November 4, 2012
Dear Chris and Lonna,
First, I would like to say congratulations on getting married and I wish you two the best. Since, you have asked me about my advice on interpersonal communication it will be my pleasure to hopefully shed some light on the subject and help you two to a happy and long marriage. Interpersonal communications are key when it comes to relationships because, they teach use how to communicate with one another and deal with our own thoughts. To help in your understanding of interpersonal communication I will provide some details on the principles and misconceptions, barriers, effectiveness of words, role of emotional intelligence, role of self-disclosure, and strategies for conflicts in interpersonal communication. Learning and understanding these skills should help to strengthen the bond of your marriage and also help in your daily life. Principles and Misconceptions in Effective Interpersonal Communications
According to Kathy Sole (2011), Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication, there are six basic principles in regards to communication. Her textbook lists these principles as: communication is symbolic, communication is a shared meaning, communication has a followed process, communication is culturally determined, communication occurs in context, and finally that communication is purposeful. These six principles of communication help to explain the basic meanings of how communication works however, there will always be misconceptions behind these principles. To help make these principles more understandable I will go over each in detail. First, many linguists widely believe the use of symbols in the human language is what makes our communications so unique. “Symbols are the words, pictures, sounds, marks, or objects we use to represent something else. A symbol can be anything that conveys a meaning, and it can be written, spoken, or nonverbal” (Sole, 2011). Human beings are the only creatures on the planet that can agree over time to make any symbol represent some kind of meaning. Second, “[o]ne of the most obvious benefits of human communication is that it allows people to share thoughts, feelings, experiences, and views of the world” (Sole, 2011). This means when we communicate are world perspective with others it helps us to create a shared meaning of what we think and we are also able to take in the other person’s perspective. Having a shared meaning within communication allows for us to visualize situations that we may not have been present for. Third, communication is ongoing, never ending process. We use communication every day of our lives as soon as we are born in order to express our wants and needs. Therefore, we must also constantly be working to improve our communication skills and become idle or believe there is no need for improvement. Fourth, every culture has their own style of communication and the majority of these become secondhand and subconsciously done. For instance, “[i]n [the United States of America], eye contact indicates: degree of attention or interest, influences attitude change or persuasion, regulates interaction, communicates emotion, defines power and status, and has a central role in managing impressions of others. [This being completely different than in] Japan, Africa, Latin America, [and the] Caribbean [where one should] avoid eye contact to show respect” (“Non-Verbal Communication Modes, nd). Fifth, the context or environment in which communication takes place varies the way it is communicated. The environmental settings in which we communicate will affect how we act and what we say because, obviously one would not behave at work like they are at a party. Therefore, the setting surrounding a communicated message should always be taken into account. Lastly, it is important to remember that communication is used for a purpose. Communication is not just noises and...