June 25, 2012
Letter of Advice
Dear Tim and Susan, the following context is not meant to be degrading or seem hurtful however, naturally I understand that we as humans sometimes do not want to hear criticism or be scrutinized over anything especially our relationship with our spouse. Having almost completed a class on interpersonal communication, so many ideas have been introduced to my mind and have offered new intelligent information about how and why people act the way they do in a relationship. I understand you are newly married and would like some advice for your new relationship and I hope some of this if not all of it will help guide your marriage and make it a long and happy one. The main idea I will discuss is interpersonal communication and your interaction with each other. “The fact that we have been communicating all of our lives does not mean that we do it well.” (Sole, K, 2011, Chapter 1.1) Being able to educate yourselves on this topic will enable you to understand when there is an issue at hand and have a positive solution for it.
There are five issues that jumped out at me pertaining to interpersonal communication which vary from identifying barriers to effective interpersonal interaction, developing strategies for active, critical, and empathetic listening, to understanding the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communication, evaluating appropriate levels of self-disclosure in relationships, and recognizing how words have the power to create and affect attitudes, behavior, and perception. The key to a healthy, interactive, and interpersonal relationship is communication. The cornerstone of your relationship will be your communication and if it is strong it will last forever but if it’s weak, overtime it will begin to degrade and slowly fall apart possibly ruining your marriage.
The first suggestion I have for the both of you is to learn how to identify the barriers to effective interpersonal interaction. Being able to recognize these barriers is the first step in improving your communication process. You both may have already learned somewhat how to communicate with each other but there are those times that it seems you are talking to a wall or your message is not being received the way you want it to be. Some things to be aware of is first, do you as the message sender have enough knowledge of the subject to relay an appropriate message? If you aren’t giving enough information then your partner may be getting an unclear message. Be aware of your partner’s intelligence level also because using words they do not understand is wasting your time and theirs. Try to relay your message with simple easy to understand terms because if your partner can’t understand you it could start an argument.
Another barrier you may encounter is your partner shutting down completely and not listening at all. This might be because you are feeding them too much information at one time and it may be too much to handle. For example Tim, say hunting season is coming up and you would like a new gun. Don’t try to tell Susan every aspect and feature of the gun like the make and model, the weight, what kind of scope it has, how much ammunition is takes or what color it is. Just pick a couple of the most important features she may want to know like the cost of the gun and how you will be able to pay for it. If you tell her too much about it she will tune out and you will be talking to a wall because we both know she does not like hunting or anything associated with it like the weapons we use. Susan, one example for you could be that you are going grocery shopping. Don’t tell Tim that you are going grocery shopping and inform him of every item you are picking up, just let him know things like how much you plan to spend and also that you are buying his favorite snack.
Now another variable that you need to take...