Letter of Advice

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Letter of Advice
COM200: Interpersonal Communication
Instructor Sara Marcus
January 9, 2012

Dear William and Linda,
Let me start by saying congratulations on your recent nuptials. The two of you are off to an excellent start in wanting advice on how to efficaciously communicate with one another. In taking an interpersonal communication class, I have learned several concepts that I would like to share with you throughout this letter.

Communication is important in developing and maintaining a relationship. A healthy communication style is vital to longer lasting relationships. The article “Can We Talk” is about the role of communication in a marriage. Nara Schoenberg gave great insight to giving advice to many that are able to read it that are in a marriage. This article highlighted how with good communication skills a marriage will be able to sustain itself for a lifetime. The results of good effective communication habits will build a strong and long lasting relationship. In reading this article Schoenberg says that communication means that you're sharing and really getting to know one another and happy marriages exhibits "self-disclosure," or sharing your private feelings, fears, doubts and perceptions with your partner. These statements are what make this article so relatable to its readers.

We communicate in different ways but finding a compatible form of communication is key to any relationship. Being able to communicate clearly and effective requires a certain level of confidence. The text book Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communications explains that the basic principle of interpersonal communication deals with concept of “who are you”. Feeling sure and comfortable of your communicating skills will ensure good communication within the relationship. Your self-concept is how you look at yourself. It is a mental image that you have of yourself and it can relate to your mental strength or status in life. One's self-concept affects one's perception, attitude and behavior, which can be demonstrated during the process of interpersonal communication. Aspects of one's life influence their self-concept, which not only affect how people perceive them but how they perceive themselves. In the process of communication, self-knowledge and the way one feel about oneself is revealed to others, and affects how others react to them. Consequently, the perceptions one believes others have of them affect how they receive their communication, which influences their response.

In relationships you have to be cognizant of how the opposite sex perceives things. Men hear things differently than women. I relate this to my childhood when my parents would argue and my mother would say to my father: “You hear what you want to hear”. This is evident in the study that was referenced in the article Close Relationships Sometimes Mask Poor Communication”. In the study, researchers asked 24 married couples to take part in an experiment in which two sets of couples sat in chairs and tried to figure out the meaning of phrases whose meaning isn't entirely clear. The example used was a wife who says to her husband, 'it's getting hot in here,' as a hint for her husband to turn up the air conditioning a notch, may be surprised when he interprets her statement as a coy, amorous advance instead (Healthday, 2011). One way to avoid this mistake is not to be rushed and preoccupied. Stop and make sure you understand the perspective the other is trying to relay especially since the two of you are married.

In being aware of the opposite sex, you have to be aware of how you say things as well. The tone of your voice can displace the message you are trying to send. The text suggests that work to shut judgments about the speaker's appearance, tone of voice, or other such factors out of your mind when you are speaking with someone, and focus on the words and the meaning rather than on the person delivering the message. If you are unsure...
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