The way this assignment began was actually very convenient for me because it wasn't like it was planned. My cousin and I were talking and I remembered about this assignment and interrupted our conversation to inform her on my assignment. I told her to continue the conversation we were having but that I was not allowed to speak. I think this kind of took away awkwardness from the assignment because she wasn't going to come up with a random conversation and be confused herself. We then set up a timer and continued our conversation. Starting the assignment was pretty difficult because my cousin felt awkward and couldn't really conversate with me because I wasn't responding verbally. We ended up laughing a lot in the beginning but after constantly restarting, we got serious and really tried. After a while, we got the hang of it; sort of. At first I found it difficult because I'm a talker and I'm usually the one doing most of the talking but I also do use a lot of hand movements and incorporate my body language, and my cousin knows me very well so she was able to keep up with that.
My cousin was in control of the conversation and also was the one to initiate the conversation. She had trouble with this because she didn't know what else to talk about, she kept looking for question topics; a "conversation" where I would be able to nod yes or no. She was the one to ask and I answered questions; the best way I could. I'm also very big on facial expressions and she would just burst laughing because she didn't know what I was trying to say. Unfortunately I was only able to complete this assignment with just her, so I wonder if I had the chance to work with others, if my outcome would be different. I think if I had this conversation with more than just one person, I would definitely be excluded. I say this because I have seen this personally, where there is a group of people and one person tends to be the quieter one and they really don't get included.
If I did work with more than two people, and the three of us had different cultures, I think their culture would have more power over mine because I lack the ability to corporate my message. The attitudes the speaking culture would have toward the non-speaking would most likely be negative. I say this because of my own culture, who really knows how other cultures are. My cousin couldn't even take me serious and for a moment I thought I wasn't going to be able to successfully complete this assignment. So to be able to not conversate with a community at all, I can only imagine the negative attitude one would receive.
This was definitely, hands down the most difficult task for me. Like I mentioned in part 1, I am huge in hand gestures and facial expressions. This section, I was not able to do; I don't even remember how many times we had to stop and restart. As we started, I began cracking up. I am always smiling and laughing, and my cousin could not take me being serious seriously. Me being serious would make my cousin burst out laughing. After about 3/4 minutes of actually doing this part correctly, my cousin mentioned that she was bored and didn't want to do it. It was difficult for her to understand what I was feeling or how I felt about the conversation topic. She didn't know whether to stick to the conversation topic or move on to a new one.
By completing this experiment, I realized that the use of our 'signs' in our language is a very big factor and important in our communication. "Signs can serve as a supportive language and can be read better than verbal language by some people. A big portion of our communication is incorporated from our body language, facial expressions, and tone. You are easily able to pick up their vibe, mood, and attitude all by just their non-speech communication. I think for this part of the assignment, the saying "actions speak louder than words" correctly fits this question.
With this experiment, I realized that vocalized words were not enough to effectively communicate. The ability to read body language can actually help a person survive. For example, you can have a situation where someone has been kidnapped. The kidnapper can have you driving and holding a gun to your lower body without anyone seeing. Your facial expressions can show distress, fright, etc, which can result to people questioning and maybe even helping you.
There are definitely people who have difficult reading body language. I have worked with kids, and most kids tend to fail reading body language. A situation where there might be a benefit to not reading someone's body language would be an emergency. There have been emergencies at my previous job when I worked with kids, and I had to keep my cool and continue certain routines to get the kids to safety without looking panic and worried. If they were able to read body language, I'm sure they would question what was happening and create a worse situation.