Interpersonal Communication

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Ethan and Michelle
Angela Fox
COM 200 Interpersonal CommunicationInstructor: Patricia Anderson July 4, 2011

July 4, 2011
Dear Ethan and Michelle,
Congratulations on your new engagement. As you both know I am currently taking a course focusing on interpersonal communication. Throughout this course I have learned multiple things regarding interpersonal communication; especially communication within relationships. An interpersonal relationship consists of people who are codependent yet their actions affect the other person. Interpersonal communication is a vital step with interpersonal relationships. “The parties in an interpersonal relationship have consistent patterns of interaction and communication” (Sole, 2011). Interpersonal relationships require you to let your partner feel connected to you, let them know how you feel and let them know what you need from the relationship. The simple way to accomplish all of those things is through interpersonal communication and by following certain barriers that go along with it such as: listening, sharing, empathizing, and observing. Effective communication is the key to making any relationship healthy and helps ensure it will last.

Ironically, one of the major steps in ensuring one can effectively communicate with their mate is by evaluating themselves and their emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is defined as the capability to understand, communicate and manage feelings and emotions. (Sole, 2011). EI also refers to the aptitude to comprehend and respond to other’s feelings and emotions. “Building emotional intelligence skills boosts people skills and enriches relationships” (Stephenson, 2008). Emotional intelligence can reflect how emotionally healthy one is. When there is a higher EI, people are able to be comfortable with their own feelings in turn can easily understanding the feelings and emotions of others. “It also enables you to handle life's emotional setbacks in a healthy manner instead of taking out your feelings on others” (Segal, 1997, Sole, 2011). “Relationships are - not surprisingly - enormously important for health, and there are lots of studies on the biological processes that account for the link between relationships and health” (Johnson, 2011). "Aristotle spoke of the rare ability “to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way” (Logan, 1996). Emotional intelligence has three components: the ability to effectively perceive, communicate, and manage negative emotions; the ability to experience, communicate, and sustain positive emotions; and the ability to retain perspective during difficult times and to recover following stressful events (Zautra, 2003, Sole, 2011). Each component affects how we view ourselves. The way we view our self affects our interpersonal relationships. If we do not enjoy our self, it makes it very difficult to enjoy others and effectively interpersonally communicate with them. Research has shown that individual personalities effect how positive or negative one is. When referring to emotional intelligence, two of the main components relate to positive and negative emotions and how each individual addresses those actions. By letting go of negative thoughts, emotional intelligences are grown and benefits not only the individual but also their mate in terms of effective interpersonal communication. "Emotional intelligence involves making good judgments about when to deal with emotions and when to put them on hold" (Sole, 2011).

Another step that is essential to ensuring a good foundation for effective interpersonal communication is knowing and understanding the appropriate levels of self-disclosure within the relationship. Self-disclosure is defined as sharing personal things with others however, “self-disclosure is not simply providing information to another person. Instead, scholars define self-disclosure as sharing...
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