I want to congratulate you on your wedding. I hope that both of you will have a happy life and you can understand each other well. In this letter, I want to give you some guidelines regarding the basic principles of interpersonal communication.
Some of the principles and misconceptions in interpersonal communication
The sharing of thoughts, feelings and ideas with the other person is referred as interpersonal communication. These skills of sharing our feelings are developed through learned behaviors and they can be further improved with practice, reflection, knowledge and feedback. People deal with interpersonal communication on routine basis and it is imperative to understand some of the basic principles of interpersonal communication. These basic principles are described below:
Interpersonal communication is not reversible:
This means that interpersonal communication cannot be reversed back. When a person says something, he cannot take his words back in real sense and cannot remove them from the minds of others. People can only say that forget what I said but this is actually not possible that people will forget something willfully (DeVito, 2012). Therefore, it is imperative to communicate in a good way and to think before communicating with others.
Interpersonal communication is a contextual communication
Since communication cannot occur in isolation, therefore there are certain contexts, which need to be considered in interpersonal communication such as situational, relational, environmental, psychological and cultural context.
Interpersonal communication is not simple
It is a fact that this communication is quite complicated because there are several other things in the mind of a person when he is communicating with the other person. Apart from this, the more the conversation occurs, the more complicated it becomes (Floyd, 2011).
Interpersonal communication is unavoidable
This communication can never be avoided. Even if the person does not want to communicate, he communicates this to the other party through his gestures and postures.
Besides the principles of interpersonal communication, there are some misconceptions about it that are necessary to remove such as some researchers are of the view that effective interpersonal communication can only occur when there is a complete understanding of the message. However, it is a great misconception because at certain times relationships can also be maintained without the proper understanding of the message. For instance, a wife might comment about the beloved pet of her husband, which she dislikes that it will enjoy more if we send it at the neighbor house to play with other pets. In this way, the wife delivers a message, which is not clear, and the relationship is maintained. Another misconception about interpersonal communication is that it solves every problem (West & Turner, 2011). For instance, a wife argues with her husband of coming late at home, the husband and wife then communicates about this problem and it was settled that the husband would not come late at home from the next day. Nevertheless, he did not lose his practice of coming late. In this way, interpersonal communication is a solution for all problems is a misconception.
Some barriers of effective interpersonal communication
If an interpersonal communication is taking place with the use of technology and any one of the person do not have proper command on the proper usage of then this barrier is likely to occur. Not only is this, but usage of technology in interpersonal communicating is itself a barrier. However, people are bound to use it in case of being at a distant with the other person but since the most effective interpersonal communication can only occur with the natural tone, body language and eye contact, therefore technology is a barrier (Floyd, 2011).
A language barrier may arise in effective interpersonal communication if any one of the person lacks an understanding of the language in which communication is taking place. Apart from this, if any one of the person lacks proper usage of the language, then this can also turn into a barrier.
Some barriers also arise due to the perception of a person. Different people have different perception about a particular event or topic and due to this reason; the receiver may interpret the message of the sender in a different way, which was different from the sender's perception. These differences of the perception often act as great barriers in an affective interpersonal communication (West & Turner, 2011).
Since everyone has some feelings, therefore emotional barriers are most likely to occur in interpersonal communication. These feelings vary from person to person; due to this reason the extent of this barrier also vary from one person to another. Some people do not communicate in a normal way due to depression, job frustration, illness etc. For instance, a husband who is frustrated due to his job may communicate in a harsh way with his wife.
Desire to participate
Another barrier, which can arise in an effective interpersonal communication, is the lack of desire of the participant to participate in the process of communication. This desire can become a serious barrier on one hand and on the other hand, it can give a negative impact on the other person involved in the communication.
Strategies to improve empathetic, active and critical listening
Numerous strategies can be used to improve active listening. The prime and the most significant strategy are to have a complete view of the speaker rather than just listening. It is because of the fact that body language plays a key role in delivery of the message. However, body language alone cannot deliver a message but it is essential to look at the speaker while the speaker is delivering something because it increases the attention. Another strategy of active listening can be of sitting close to the speaker (DeVito, 2012). By doing this, the voice becomes clearer and there will be fewer chances that attention will be diverted. In addition to this, a listener should concentrate on the ideas of the speaker to achieve an active listening. This can be done by focusing on the main topic and not getting confused if some of the words are missed. Besides this, another strategy is that the listener should tell the speaker in case if he does not understand any single point. Some people hesitate in doing this but the speaker should be requested to clarify the points. This step is very helpful for a listener in clarification of every point.
A good strategy to improve empathic listening is to focus on the emotions of the speaker. According to a number of researchers, this strategy assists the listener to figure out the feelings of the speaker at the time message delivery and this will ultimately help in interpreting the message.
However, it is essential to clarify the points by asking questions but such questions should only be asked after the completion of the entire message otherwise this would divert the attention of the listener as well the speaker. Apart from this, a listener should always try to keep quiet during the delivery of the message (West & Turner, 2011). According to the studies, there is a high probability that if a speaker keeps quiet and focus on the topic empathic listening can be achieved.
In order to enhance the critical listening, the most effective strategy is to get aware about what the speaker is going to speak. In addition to this, it is also essential to know about the speaker's beliefs, history, culture and religion. All these things are imperative because they have a direct impact on the perception of the speaker. Besides this, it is necessary to understand the main goal of the speaker and the reason behind it (Floyd, 2011).
Impact of nonverbal expressions, perceptions and emotions on interpersonal relationships
All of these three features have a significant impact on the interpersonal relationship therefore, it is essential to consider these features and understand them in a deeper sense. Non-verbal communication is a great tool for building relationships. On the other hand, it also helps in cases when a person hesitates to communicate his feelings to the other person. In this case, non-verbal communication is used. For instance, if a person wants to interact with the pother person, the first thing, which he does, is to give a smile, which is a non-verbal act. This smile gives a positive impact to the other party. On the other hand, if a person looks at the person with eager, this will give a negative impact (DeVito, 2012). In this way, non-verbal communication greatly influences the interpersonal relationships. For example, if a wife starts crying due to a conflict with her husband, this gives an impact that she was deeply hearted with that conflict. Similarly, if a husband looks at her with an angry face, this shows that he cry is making the husband angry instead of making him emotionally touched.
In the same way, perceptions and emotions also affect interpersonal relationships. Perceptions largely depend upon the culture and religion of…