Alisha M. Abate
September 25, 2011
6510 Bisby Lake Ave.
San Diego CA, 92119
708 11th. St. N.
Fargo ND, 58102
Dear Mrs. Jane,
I am responding to your request for guidance in communicating with your fiancé Erik. I believe that there are five areas of communication that will help you and Erik communicate more efficiently, and they are: understanding the principles of interpersonal communication, developing active listening skills, understanding how emotions and nonverbal expression affect interpersonal relationships, understanding how gender and culture effect communication, and learning appropriate levels of self-disclosure. We will discuss how important it is to learn how and why we communicate with each other and the different ways you maybe communicating without even knowing it.
Principles of Communication
In order for you and Erik to communicate efficiently you must understand the principles of communication. When the two of you are having a discussion remember to always be respect each other, if you and Erik focus on the faults of each other’s arguments you two will have trouble coming to a sound conclusion. This next one is difficult to practice especially in heated arguments, but we must remember to restrain ourselves falling into the habit of interrupting the other person when they are speaking. In the article Principles of Effective Interpersonal Communication Author Alan Sharland states “By not interrupting others and focusing our attention on what they say, we become listened to ourselves a lot more!”.
When you and Erik are having a rather heated discussion remember to use “I”, this will allow Erik to see that you are not making assumption you are speaking on his behalf (Sharlands, A. 2011). This will help you show Erik how you feel and your perspective on a topic. Here’s an example, “You always leave your shoes in the middle of the hallway even though you know it bothers me.” One this statement is providing false statement that EVERY single day Erik leaves his shoes in the hallway, secondly an assumption has been made that Erik does this intentionally just to upset you. A better way to phrase this would be “I know we have discussed this before, but I would really appreciate if you would put your shoes in the closet when you get home.” This way you are only speaking for yourself, and you eliminate the hostility that comes with the blame game.
Effectively communicating with your spouse may be difficult at times, why? Because each of you is having a difficult time listening to what the other is saying. This can be easily fixed as long as you are aware of why you are having a difficult time listening to your partner. Here are some of the most common mistakes made by listener being pre-occupied and not giving the speaker our full attention, not asking for clarification when you do not fully understand what the speaker has said, and making judgments about the speaker based off of what he or she has said (Nadig 2010).
In the 2011 article “Tips on Effective Listening” by Larry Nadig, he states that there are three different listening modes: * Competitive or Combative Listening
* Passive or Attentive Listening
* Active or Reflective Listening
Competitive and Combative listening occurs when we focus on our point of views and try to persuade the other partner to accept our beliefs. This technique is used to scout out and opening in the conversation or to find faults in the other person’s argument. When communicating with your spouse it is important to recognize the signs of Competitive and Combative listening, so that you can redirect the conversation in to a more positive atmosphere where both parties feel confident that their message was received. Passive or Attentive listening can be just as detrimental to a conversation as Competitive and Combative Listening. The reason why is...