There are a lot of thing that are being taught about interpersonal communication in today’s society. There are many thing that I have learned that will help you in your relationship as a married couple. Some of the thing that are important in interpersonal communication that will help you better communicate with one another will be discussed here today. There are a lot of skills that are needed to communicate effectively, identifying the barriers to effective interpersonal interactions as well as developing strategies for active, critical and empathic listening. Also according to what is being taught, learning how to evaluate appropriate levels of self-disclosure in relationships and also learning to understand how perceptions, emotions, and nonverbal expression affect interpersonal relationships. Learning strategies for managing interpersonal conflicts, is something that researchers feel could also a help a relationship. Here is some of what I have learnedâ€¦
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Identifying the barriers to effective interpersonal interactions is a very interesting subject as well as a great way to learn how to deal with or look for these barriers. According to Eric Garner, who list seven of the top barriers “It’s not always easy and often takes a lot of determination. But making an effort to remove the obstacles – tangible and intangible – that stand in our way, can be the key to building relationships that really work”(Garner 2012) With Physical being the first barrier that he listed which mean “Communication is generally easier over shorter distances as more communication channels are available and less technology is required. Although modern technology often serves to reduce the impact of physical barriers, the advantages and disadvantages of each communication channel should be understood so that an appropriate channel can be used to overcome the physical barriers, closed office doors, barrier screens, separate areas for people of different status, large working areas or working in one unit that is physically separate from others.” The second barrier Eric list is perceptual barriers is where the, “The problem with communicating with others is that we all see the world differently. If we didn’t, we would have no need to communicate: something like extrasensory perception would take its place.”
The next of the barriers are listed as emotional barriers is where, “One of the chief barriers to open and free communications is the emotional barrier. It is comprised mainly of fear, mistrust and suspicion. The roots of our emotional mistrust of others lie in our childhood and infancy when we were taught to be careful what we said to others.” Then we have, cultural barriers which means, when we join a group and wish to remain in it, sooner or later we need to adopt the behavior patterns of the group. These are the behaviors that the group accepts as signs of belonging. The group rewards such behavior through acts of recognition, approval and inclusion. In groups which are happy to accept you and where you are happy to conform, there is a mutuality of interest and a high level of win-win contact. Where, however, there are barriers to your membership of a group, a high level of game-playing replaces good communication.” Next we have, Language barriers is described as, “language that describes what we want to say in our terms may present barriers to others who are not familiar with our expressions, buzz-words and jargon. When we couch our communication in such language, it is a way of excluding others. In a global market place the greatest compliment we can pay another person is to talk in their language.”
The sixth barrier is, the gender barrier, this barrier relates to There are distinct differences between the speech patterns in a man and those in a woman. A woman speaks between 22,000 and 25,000 words a day whereas a man speaks between 7,000 and 10,000. In childhood, girls speak earlier than boys and at the age of three, have a vocabulary twice that of boys. The reason for this lies in the wiring of a man’s and woman’s brains. When a man talks, his speech is located in the left side of the brain but in no specific area. When a woman talks, the speech is located in both hemispheres and in two specific locations. This means that a man talks in a linear, logical and compartmentalized way, features of left-brain thinking; whereas a woman talks more freely mixing logic and emotion, features of both sides of the brain. It also explains why women talk for much longer than men each day.”
The last barrier that Eric Garner mentions is, interpersonal barriers, which sates that, “There are six levels at which people can distance themselves from one another.” These six things are listed as “Withdrawal is an absence of interpersonal contact. It is both refusals to be in touch and time alone.” “Rituals are meaningless, repetitive routines devoid of real contact.” “Pastimes fill up time with others in social but superficial activities.” “Working activities are those tasks which follow the rules and procedures of contact but no more.” “Games are subtle, manipulative interactions which are about winning and losing. They include “rackets” and “stamps”.” “Closeness is the aim of interpersonal contact where there is a high level of honesty and acceptance of yourself and others.” “Working on improving your communications is a broad-brush activity. You have to change your thoughts, your feelings, and your physical connections.” “That way, you can break down the barriers that get in your way and start building relationships that really work.” Learning how to overcome these barriers and communicate with your mate effectively can make a world of different in how well you know your mate as well as how well you all will get along and how long the relationship will last. (Garner E. 2012)
Now I will talk to you both about some of the strategies you can use for active, critical and empathic listening. To fully understand what your partner is trying to communicate to you it is really important to comprehend what he or she is saying to you. Now we know that some people like to talk more then others but when trying to communicate with your partner we have to remember to listen to the other person and give them the chance to talk as well. When everyone wants to talk and no one wants to listen it only complicates things and makes people unhappy. Communicating effectively is when you are able to express yourself effectively as well as being able to take time to listen keenly and carefully to what the other person is saying. Some of the strategies that can help you both to be more effective listener are, that when your partner is talking listen carefully and you can be able to repeat what he or she has said. This will help you to remember what the topic was and the kind of information that was shared rather it was super important or not so important later. If of you have the habit of forgetting what is discussed, it is important to be writing down the main points which will help you later.
Distractions should be avoided in order to increase your ability of developing good listening skills, important communication between the two of you for example when you are budgeting your finances, it is important to switch off the TV phones, radios, or another such gadgets. It is important to listen from the heart which means having empathy towards what your partner is talking about Examine the body language, and lastly when something is not clear ask questions for clearing your understanding. “Poor interpersonal communication level is the main cause of many broken marriages or couples seeking for counseling to restore their marriages. The common refrain used by most couples is that he or she no longer understands me. The main focus which couples are required to do is to understand and explore how to communicate to each other and the various problems they might be facing in communication . When you need your commutation to be improved the main aspects which you have to focus are the various communication mechanisms such as presenting honest and direct questions, providing feedback and setting aside time to talk to one another.”
Having a conflict is not the major issue but the main challenge is how you will be able to handle the conflict which will determine your future. Solving the conflict through the use of effective communication skills and understanding couples with respect leads to you having a happier future and building a stronger relationship. In future as you are confronted with conflicts, these communication skills tips will be effective for you. So keep them in your mind with the aim of having a positive outcome. “Many couples think they’re communicating with each other” when they sort out who will pick up the kids, pay the bills or call the grandparents, says Orbuch. But that’s not the kind of communication she’s talking about.”(Schoenberg N. 2011) The article “Can We Talk, Researcher talks about the role of communication in marriages” I believe can really help you both to work on your communication skills with one another in your relationship. The article gives insight in to how couples can work on learning more about one another on a more personal level.
“Conversation partners’ related use of function words-such as pronouns, articles, conjunctions, prepositions and negations-augurs well for mutual romantic interest and stable relationships, says a team led by graduate student Molly Ireland and psychologist James Pennebaker, both of the University Of Texas At Austin.” I find myself agreeing with the two psychologists. I believe that the use of language and grammar really contributes to the type of communication that we engage in our everyday life. The words people use when communicating with other has more meaning then people realize. So far in this class I have learned that it is not just what you rather then how you word things as well as your body language and facial expressions. “”An interesting irony is that two people who truly hate one another will often exhibit a high amount of language-style matching,” Pennebaker says.”Two people locked in a bitter fight tend to talk, or yell, in similar ways.” Mostly, though, highly attentive conversation partners like one another.” (Bower B. 2012)
According to Tim Borchers “Self-disclosure is not simply providing information to another person. Instead, scholars define self-disclosure as sharing information with others that they would not normally know or discover. Self-disclosure involves risk and vulnerability on the part of the person sharing the information.” Tim also states “A useful way of viewing self-disclosure is the Johari window. The Johari window is a way of showing how much information you know about yourself and how much others know about you. The window contains four panes, as shown below. The Open Pane includes information such as hair color, occupation, and physical appearance. The Blind Pane includes information that others can see in you, but you cannot see in your self. You might think you are poor leader, but others think you exhibit strong leadership skills. The Hidden Pane contains information you wish to keep private, such as dreams or ambitions. The Unknown Pane includes everything that you and others do not know about yourself. You may have hidden talents, for example, that you have not explored. Through self-disclosure, we open and close panes so that we may become more intimate with others.” I believe that using the method that Tim talks about can really help to better the self discloser in you interpersonal relationship.
There are also functions and risk that Tim listed that can be helpful to a marriage as new as yours. He states “Self-disclosure performs several functions. It is a way of gaining information about another person. We want to be able to predict the thoughts and actions of people we know. Self-disclosure is one way to learn about how another person thinks and feels. Once one person engages in self-disclosure, it is implied that the other person will also disclose personal information. This is known as the norm of reciprocity. Mutual disclosure deepens trust in the relationships and helps both people understand each other more. You also come to feel better about yourself and your relationship when the other person accepts what you tell them. Risks of Self-Disclosure While there are several advantages to self-disclosure, there are also risks. One risk is that the person will not respond favorably to the information. Self-disclosure does not automatically lead to favorable impressions. Another risk is that the other person will gain power in the relationship because of the information they possess. Finally, too much self-disclosure or self-disclosure that comes too early in a relationship can damage the relationship. Thus, while self-disclosure is useful, it can also be damaging to a relationship.” ( Borchers T. 1999)
Now I will give you some information that I have learned about perceptions, emotions, and nonverbal expression affect interpersonal relationships. According to Sole, “Perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, and organizing information that comes in through your senses. The perceptual process allows you to become conscious of situations in your environment that might be dangerous or that require your attention, and it is essential to your survival. Most people tend to think that they perceive the world as it really is; however, the truth is that they perceive only a small portion of what they encounter in the outside environment. Everything in the environment that has the potential to be perceived can be defined as a stimulus. These stimuli come to you through your five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch; you pay attention to some of these stimuli and not to others. You then try to make sense of the stimuli you are aware of or have paid attention to and create your own interpretations and meaning of them.”
Nonverbal communication is defined as communication of a message without words, which means that it encompasses a wide range of vocal and visual signs and behaviors. Throughout your life, you express thoughts and ideas not only through language but also through your voice, eyes, face, body posture and movement, and hand gestures. “Understanding emotions and expressing these emotions appropriately is the key to successful communication with others. People who are aware of their emotions and are sensitive to the emotions of others are better able to handle the ups and downs of life, to rebound from adversity, and to maintain fulfilling relationships with others. As a result, say researchers, they can live more satisfying lives” (Matthews, Zeidner, & Roberts, 2003). “Emotional intelligence is a set of skills that can be learned. We can improve our emotional intelligence by increasing our awareness of emotional issues and improving our ability to identify, assess, and manage our feelings.”(Sole, 2011) People skills involve a wide range of interpersonal skills including appropriate self-disclosure determining how much personal information to share with others, appropriate assertion skills presenting your ideas and opinions so that they are recognized, collaborative skills working well with others, problem solving skills, and conflict resolution skills.
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In conclusion I feel that communicating effectively in any relationship especially in a new marriage take time, practice and skill. There are many skills that you can use when trying to better the level of communication in your marriage. These skills include identifying the barriers to effective interpersonal interactions as well as developing strategies for active, critical and empathic listening. Other skills that you both can try and gain a better understanding of are, appropriate levels of self-disclosure in relationships and also learning to understand how perceptions, emotions, and nonverbal expression affect interpersonal relationships. The skill that I feel will help you the most in order to keep you relationship smooth is, Learning strategies for managing interpersonal conflicts. I really hope that this advice and research will help you to have a long and successful marriage.
Tiffany D. Roberson
Borchers T., 1999 Moorhead State University Allyn & Bacon Retrieved from: http://www.abacon.com/commstudies/interpersonal/indisclosure.html
Bower Bruce, Science News 2012 U.S.News & World Report LP Retrieved from: http://www.usnews.com/science/articles/2010/11/22/shared-talking-styles-herald-new-and-lasting-romance
Garner E. 2012, Seven Barriers to Great Communication Retrieved from: http://www.hodu.com/barriers.shtml
Schoenberg N, CHICAGO TRIBUNE February 6, 2011, 2012 Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved From: http://www.chron.com/life/article/Researcher-talks-about-the-role-of-communication-1690761.php
Sole, K. (2011).Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. retrieved from: https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUCOM200.11.1/sections/glossary?search=interpersonal%20communication#w103694
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