Letters of Love
Comm200 Interpersonal Communication
Instructor William Harshman Jr.
July 15, 2013
Letters of Love 2
While imaging I was writing a letter to a newly engaged couple and the advice I would give them on how to effectively use interpersonal communication, I could not help but reflect on my past experiences. What would I tell myself? Within this question I found that I have learned a lot not only about myself, but how I can be a better communicator with people in general. I was raised in a certain environment, around a certain belief structure, and under certain standards in which we communicated with each other. I carried some of these practices into adulthood, parenthood, and into my own relationships. I have succeeded where many have failed, and I have failed miserably where others succeeded. At times I questioned what I was doing, my behavior, my tone, and the words I spoke or most importantly did not speak, and now after this class I can see what changes can be made to make me into a better person as to not repeat the same mistakes again. The following letter to Faye & Bradley is what I would write to myself, and the important aspects of interpersonal communication. My dearest Faye and Bradley,
My advice to you for a successful relationship is, communication. There are five points that I would like to address that are key to having effective interpersonal communication with one another. Like so many others, you may think that communication is nothing more than words spoken. Well, you are partially correct. There are principles and misconceptions in effective interpersonal communication. The four principles are as followed. Communication is unavoidable. Even if we do not speak, we may say plenty with our actions, posture, facial expressions, the way we walk, everything we do or do not do communicates some kind of
Letters of Love 3 message to those around us. Words that we speak are nothing more than symbols for what we are trying to say. Communication is irreversible. Basically what we do, what we say, or the message that we are trying to send, once sent we cannot take it back. Have you ever watched a trial and something important was said, and the judge has instructed the jury to disregard the last statement? Did you wonder to yourself, “ disregard the last statement?? How am I supposed to do that?” That’s how this principal works. Once it is out there, it is out there. Communication is complicated. There is no way to simplify it. Variables contribute to its complicity. Variables such as environment, language, culture, distractions, who is sending the message, who is receiving the message, and how the message is being interpreted, all of this has to be taken into consideration when communicating. Finally contextual is the final principal. Within this principle you must figure out a way to make sure everyone involved understands what is being said. Ask questions, be empathetic to the situation, take heed of your environment to which you are receiving this message or sending it. There are so many factors in this that can cause a misunderstanding that your entire environment must be taken into consideration for you to fully understand what the message is. The misconception about effective interpersonal communication is that what we are saying, or the message we are trying to send is governed by our own feelings. We assume that everyone around us is on the same wave length. We believe we know that person’s views and opinions. We think that they are the same as our own, so that is how we talk to them. Forgetting that they may come from different cultures, different life styles, and different situations causes this misconception. Developing strategies for active, critical, and empathetic listening is the second key I would like to tell you about. Listening is not just sitting there nodding