COM 200 Interpersonal Communication
Instructor Tremika Pinckney
December 10, 2012
Being married, like being a parent, is one of the most rewarding relationships that you can have in life. However, while being married to your best friend can be pure bliss, learning how to communicate and keep lines of communication open throughout your relationship can be tough. Something about having the same last name takes your once perfect dating relationship to a sea of misunderstandings and disagreements. As a newlywed myself, I can relate on these difficult times that occur during the first few months and even the first few years of marriage. There are certain principles you can follow to have effective communication, listening skills that you can learn, have an understanding of non-verbal communication, and realize how self-concept, and self-disclosure, can all play a vital role in your communication within your marriage. While communication has occurred since the dawn of time, becoming an effective communicator really does take some skill and understanding of how interpersonal communication works. Understanding these concepts and skills, will help tremendously in those not so blissful points of marriage. “To become a more effective communicator, scholars would most likely agree that five specific aspects of interpersonal communication are crucial areas of focus” (Sole, 2011). These 5 skills are listening skills, people skills, emotional intelligence, appropriate skill selection, and communicating ethically. I am sure looking at this list you can pick out which of these skills you think you possess over another, but the key to interpersonal communication is honing in all of these skills and using them together and at the appropriate times. Now let us break each of these skills down and concentrate on the key concepts of each skill. Listening, this is more than just sound waves bouncing through our ear canal, to be in affective listener “requires focus and attention” (Sole, 2011). A lot of people hear without actually listening. I know that there have been many times that my husband and I were having a discussion and I could hear what he was saying, meaning I knew he was talking and I could hear the words that were coming out of his mouth, but I was not listening to what he was actually saying. Once I stopped and actually listened to what he had to say, we were able to resolve the conflict we were having. People skills, also plays a role in communication, however people skills is a collaborative use of many different skills like problem solving and appropriate self-disclosure. Emotional intelligence is probably the easiest to understand but the hardest to apply in interpersonal communication, for me at least. To be emotionally intelligent is to understand how and when to express certain emotions in given situations. For me, I am very passionate about most things in my life, and when I have an idea or thought, or even problem, I want to get it out in the open as fast as possible. When someone does not agree with me, is upset with me, or even does agree with me, you can see my emotions in my face, hear them in my voice, and can tell by my overall attitude. While in my working relationships this sometimes has posed a problem, I believe in a marriage it is very important to share your emotions with each other, and keeping in mind of the emotions of one another. In a marriage I believe to be emotionally intelligent means to have the ability to express how you feel about something to your spouse, as well as being able to relate to the emotions of your spouse. Appropriate skill selection means that you can recognize a problem in communication and then affectively solving the problem. Finally, communicating ethically, varies in meaning from person to person, as one person’s set of ethics may not be the same as another person’s, however in general to communicate ethically...