Letter of Advice on Interpersonal Communication
Re: Using Interpersonal Communication in Your Communication
Many couples find themselves in quagmire a few days after wedding simply because of failing to understand each other's emotions or thinking. This is an open letter to newlywed couples, advising them on the best way they can communicate so as to create a harmonius marriage union. It is hoped that this letter will enlighten partners on how to approach communication among each.
Dear Mr and Mrs Newlywed,
First, I applaud you on your engagement and decision to spend your life together. I am quite sure that the decision you make now concerning effective communication will result into a healthy and long marital relationship. By taking into consideration these concepts in your day-to-day life, you will be able to enrich both your marital relationship as well as your professional life.
In the present day perspective, marriage has seemed to be a fly-by-night operation. As such, the high proportions of many marriages have ended up in divorce since they are unable to resolve their differences. This justifies the rising cases of single parenthood, which are not only detrimental to the couples themselves, but also to the children as well. I take this opportunity to inform you that this ought not to be the case at all if people follow proper interpersonal communication. These cases have been plummeted by poor communication skills, and misconceptions, which emerges in relationships. The poor communication skills and misconceptions are contributed by lack of knowledge on the principles that guide interpersonal relationships, which also contributed, to instability in many relationships.
If you are going to consider my suggestions and follow my guideline on communication, there is no doubt that your relationship will become healthier. Additionally, you will become happy and cultivate your love for a long term. Communication is the essence of a strong and healthy relationship. For you to understand your partner as well as yourself, you first need understand the way you interact and mingle with one another in your day-to-day basis.
Individuals have a desire of connecting, participating and sharing with others. As a couple, you cannot afford to evade interpersonal communication and still expect the marriage relationship to go on smoothly. A person who walks with his head bowed all day long is an indication he or she is distraught or sad. In interpersonal communication, those involved share the meaning and come to a mutual understanding by the exchange of words or gestures. Further, effective communication with each other needs each of you to be honest, open, caring/sharing and taking time to appreciate the rewards awarded to both of you.
It may be crucial for you to learn how to talk and listen with each each other. According to West and Turner (2008), effective listening is a process that has six different components a), being motivated to listen b), willing and preparing to hear the message c), being attentive to the message d), interpreting the message correctly e), assessing the message and f)reflecting, and responding to the message appropriately. In essence, poor listening habits could be changed by giving attention to the other while he or she is talking.
Barriers to Interpersonal Communication
In most cases, clashing in conversations is perceived to be caused by competition by the couples in seeking attention. This subsequently develops into quarrels because of misunderstood. One of the obstacles in effective interpersonal communication is in a situation when one of the partners has a critical attitude towards the person speaking. In this respect, couples are required to be cautious when approaching one another with a preset attitude and mind since this will develop as a habit over time. Another obstacle is external distraction, which can make one not to be attentive towards the other, either for some time or permanently. Communicating in a context characterized with a high-pitched noise will automatically distort the intended message. Consequently, this will lead to misunderstanding and unnecessary conflicts. Distorted focus is another barrier of interpersonal communication. This involves an attempting to listen to the speaker while at the same time attending other matters. You need to understand that as a couple, listening time is a valuable moment since it determines the outcome of the communication or the subsequent reactions and responses.
If these have been a concern in your relationship, then you need to deploy effective strategies to support your speaking and listening skills. For instance, you would need to focus at your partner while speaking, concentrating and paying closer attention until he or she is through with the speech. Apparently, you may also need to be emphatic towards your partner in order to show your full participation in the conversation. You could be able to efficiently streamline the barriers of interpersonal communication if while talking, you concentrate on putting across the issues at hand, instead of speaking out of emotion. As Beebe et al. (2000) explains, it is also paramount for partners to adhere to genuineness in the entire conversation in order to show credibility.
Sole (2011), in his book, Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communication, explains that, there are six main principles concerning human communications. The first of this according to this writer is that, communication symbolic. Secondly, this author also shows us that, communication has a shared meaning. The third aspect of communication is that, it is a process, which means that, it is not a static element. Fourth, communication is determined in cultural perspectives while the fifty point postulates that, communication happens in a context and not a vacuum. Finally, this author informs us that a communication has to have a purpose.
These principles are aimed to explain the meaning behind the communication process. However, there could be circumstances where misconceptions can occur concerning how and what communication is meant to be. Interferences in interpersonal communication may be in many forms depending on the partner’s dislikes and likes. This is the reason I emphasize on you to learn listening and speaking skills. This will enhance the smooth flow of conversation, which will ensure that you understand one another. If the couples have the right listening and communication skills, there will be low chances of misunderstanding in the family, since lack of this skill is the source of many misunderstandings in marriage relationship. Further, having these skills will enable the couple to survive through future probable conflicts.
Misconceptions in interpersonal communication involve communicating what the other person may perceive as a misconception, especially if the receiver misunderstands the information relayed. In most cases, this misunderstandings happen because the sender does not convey the message in a clear and concise manner, resulting into confusion on the part of the receiver since he or she may find it hard to accurately and efficiently translate the message. Rogin (2010) articulates that, relaying a message may not always mean that the receiver has understood the information, hence feedback is necessary to ascertain this.
Interpersonal relationship is concerned on people, and their ability in relating with one another efficiently. It also involves speaking in a positive way, listening, disagreeing constructively, embracing one another’s differences, and lifting one another positively. However, individuals involved have to be willing to provide feedback for an open and healthy line of communication that can last a lifetime.
You need to understand that, respect is an important element in your relationship as a married couple. This means that you should avoid the negative criticisms that are directed to the partner and instead, putting such energy to better use. It is paramount to enjoy yourself and to be present for the other’s predicament. Respecting the other partner will make him or her feel valued. You should also take care of the needs of the other partner particularly those needs, which safeguard their dignity as human beings. I will still emphasize the importance of love in this relationship and that this necessitates valuing the other partner irrespective of his or her weaknesses. Consequently, this element of love ought to contain the aspect of respect, which is is the value you should give to the other partner.
Allow me to inform you that, having interpersonal skills with the help of emotional intelligence, and communication skill are a weapon you can use to cement your relationship as a married couple. It is as well critical to understand your partner’s behavior in order to know how to react to the same. However, an understanding of another person’s behavior depends chiefly on the extent of interaction between the partners, guided by communication concepts. In order to understand one another, you will need to understand the other partner’s dislikes, visions, paths in life, and so on.
The issue of emotional intelligence that exists between you has to do with security, happiness, fears, care and security with the other partner. Ethical communication skills involve considering the other person’s trust, emotions and skills. As defined by Salovey and Meayer, (1990) emotional intelligence implies an understanding of the other person’s feelings, and this understanding in logical thinking. This knowledge relates to the capability of understanding the emotional link of the other partner when comparing a similar issue to your view. It would be necessary if you get to understand your emotions and when you find another’s weakness, the best thing is to motivate him or her so that he or she changes for the better. This also translates that you should be able to manage not only your emotions, but also that of your partner. This will enable you handle conflicts in an efficient manner.
Salovey and Meayer (1990) continue to observe that, emotional intelligence has impeccable results when effectively applied. For instance, one of the essential roles of emotional intelligence is that of self-awareness. It improves an individual’s ability of identifying his or her emotions, enabling them to understand its impact on them as well as the other partner. Through emotional intelligence, you will be able to accurately, and efficiently assess yourself in terms of weaknesses and strengths that will in turn help you to adopt one another, thus establishing, trust and self –confidence among yourself.
The principle of self-disclosure may be described as a situation where a person voluntarily decides to share his or her private or personal information to another party who had no such knowledge previously. In most cases, disclosure occurs in a mature relationship and where mutual trust exists between two people. West and Turner (2006), contents that, disclosure improves the degree of intimacy in a relationship. Stated differently, a couples bond is the strengthened through self-disclosure. In addition, this aspect can help a relationship withstand the test of time from conflicts and the related problems. It is paramount for you as a couple to learn on how to trust one another with critical information and property. This owes to the fact that, a disclosure by one party will subsequently influence the other party in justifying his or her part, a situation referred as “dyadic effect”. “The dyadic effect” is the compelling tendency of an individual to influence the other party to do the same with their private or secret information. As a couple, you should embrace such a style in order to avoid living with guilt from past events or mistakes. Furthermore, this will help a great deal in understanding one another’s behavior in a comprehensive manner. In addition, it will provide relieve by making the couple feel lighthearted and he or she is freed from invisible burdens. However, you should note that self-closure should only be confined to two intimate people. It should also occur on gradual basis and in specific context, not any place or anytime.
Strategies of Managing Interpersonal Relationship
There is no marital relationship that is devoid of conflict. In most cases, these conflicts happen when there is interdependence between the couples. They may also occur when these couples are aware that their goals and expectations are different. It may also occur when the other partner perceives the other as being an obstacle to achieving self- actualization. In this respect, couples should understand and accept both the positive and negative impact of conflict resolution processes. What is interesting is that despite these conflicts being perceived as an indicator of turmoil in marital unions, many of them are a pointer to a valuable relationship (Michelle, 2008). Some of the causes of conflicts include competition for some or all things, denying wrongdoing, dissatisfaction, and mistrust among others. For you to evade or streamline conflicts and accommodate defeat, it would necessitate a sacrificial of your personal needs for the sake of gaining peace and achieving harmony. I would, therefore, advice you to learn conflict management techniques to help you in solving them once they occur.
You should begin conflict management by defining conflict. This description of a conflict should incorporate issues related to relationship and content. Failing to disclose grievances and storing them in your heart and only retrieving them in times of conflict may jeopardize the stability of the relationship. Therefore, the issues at hand ought to be identified and appropriate measures considered in solving the problem.
In conclusion, effective interpersonal communication is a two-way traffic involving speaking clearly and concisely, listening, and providing feedback. As a couple, you would need to follow these principles for enhanced communication and healthy relationship.
Thank you in advance and hope that you will follow these suggestions and guideline