Interpersonal Communication Is the Basis for All Interpersonal Relationships



Interpersonal Communication in Relationships





Interpersonal communication is the basis for all interpersonal relationships. Interpersonal communication involves communication between small groups of people. It is characterized by a more individualized and personal communication than the kind of communication that takes place among larger groups of people. Intimate relationships require a more personal communication. In fact, personal communication is the key to a long-lasting and healthy relationship. If couples don’t communicate at a more personal level, problems are bound to occur in their relationship. Interpersonal communication plays a vital role in the reduction or elimination of misunderstanding between couples. This eventually strengthens the relationship. If there is not enough interpersonal communication between couples, the relationship will lose its charm as the couples will not be expressing their feelings. Interpersonal communication is, therefore, critical to any healthy and long-lasting relationship.
1. Explain the principles of and barriers to effective interpersonal communication.
There are four basic principles of interpersonal communication. The first principle states that interpersonal communication is inescapable. Couples cannot not communicate because attempting not to communicate, ends up communicating something else. Through, posture, gestures, facial expression, or just keeping quite communicates something to the other person. Couples constantly receive communication through these channels. The second principle of interpersonal communication is that interpersonal communication is irreversible. Once something has been said, it cannot be taken back. The effect of the words said to a partner will always remain no matter how hard you try to make it disappear; the words will not go away. The third principle of interpersonal communication is that interpersonal communication is complicated. Interpersonal communication is not simple since there are a number of variables involved in the communication process. Theorist believes that communication between two people actually involves six people; 1: the person you think you are, 2: the person that you think that the other person is, 3: the person that you think that the other person thinks you are, 4: the person the other person thinks he/she is, 5: the person that the other person thinks you are, and 6: the person the other person thinks that she/he is. In interpersonal communications, couples don’t just swap ideas, they swap those symbols that stand for the ideas and this makes communication complex. The fourth principle of interpersonal communication is that interpersonal communication is contextual (Sabee, 2016). This means that interpersonal communication does not occur in isolation. There are five contexts involved that always have a bearing on the message being sent. These contexts are psychological, rational, situational, environmental, and cultural.
The principles of interpersonal communication matter because they underlie the working of interpersonal communication. These principles are basic to the interpersonal communication and they cannot be ignored. Every couple needs to be aware of these principles for an effective interpersonal communication to take place.

The barriers to interpersonal communication experienced by most couples include negative emotions, low self-esteem, and lack of commitment (Erozkan, 2013). Negative emotions hurt the relationships in a way that one person gets upset or even raises voice for something that is not a big deal which may lead to arguments. Low self-esteem affects communication between couples where one feels that the idea is not worth raising since she/he does not have the courage to raise it. This is misleading becomes the other person is left to believe something else that may not be true. The lack of commitment acts as a barrier to interpersonal communication between couples. If one party is not committed to a relationship, then he or she will not verbally communicate some of the issues facing the relationship or even listen to the other party. The other party will be left to fill out the gaps with his or her own interpretations of the nonverbal messages received (Sabee, 2016). This negatively affects future communication between the couples.
To overcome these barriers to interpersonal communication, couples need to release the negative emotions that could affect the interpersonal communication. This is because the other party may not be aware where your negative reaction is coming from. Couples should also believe in themselves and raise their self-esteem. They should always raise an issue no matter how stupid it seems. This is important in a relationship. Commitment to a relationship is very important. It is not possible to effectively communicate with an individual that is not committed (Erozkan, 2013). A relationship requires commitment and therefore, everyone should commit themselves in the relationship for effective interpersonal communication.
2. Analyze the role of communication in developing and maintaining one’s self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem.
Self-concept refers to how individuals perceive themselves. Self-concept is formed, sustained or changed through the interaction with other people. It is, therefore, a social phenomenon which is influenced by relationships with other people. Self-concept is shaped by the people in someone’s life. It is the people especially those close to someone that shapes the way he or she perceives themselves. The comments of these people are the one that enables an individual to form an opinion about his or herself. Even those innocent jokes that are not intended in the shaping of an individual’s sense of self may result in an individual on an individual self-concept (Sirgy et al., 2016). However, self-concept is not entirely social biology also plays a role in how someone forms a self-opinion.
Self-image refers to how people see themselves. It may be physically or mentally. Self-image refers to the characteristics that an individual believes to possess. Self-image includes the roles that people believe in inhibiting, how we believe other people perceive as, and the words we use to describe ourselves. It involves what individuals think they look like, what kind of person they think they are, how they see their personality, what they believe others think they are, the status that they feel they have, and how much they like themselves.
Self-esteem is evaluative. It refers to what people perceive to be valuable or worthwhile. Self-esteem goes beyond the self-concept and self-image to include the importance or value that people place on their perceived characteristics. Self-esteem affects people’s trust in others, their relationships, and work. Having positive self-esteem gives people strength to take charge of their lives and grow from their mistakes without having and fear of rejection. A low self-esteem keeps people from attaining their full potential as they feel to be unworthy, incompetent, and incapable. People with a high self-esteem are not afraid to express themselves.
Self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem are important to interpersonal communications for couples. Couples should be aware that self-concept is formed from the interactions of each other. Therefore, each partner should ensure that they promote a positive self-concept within their partners. This will involve giving positive comments which will make the other partner have a positive opinion towards their self. Self-image is also formed through interaction with other people. Couples can help their partners to develop a positive self-image by making the other person feel that they posses certain characteristics. This can be done be constantly reminding the partners that they look in a particular way or can perform a particular task. Finally, couples can help their partners to raise their self-esteem by constantly encouraging them and telling them they are valuable. Criticism reduces self-esteem and couples should make sure that they present their criticism in a positive way. Positive self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem are important for communication between couples.
3. Differentiate appropriate levels of self-disclosure and emotional intelligence in various relationships.
Self-disclosure is the process of sharing of information with someone which helps that person to understand you. It is that process of unfolding of an individual’s inner self to others. There are two basic levels of self-disclosure. The first level is referred to as breadth dimension. This level is made of self-information that people commonly share with different people. This kind of information cost very little to disclose. The second level of self-disclosure is referred to as the depth. The information shared at this level is more central to what the person is. This kind of information is normally known and held in confidence by a few select people. It may includes regrets, secrets, and painful experiences. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, refers to the ability to be able to aware of, express, and control one’s emotions. It is also the ability to handle the interpersonal relations empathically and judiciously by being able to control one’s emotions and that of the other person (Cherry et al., 2013).

Self-disclosure is very important in any intimate relationship. Disclosure of information by couples results into knowing each other better. Self-disclosure between couples should go beyond breadth level to the depth level. This is because there is certain information that a partner will not be able to know unless the spouse opens up. This information may be critically in fostering the understanding between the couple. Emotional intelligence is equally important in an intimate relationship. Couples are normally emotionally involved. It, therefore, becomes important for each of the partners to be able to be aware of their emotions and that of their partners. In addition, disagreements are common in intimate relationships. Emotions change with disagreements. Therefore, being able to understand control one’s emotions as well as that of the partners makes is instrumental in creating a long-lasting relationship.

The couples can improve their relationship by being more intelligent in that it will enable then recognize what and not what to say in given situations (Cherry et al., 2013). For instance, there are those people who prefer to be talked to and calmed when they are angry; others prefer not to be talked to when angry. For instance, I have a friend who when mad it is better not to talk to him. He just requires time to cool down. Talking makes him angrier and takes longer to cool down. Therefore, as a part of a couple, one needs to be more emotionally intelligent. They should take the time to learn their partner’s emotions and the best way to deal with it. This will help in the easier and faster solving of problems between them. Failure to be emotionally intelligent more result into constant disagreements and in the end these disagreements may become irreconcilable.
4. Describe the strategies for using communication techniques to solve interpersonal conflicts

Interpersonal conflicts are common among couples. One of the potential interpersonal conflicts is the policy conflict (Yarnell & Neff, 2013). There may be a disagreement on how to handle a given issue. The couple may have different opinions. For instant one partner may want to set aside some money for saving while the other partner may want to spend it on entertainment. To address this dispute, the partners may compromise. Both parties may have to give up part of something so as they can meet at the midpoint. Therefore, part of the money will be saved and part of it used for entertainment so that each of the partners gets a little something of their initial desires. Another strategy to solve this dispute will involve smoothing over the problem. With this strategy, one party decides to smooth over (pretend there is no conflict and surrender their desires). This result in a win-lose situation. This strategy is important because in an intimate relationship, preserving a relationship is usually more important than having to deal with every single conflict. In the scenario above, one partner may decide to forego entertainment and save all the money.

Another potential interpersonal conflict is the ego conflict. In the ego conflict, no one is willing to lose an argument as this would damage his or her self-esteem (Yarnell & Neff, 2013). Couples may have an argument on which house they should buy which each one of them preferring a different house. Both of them may become unwilling to give in to each other because they feel that giving in would damage their authority or say in the relationship. One way of solving this conflict is through the confrontation of the underlying conflict so as to directly resolve the issue. Reveal why you don’t want to give in rather than continuing to argue. Compromise will also be an alternative in solving their conflict. In fact, intimate relationships are based on compromises as no one is perfect. Therefore, the couples should always be ready to compromise so as to foster a long-lasting relationship.
5. Analyze the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communications.
Gender refers to the feeling, behaviors, and attitudes that a given society associates with an individual’s biological sex. Culture refers to the systems of knowledge that are shared by a large group of people. It is the cumulative deposit of experience, values, beliefs, knowledge, attitudes, religion, and roles that have been acquired by a large group of people over time and passed down to generations (DiBiase & Gunnoe, 2004). Gender and culture have an importance in relationships because culture sets norms on the roles and behaviors of a given gender. Gender roles set by culture are have defined how people of different sex interact. Women are expected to relate differently to other women from how they relate to men. Men also relate differently to women and other men.

Gender and culture have also an effect on the relationship between couples. For instance traditionally, women were supposed to be the ones cooking for their husbands. However, gender roles have been changing over time it’s not only the women’s roles that are changing. The men’s roles are changing too. This is making relationships between couples complex. For instance, the many may expect the woman to always cook because he believes that that is what culture dictates. On the other hand, the woman expects the man to help in cooking since believes that the gender roles have changed (DiBiase & Gunnoe, 2004). This may result in conflicts. Therefore, it is always good for couples should always communicate on the issue of gender and culture so as to avoid such conflicting opinions. Everyone will be able to know what the other expects of him or her. This will remove these kinds of arguments resulting into a long-lasting relationship.
Interpersonal communication is the basis for all interpersonal relationships. It is characterized by a more individualized and personal communication. There are four basic principles of interpersonal communication, that is, interpersonal communication is inescapable, irreversible, complex, and contextual. The barriers to interpersonal communication include negative emotions, low self-esteem, and lack of commitment. Interpersonal communication shapes self-concept, self-image, and self-esteem. Self-disclosure and emotional intelligence are critical in interpersonal communication. Interpersonal conflicts always exist in interpersonal relationships. Gender and culture shape interpersonal relationships and communications. Couples should learn to be better communicators so as to bound more and develop a long-lasting relationship.
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