Monday, February 20, 2012
Chapter 1: A First Look at Interpersonal Communication
Communication is essential to the existence of human beings, fulfilling physical, social, and identity needs. At first, many believed that communication was a linear phenomenon (simply something a sender does to a receiver); however it is now believed to be more of a transactional exchange, occurring in a bidirectional manner between two people at the same time. There are several basic principles of interpersonal communication, that it: is intentional (planned words and actions) or unintentional (slips of the tongue or nonverbal messages), is irreversible (communication cannot be undone), is unrepeatable (due to the continuous change in people), has content (the literal message being relayed) and relational dimensions (the manner in which it is relayed which portrays how you feel), and that it is impossible not to communicate. Skilled communicators generally possess certain traits, such as: a varied range of behaviors, the ability to choose the most fitting behavior, skill in executing the chosen behavior, empathy (ability to put yourself in another’s shoes), ability to be self- monitoring (being aware of and observing one’s own behaviors), and they must be committed (caring enough about the relationship in order to communicate well). Personally, I think that I lost contact with a high school friend because she may have picked up on my unintentional cues that I was growing uncomfortable with her gossip of other classmates, and I think would have still been friends with her now if I had just spoken outright about my feelings and resolved the issue.