In this paper I will go through some basic steps for better communication with people ranging from significant others to co-workers. Communication is very important in everyday life; you need it continuously so it is always important to have good communication skills. It could lead you to have a long and happy relationship where you know what your spouse wants from you or how to deal with certain issues you may have. Even having good communication skills can affect the friends you get, also having a good understanding of gender roles or culture in the other persons “community” can take you a long way.
Dear Sarah and John I would like to congratulate you both on your engagement. I am pleased that you would like to have some advice on how to use interpersonal communication skills in your relationship. I just want to inform you that nobody is a perfect communicator all the time. However you can work to become a better listener by trying a few of these tips I am about to give you. Effective communication patterns and skills are important characteristics of a good relationship. (Sole, 2011) Marriage comes with many challenges; it is great that you are seeking advice for effective use of interpersonal communication within your relationship. effective interpersonal communication requires a process by which self-concept is developed and maintained, trying to develop strategies for active, critical, and empathic listening. I would like to discuss the barriers of effective interpersonal interactions and the principles and misconceptions in effective interpersonal communications.
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I believe if you follow these five important steps it will help you and your partner to communicate effectively and have a good, long lasting relationship. It will teach you how to listen to each other’s feelings and how to communicate through the arguments that happen to everybody. This will also help with expressing your emotions in a better way and to make sure you ask questions about what is bothering your partner instead of assuming it’s the worst and that they are getting upset for no good reason.
It is essential to understand the principles and misconceptions that happen in communication. This is very important to make sure that you are actually communicating and not just talking. For example asking who is picking up the kids from school or who is getting groceries isn’t actually communicating. You have to talk to each other in a deeper sense such as what are your life goals? What is your biggest fear? In my text book “Making Connections: Understanding Relationships”, it describes the use of many terms related to effective communication. In communication there is always the person giving the message, and a person getting the message and of course the message itself. The writer further emphasizes that listening is a very important part of communicating. In fact, listening is the largest part of communication, listening can be verbal or reading. Listening and providing feedback are ways we can determine that we understand what is actually being said. (Sole, 2011) There are three main barriers of communication that can cause relationships to fail or become difficult to with stand. The book, Making Connections describes these barriers as “silence, placating, and playing games.”
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Silence is the act of not responding to your partner’s efforts of communication, for whatever the reason, is withdrawal from communication for too long is never a good thing. When communication withdrawal is present it makes your partner feel unimportant, frustrated, and angry which can tend to lead to further problems. At the end of your silence, your problems are not only unresolved but they have escalated and are now more intense. According to the text book, Placating refers to a variety of strategies to calm another person or to keep from causing conflict. An example of the ways people try to placate others (Sole, 2011) given in the text book is giving in to another person’s demands, being overly nice, letting someone else have his or her way, taking the blame when things go wrong, or going overboard in being caring and cooperative. Playing games is the most common thing that happens in all relationships, between parents and children, and in the workplace as well which is known as “see what you made me do?” (Sole, 2011) A question to think about when you are upset is “Am I that upset at him or her to not give my partner the respect he or she deserves?” Even if you do not feel like you can communicate effectively due to the amount of anger or hurt you are feeling, you should communicate this to your partner.
This shows your partner that you understand there are things that need to be talked about, but you would prefer to talk about them another time. Understanding the process in which self-concept is developed and maintained will assist both of you in relating to and communicating with one another in an effective manner. This comes by the knowledge that we gain from the world, family, peers and others. Next, you will understand how perceptions, emotions, and nonverbal expressions affect interpersonal relationships. Not speaking to your partner or even showing nonverbal communication can be harmful to your marriage. What is your perception of your partner? Are you able to express your emotions effectively one to another? These are questions that should be considered and discussed with one another. Both partners must have a good self-concept of one another to maintain a healthy long-lasting relationship. You must be willing to compromise and be willing to change for the better, where the marriage is concerned. Listening is one of the most essential skills you can have in communication. How well you listen vastly effects your job performance, and the quality of your relationships with others.
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The way to become better at communication is to practice “active listening.” (Larry O. Arthur, 2010) Active and critical listening includes such behaviors as empathetic body language, posing helpful questions, and paraphrasing to ensure mutual understanding. Empathic listening helps you decode a message more accurately. To understand the emotions that they are trying to express fully, you have to understand the underlying feelings the speaker is expressing. (Leading The Y Generation To Greater Heights”) Another important aspect to have a good marriage is to be able to understand the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communications. For example, let’s say you’re soon to be spouse has different traditions or a different first language than you. You could run into problems such as with holidays. You may want to celebrate a certain holiday but your spouse may have never had that as tradition.
So if this is the case you should come to a compromise on which holidays or things of that nature will be celebrated in your home. You have to remember that this is no longer just your house where what you say goes you have to be considerate of the other person’s views, whatever they may be. Gender can also greatly affect your relationship. Either of you may have been raised in the traditional sense that the male goes to work and the female stays home with the children. Your spouse may have not been raised that way and could get very upset if you just assume that they are supposed to take on one of those roles. In today’s society it is becoming more acceptable for females to work outside of the home and make as much money as the males, and vice versa. So it would be good of you both to be mindful when it comes to the gender role as well as the culture of your significant other.
You will always have your disagreements and even the best relationships have problems. I hope you can take some helpful steps from this letter and use it as a reference guide when either of you are having issues communicating effectively with each other. Always be mindful of how your words, actions, and even how silence can affect the other person. Remember to always be a good listener even when you feel like you may be too upset. Because when you are finished listening, you may have a better understanding of the problem or even a different perspective on the situation.
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Retrieved October 2012, from http://web.ncifcrf.gov/campus/outreach/admin/Documents/Spring%202010%20training%20catalog.pdf Leading The Y Generation To Greater Heights”. (n.d.).
Retrieved October 2012, from http://www.teo-education.com/teo/?cat=43?&lang=en_us&output=json&session-id=cd2a7617efb8d7a5a8a12ccfb145b9e1 Sole, K. (2011).
Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication: . San Diego, CA : Bridgepoint Education, Inc.