Benjamin M. Phelps
Mrs. Joyce Walther
October 4, 2010
Communication in Interpersonal Relationships
Today many people still lack the ability to communicate effectively with in interpersonal relationships. It is through cooperation and collaboration that effective communication occurs. By analyzing and studying the communication process we can improve our ability to communicate effectively between one another. To have a successful interpersonal relationship one must first interact with others, which is called interpersonal communication (Hybels & Weaver, 2007). Recognizing emotions in other is a very important first step to building a relationship. If you can’t feel what someone else is feeling then you can’t connect with them on a personal level and that can hinder your relationship process. Interpersonal communication is important because of the functions it achieves. Whenever we engage in communication with another person, we seek to gain information about them. We also give off information through a wide variety of verbal and non-verbal cues. Verbal communication has huge effects on many aspects of life, including interpersonal relationships. Speaking and telling our needs and wants verbally or non-verbally is a necessity for daily life. Verbal communication is organized by language; non-verbal communication is not. Most of us spend about 75 percent of our waking hours communicating our knowledge, thoughts, and ideas to others (Allis, 2002). However, most of us fail to realize that a great deal of our communication is of a non-verbal form as opposed to the oral and written forms. Non-verbal communication includes facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, body posture and motions, and positioning within groups. It may also include the way we wear our clothes or the silence we keep. In person-to-person communications our messages are sent on two levels simultaneously. If the nonverbal cues and the spoken message are incongruous, the flow of communication is hindered. Right or wrong, the receiver of the communication tends to base the intentions of the sender on the non- verbal cues one receives. Before a person makes an attempt to form an interpersonal relationship they must decide what attracts them to that person. There are many factors that make up attraction to others. Physical attraction, perceived gain, similarities, differences, and proximity are some of them (Hybels, 2007). Most people are first attracted to others because of the way they look. Some people might have distinct characteristics that one might be attracted to such as; blues eyes, short hair, or even a small space between their teeth. If a person is not attracted to your appearance they are not likely to come up and carry on a conversation with you. For example, if an individual, who dislikes tattoos, is taking a class and has to choose a partner for a project, but there are only two people left and one of them has tattoos he or she will mostly likely choose the individual without tattoos ,even if the person with tattoos is a very intelligent individual. There are many cases where we are attracted to someone because of the perceived gain associated them for example, one might become friends with an employee at a restaurant in hope of having discounted meal when they eat there. The similarities and differences are a major factor in determining if the relationship will be right for you. Often we find ourselves attracted to people that share the same beliefs, values, and religion. Most people are also attracted to people who enjoy the same activities as they do. Contrary to the similarities people may also be attracted to the differences. For example, person who doesn’t like making decisions might be attracted to a strong decision maker. Because these characteristics complement each other, they might help strengthen the relationship (Hybels, 2007). Proximity is a...