Interpersonal Communications

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Anne Bas
Personal Coaching
11-04-2012

Interpersonal Communications

When people communicate they are sharing information with eachother. This information can be things like facts like the time or the weather. Another way of communicating is like giving eachother something; like passing the salt, or signing which way it is to get to the train station. These are all simple ways of communicating. We do this all day. Another thing we do all day which some people might not be aware of is interpersonally comunicating. Interpersonal communication is actually sharing feelings. When two people are talking they can look at eachother and letting the other know that they are feeling in a certain way. So how is this done?

One way of letting a person know that you’re feeling sad might not even be on purpose. This could be by frowning. The interpersonal communication process is as follows. One person displays his face, the person in front of him detects it and then defines it for himself. This way without words, but with body language, they are interpersonally communicating.

So what are the main functions of interpersonal communication? (Tim Borchers) There are four main functions. These are;

* Gaining information
People gain information by observing. This is done by “Self disclosure”. This way we can predict how people feel or how they think and act when we get to know them. This is information easily gained from things like facial expressions.

* Building a context of understanding
Interpersonal communication is also a way of helping to understad what a person really means when they are talking to you, because we sometimes know from a persons body language what they are really saying. An example of this is sarcasm. Sarcasm is saying one thing and meaning the other like my mum would say; “Anne, your room is so tidy! I’ve never seen it this tidy!” when she really means to say that she has never seen it in such a state! This way i know that she would prefer it if i went up to clean it, because that is the message she would like to give. Another example of letting me know that i would have to clean my room is by over exaggerating. This is something that should not be done by texting eachother because one would really need to be able to see the body language or hear the tone of her voice. “Anne, it seems that there has been a robbery in our house!”

* Establishing identity
Once people realise what people are like by how they present themselves or act, they can also build their own identity. Of course people do not always buil dan identity because you are who you are, but sometimes one can adjust his presentation. Once one has discovered of what he is capable of simply by presenting himself in a certain way, they can look at how they can adjust that. An example, a person who applies for a job, would be hired quicker if he also seemed confident and happy than if he looked like he is depressed or unconfortable.

- Interpersonal needs
People cannot live like robots without feelings. There are three needs (Robert Schutz), which are tob e expressed and received; these are Inclusion, Control and Affection. * Inclusion is the need to build identities, and get other people to notice you. * Control is a need to be able to navigate the relationships. It could also be seen as leadership, where people controll a group or a significant other. Some people would however, rather be controlled by someone because they are insecure about their own decisions. * Affection is the need to build relationships. Making friends or finding a soul mate are all relationships which are based on interpersonal communication.

There are various theories based on interpersonal communication. The following theories are the theories which are widely recognised; “Uncertainty reduction theory” (Berger), “Social exchange theory” (George C. Homans), “Symbolic interaction”( Mead, G. H. 1934), “Relational dialectics...
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