, which I have learned can be emotionally draining, especially when dealing with patients. However, maintaining eye contact is crucial when communicating with patients to show empathy and understanding. Although I try to protect myself by talking carefully and avoiding eye contact, I remain vulnerable because I tend to talk too much. This is my weakness.

Eye contact is a crucial aspect of nonverbal communication. It is the act of looking directly into someone's eyes while speaking or listening to them. Eye contact can have various advantages, such as building trust, establishing a connection, and indicating attentiveness. When we maintain eye contact, we signal to the other person that we are interested in what they have to say, and we are present in the moment. This can make the other person feel validated and acknowledged, leading to better communication and understanding.

However, eye contact can also have disadvantages, especially in some cultures where prolonged eye contact may be considered rude or disrespectful. Additionally, maintaining eye contact for an extended period can be challenging for some individuals. They may find eye contact uncomfortable, leading to difficulty in building relationships or communicating effectively. It's therefore essential to understand the context of eye contact and the cultural norms surrounding it to avoid misunderstandings or causing discomfort to others. However overall, eye contact can be a powerful tool in communication, but it's crucial to use it appropriately and considerately.


Distance and touch are also vital aspects of communication. As a nurse, providing proper care requires me to be close to my patients. However, I am myself selective when it comes to touch, seeing it as an ultimate reward that should only be given unconditionally. Touch for me is a powerful gesture that can make people feel loved and valued.

Distance, on the other hand, is a crucial aspect of communication that can significantly impact the effectiveness of the message being conveyed. The appropriate distance varies depending on the relationship between the communicators and the situation at hand. For instance, in a professional setting, keeping an appropriate distance can help to maintain a sense of formality and respect. In contrast, being too close can make people feel uncomfortable and invade their personal space. However, in personal relationships, such as close friendships or romantic partnerships, being close physically can enhance emotional intimacy and help to strengthen the bond between the individuals. Thus, understanding the appropriate distance is essential for effective communication and building relationships.

Touch, like distance, is another nonverbal communication cue that can significantly impact the effectiveness of communication. Touch could convey a wide range of emotions and meanings, from comfort and affection to aggression and hostility. It can also impact the effectiveness of the message being conveyed, depending on the context and the relationship between the individuals involved. For example, a comforting touch can help to alleviate stress and anxiety and can be an essential part of providing emotional support to others. However, an inappropriate or unwanted touch can be invasive and uncomfortable, leading to negative feelings and strained relationships. Therefore, it is essential to understand the boundaries and comfort levels of those we interact with to use touch effectively in communication.


Lastly, time is a valuable resource that we have in limited supply. How we use it reveals what is essential to us. Spending time with loved ones is crucial in developing and sustaining meaningful relationships. It allows us to learn from each other, be ourselves, and create memorable experiences.

Spending time with loved ones is an essential component of building and maintaining relationships. One of the significant advantages of spending time together is that it creates opportunities for individuals to connect on a deeper level. By sharing experiences and creating memories, individuals develop a stronger bond and sense of familiarity with each other. Moreover, spending time together allows individuals to learn from each other's perspectives and develop a better understanding of each other's likes and dislikes.

On the other hand, spending too much time with someone can have its drawbacks. It can lead to feelings of suffocation or being overwhelmed, especially when an individual needs space or alone time. It can also lead to boredom and complacency in the relationship, where individuals stop making an effort to do new things or engage in activities that they enjoy. Therefore, it is essential to strike a balance between spending quality time with loved ones and giving them space to pursue their interests and individuality.

All of these non-verbal cues are crucial in maintaining relationship and communication. All of these I learned actually at work and in school. However, despite my knowledge and continued opportunity to enhance my communication skills, through being better in non-verbal cues, I still consider myself as quite aloof in general standards.

Being aloof generally means to be emotionally distant or detached from people or situations. While there may be times when being aloof is necessary, such as when dealing with a difficult or stressful situation, it can have both advantages and disadvantages.

One advantage of being aloof is that it can help you maintain a sense of emotional balance and control. When you are emotionally detached, you are less likely to be swayed by the opinions or emotions of others. This can help you make rational decisions and respond appropriately to difficult situations. Additionally, being aloof can also help protect you from emotional harm. By keeping a distance, you are less likely to get hurt by someone else's actions or words. This is something I learned instinctively through years, unfortunately.

However, being aloof can also have significant disadvantages. For example, it can make it challenging to connect with others on a meaningful level. When you keep your distance, it can be difficult to establish strong, authentic relationships with others. Additionally, being aloof can create a sense of isolation and loneliness, which can lead to negative feelings such as depression and anxiety. In some cases, being aloof can also be perceived as cold or unfriendly, which can negatively impact your relationships and reputation.

Lastly, communication is not just about what we say but also involves nonverbal cues such as eye contact, touch, distance, and time. As a nurse with varied life and work experiences, I have learned the significance of each of these elements in establishing and maintaining relationships with patients and loved ones. By being aware of these nonverbal cues, we can improve our communication skills and create stronger connections with the people around us. So, let us cherish the limited time we have and spend it with those who matter most. This is also true, for those somewhat aloof like me. 😉


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