Significance of Writing in Relationships Essay

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Writing in Relationships Vicki Johnson Comm.200 Interpersonal Communication Larry Sexton April 15,2013

The communication between couples has many different levels, and components. There may be certain phrases that hold meaning just for them, hand signals to indicate different things, specific to their relationship, and even their writing holds significance.(Bower,2010) Couples research, from the University of Texas at Austin, has shown that when a couple employs similar ''function words''(Bower,2010) such as ''I'', ''under'' and ''but'' in a written conversation, the relationship is usually a stable, long-lasting one.(Bower,2010) This makes sense to me, because couples who are in a committed relationship, have a tendency to somehow ''key in'' on each others' mind -set, and reflect that in their communication. The research, called LSM, or Language -Style Matching, doesn't particularly show how much the people like each other, but instead, demonstrates the level of attention each is paying to what the other is saying.(Bower,2010) In their paper, the researchers said their data was cor relational.(Ireland,et al,2010) What this means, is that when a couples' language-style matching is strong, this in turn subconsciously increases that couples' desire to communicate more. If you in a relationship, communicating with someone who''gets'' what you are saying, you naturally want to continue that relationship, and that communication. However, the research also showed that, even though it is mostly those who like each other that score high on the LSM scale, those who had a great deal of animosity for each other, or were engaged in a fight, also score similarly on the LSM scale.(Bower,2010) I think this is a subconscious attempt, of those involved to ''get their point across'', in a manner the other person will understand. To do that, we unconsciously echo the other persons language, and gestures, so that they will understand us. It would be pointless, to argue with someone, in a manner they couldn't comprehend, almost like yelling in Hindi, while the other person only speaks English. When you meet someone new, and there is an instant connection, and you aren't sure why, it's probably because you share a high level of language-style matching with that person.(Bower,2010) This is true, of my best friend, Linda, and myself. She and I met, when I applied for the position of week-end chef, at the facility where she was kitchen manager. Throughout the hour and a half of my interview, there was a strong rapport between us. I got the job, and during my stay there, she and I developed a smooth, efficient working rhythm, seeming to know what each was thinking, even without talking. Outside of work, then, and now, we have strong friendship, that hasn't diminished even though I no longer work with her. This week's assignment called for us to submit writings from ourselves, and another person, to the LSM analysis program developed by the authors of the research. I used correspondence between myself, and my friend Linda. According to the scale created and used by the researchers, whose high-end was 0.95, and the average of which was 0.84, (Bower,2010),the score for myself and Linda was 0.93,way above the average. I think this is because, even though she and I are from different backgrounds, and there is a wide difference in our ages, our mind-set, and our grasp of what each is trying to say, is very similar, thus creating that strong bond, and desire to listen to each other, when we communicate. The research suggests that our unconscious copying of emotional tone, speech rate, and gestures, or mannerisms, increases how much we like the person we are communicating