Types of Messages in Communication
Messages often go beyond mere semantics. In a single message, we let on more information than we are aware of. This information includes details about ourselves, the receiver of the message, and the relationship between us. We also show how much the receiver means to us and the extent of familiarity between us.
What are the 3 types of messages in communication?
Understanding the deeper meaning of messages lies in discussing the three types of messages – primary, secondary, and auxiliary (1).
- Primary message
We have a lot of control over how we pass our primary message. A primary message is intentional and can be verbal or non-verbal. The words we choose to say and the ways we say them constitute our primary message.
For example, you may say, “give me the book” to a friend. This is your primary message. It’s short, direct, and simple enough for easy understanding.
- Secondary message
Here, we have little control. A secondary message is unintentional and can be verbal or non-verbal. Others around may make negative or positive deductions from your intentional message. This can be based on one’s dressing, physical qualities, age, gender, or race.
After you say, “give me the book,” your friend may get a message from an inscription on your tee-shirt referring to your alma mater.
- Auxiliary message
Here, we are referring to the intentional and unintentional ways we choose to communicate the primary message. For example, our posture, gestures, and speed while passing our message can influence how the receiver interprets it.
After saying, “give me the book,” do you turn over to your friend and stretch your hands towards them? Do you keep reading the one in your hands? Do you get up and walk over to pick up the book yourself? Your auxiliary message here could be, “I need that book right now!”. It could also be, “I don’t need it urgently but I want to have it with me.”
Check the following reference articles to learn more about the types of messages in communication
1. Ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub. 2020. Messages. (URL)
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