Dear Sara and Tim, In order to maintain a successful and fulfilling marriage, we all know it takes work from both partners. As you set out on your journey together, it is important to remember that understanding the aspects of interpersonal communication is essential to learning how to effectively communicate with one another. Sara, when you have something you want to discuss with Tim, you want him to really listen and consider your point of view, right? Also, Tim, I know you feel the same way. I would like to offer you both some advice and give you some information that can help guide you in learning how to communicate with each other to the best of your abilities. To communicate effectively with one another, you must first understand some of the barriers that prevent us from doing so in our interactions. Bevan & Sole (2014) state that, “the fundamental purpose of human communication is to allow people to generate and share their thoughts, feelings, experiences, beliefs, opinions, or really anything they can think to express” (Chapter 1.1). However, there are many types of distractions, called noise, that prevent us from fully sharing these messages with each other. Physical noise is, obviously, external in form, such as a cell phone going off or other conversations around you. This type of distraction can interfere with our concentration on the conversation. I can say from personal experience that when I have an important issue to discuss with my husband, I want to have his full attention. Psychological noise is another distraction that can hinder us from understanding the meaning of a message. “Biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and even extreme emotions such as rage are all examples of
psychological noise” (Bevan & Sole, 2014, chapter 1.2). If we have a certain view or feeling about a situation and are not willing to consider other perspectives, it is not likely that we will communicate effectively. You have to keep an open mind and remember that two
References: Barker, M. (2010). Self-care and relationship conflict. Sexual & Relationship Therapy, 25(1), 37-47. doi:10.1080/14681990903479904.
Bevan, J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Keaten, J., & Kelly, L. (2008). Emotional Intelligence as a Mediator of Family Communication Patterns and Reticence. Communication Reports, 21(2), 104-116. doi:10.1080/08934210802393008
Schoenberg, N. (2011, January 17). Can we talk? McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-01-14/features/sc-fam-0111-talk-relationship-20110111_1_happy-marriages-couples-marital-therapy.