May 14, 2012
Dear Donnie and Melissa,
Congratulations on your recent engagement! I just wanted to let you know how honored I am that you are asking me for advice on your relationship based on the information I have learned in my Interpersonal Communication course. To start I just want to inform you that nobody is a perfect communicator all the time. But you can work to become trying a few of these tips I am about to give you. Effective communication patterns and skills are important characteristics of a good relationship. Marriage comes with many challenges, it is great that you seeking advice for effective using impersonal communication within your relationship. Effective interpersonal communications requires a process by which self-concept is developed and maintained, trying to develop strategies for active, critical, and empathic listening, recognizing how perceptions , emotions and nonverbal cues affect relationships, evaluate appropriate levels of self-disclosure in relationships and using different strategies for managing interpersonal conflicts. The process by which self-concept is developed and maintained. When it comes to entering and maintaining a successful relationship, people often times do not realize that resulting problem and conflicts in majority of case are not “between the two” but merely a reflection of their own personal issues. Self – concept will play a major role in your relationship. Your self- concept is how you see you, how you understand and what you believe to be true about you. It is powerful because it shapes your behaviors. It also shapes your life. What you believe about you, your abilities, what you deserve, and so on, determines how you respond to events, to others and to life around you- and how you treat yourself. It shapes your emotional state, thus, your ever behavior. If self-concept is the set of traits, characteristics, and judgments you use to describe yourself, what is self-image? Self –image is a broader terms that psychologist Dennis Coon (1994) defines as "the total subjective perception of oneself, including an image of one's body and impressions of one's personality, capabilities, and so on" (Sole 2011). Over time you self-image is formed and transformed overtime, through your interactions and communication with other people, as you do this you tend to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Your self-image is important because how you see yourself affects your physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Self –image can also determine the quality of your relationships because you carry that self-image into all your interpersonal relationships.
We hear all the time that “you cannot love someone if you do not love yourself”. But we rarely stop to think about why that is, or even what it really means. The psychological term for the ability to love oneself is self-esteem (Real, 2007). Together, your self-concept and self-image make up your self-esteem. Your self-esteem is how you emotionally feel about yourself as a result of what you believe about your life and experiences. A good self-image raises your self-esteem; a poor self-image will often results in poor self-esteem, lack of confidence, and insecurity (Sole 2011). Self-esteem comes from the inside out. Thinking otherwise is a delusion. In a nutshell how can all of this affect your relationship? Your beliefs affect the quality of your relationship because they activate emotions inside of you, and it is emotions, rather than logic, that literally shape your behaviors. It is your emotions that determine whether or not you take action, for example, and what kind of action you take. In a nutshell, when you think poorly of yourself, it shows. Like a bad stain in the middle of a white t-shirt, low self- esteem is hard to miss; it is off putting, and ultimately damaging to any and all relationship. Also...