Nonverbal Communication and Culture

Nonverbal Communication and Culture

Sinaretta T. Schwenke

Argosy University

COM450: Communication Gender & Culture

Module 2, Assignment 2

Maureen Duffy

February 23, 2016

Mexico vs. Samoa Culture

The two cultures that I have select to base my research upon is Mexico and Samoa. I chose this two cultures because both cultures are almost similar but they have their own differences and that includes some of the non- verbal communication interpretation.

I served in Missouri and Illinois as a full- time missionary and most of my time there I have interacted with Spanish people and I have learned so much from them. Not just the language but also things that I can’t do and things I can do while among them or having a normal conversation with them especially when I am in their home invited over for a meal.

Mexico vs. Samoa: Contrast

Growing up, I was always taught that you have to look someone in the eye when they are talking or when I am talking because it sends a sign that I am listening and that I care about what they are saying. When I was in America, I did that with the Mexicans people I served there and we got asked to leave the house. At first, I thought they didn’t accept our message as missionaries but later found out that they were offended because I keep looking in their eye when they are speaking or when I am talking. I had to explain that I am from a different culture and that to look in someone’s eye means that I care about our conversation and that I am listening. They had to explain to me that I was being rude and they felt offended because they felt that I was judging them and the things they were saying to us. That we didn’t trust them and that I we were just being rude. So my companion and I had to apologize for not being able to understand but we later on were able to adjust to that well. So every time we come across a Mexican we would smile and have a normal conversation but would never look straight into their eye.

Mexico vs. Samoa: Comparison

Despite these two cultures many differences there are also things that makes them similar. For example, in other countries it is okay to say the word stupid but in Mexico and Samoa it is not a good word. Saying that word even in a form of joke to anyone is offensive and rude. It means that you don’t like that person but then in both cultures, everyone is trying and no one is perfect therefore, it is not okay to use such offensive word.

Living in daily life

I know in the future I do plan to move off- island and live there with my own family and I know in America there are lots of mix of cultures but mostly are Mexicans or Spanish speakers. Therefore, I think knowing these differences and similarities is very important for me because I will get to know my friends and understand them. Also I will be able to respect their culture because I would want the same thing from them that they would respect my culture and my traditions.

I will be more careful using my nonverbal communication and be aware with what my nonverbal signs send others. I think being mindful of things I do is also a sign that I care about myself and others around me. Most times I enjoy being around others so I should pay more attention to my facial and hand signals. It also sends a message about the type of person I am without trying to explain myself.


Adler, Ilya. (1 January 2006). Let’s get physical: Nonverbal language in the Mexican business world. Retrieved from

Spanish Programs. (2016). Spanish Culture and Nonverbal Communication. Retrieved from