Interpersonal Communications Essay

When people communicate they are sharing information with eachother. This information can be things like facts like the time or the weather. Another way of communicating is like giving eachother something; like passing the salt, or signing which way it is to get to the train station.

These are all simple ways of communicating. We do this all day. Another thing we do all day which some people might not be aware of is interpersonally comunicating. Interpersonal communication is actually sharing feelings. When two people are talking they can look at eachother and letting the other know that they are feeling in a certain way.So how is this done? One way of letting a person know that you’re feeling sad might not even be on purpose.

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This could be by frowning. The interpersonal communication process is as follows. One person displays his face, the person in front of him detects it and then defines it for himself. This way without words, but with body language, they are interpersonally communicating. So what are the main functions of interpersonal communication? (Tim Borchers) There are four main functions.

These are; * Gaining information People gain information by observing.This is done by “Self disclosure”. This way we can predict how people feel or how they think and act when we get to know them. This is information easily gained from things like facial expressions.

* Building a context of understanding Interpersonal communication is also a way of helping to understad what a person really means when they are talking to you, because we sometimes know from a persons body language what they are really saying. An example of this is sarcasm. Sarcasm is saying one thing and meaning the other like my mum would say; “Anne, your room is so tidy!I’ve never seen it this tidy! ” when she really means to say that she has never seen it in such a state! This way i know that she would prefer it if i went up to clean it, because that is the message she would like to give. Another example of letting me know that i would have to clean my room is by over exaggerating. This is something that should not be done by texting eachother because one would really need to be able to see the body language or hear the tone of her voice. “Anne, it seems that there has been a robbery in our house! ” * Establishing identityOnce people realise what people are like by how they present themselves or act, they can also build their own identity.

Of course people do not always buil dan identity because you are who you are, but sometimes one can adjust his presentation. Once one has discovered of what he is capable of simply by presenting himself in a certain way, they can look at how they can adjust that. An example, a person who applies for a job, would be hired quicker if he also seemed confident and happy than if he looked like he is depressed or unconfortable. – Interpersonal needs.People cannot live like robots without feelings.

There are three needs (Robert Schutz), which are tob e expressed and received; these are Inclusion, Control and Affection. * Inclusion is the need to build identities, and get other people to notice you. * Control is a need to be able to navigate the relationships. It could also be seen as leadership, where people controll a group or a significant other. Some people would however, rather be controlled by someone because they are insecure about their own decisions.

* Affection is the need to build relationships.Making friends or finding a soul mate are all relationships which are based on interpersonal communication. There are various theories based on interpersonal communication. The following theories are the theories which are widely recognised; “Uncertainty reduction theory” (Berger), “Social exchange theory” (George C.

Homans), “Symbolic interaction”( Mead, G. H. 1934), “Relational dialectics theory” (Baxter, L. , Braithwaite, D. 2008), “Coordinated management of meaning” (Littlejohn, S. 1996), “Social penetration theory” (Tim Borchers), “Relational patterns of interaction theory” (Watzlawick, P. , Beavin, J.

, & Jackson, D. 1967), “Identity management theory”, “Communication privacy management theory”, “Cognitive dissonance theory” (Leon Festinger, 1950’s) (Imahori, T. & Cupach, W.

1993), “Attribution theory”, and “Expectancy violations theory”(Bochner 1979). I will be discussing the theories which have inspired me to write about. The Social exchange theory; This theory suggests that human interaction is like an “economic transaction, in that you may seek to maximise rewards and minimise costs”. Quite a funny way of putting it but true. It is basically saying this about relationship building. Why do people like or dislike oneanother?Why would people reveal certain information about themselves and what kind of information would they reveal.

What do they think it does with the counterperson? It is similar to the theory of interdependance (Thibaut and Kelly, 1959), which states that: “relationships grow, develop, deteriorate, and dissolve as a consequence of an unfolding social-exchange process, which may be conceived as a bartering of rewards and costs both between the partners and between members of the partnership and others”. It means that people actually stay in the relationship if it is in his or her own interest.It may sound selfish but in the end it is the only reason people are in certain relationships with one another.

A true life example of this is for example when young women date older men. They probably both do not even like each other because the older guy listens to the beatles while the young woman listens to backstreet boys and they have nothing really to talk about. All they want from each other is what’s best for themselves. For the girl, it is her sugar daddy’s money, and for the man it is the young body of his young and hot girlfriend, and he’s probably enjoying the looks on jealous men’s faces.

This relationship however is based more on the materialistic needs for one’s self. Another relationship, which is based on love is also because the lovers are in it for themselves but because they enjoy the body language of their significant other, which is appealing to themselves. If it wasn’t they would not be enjoying but doing it for the other, and these relationships do not last long unless there is another thing which the person finds appealing and worth more than some body language. Another theory, which I found very interesting, was the “identity management theory”.This theory suggests that people change in a relationship. Their role or identity may develop, sometimes be maintained (rarely) in the relationship. This is probably why people get divorced quicker nowadays. In love “relationships”, people tend to start of with one liking the other and therefore the admired person has more power.

Then when they get a relationship, thing tend to cross their path and things in the relationship change. This could be from affairs, children, jobs, anything. Another example is in the office when two people are in the same position in the business and one gets promoted.Even if the relationship wasn’t too good to begin with, jealousy might arise. Anyhow, these relationships, bad or good, are judged by the way a person acts of what he lets the other person read and what he reads of the other person. Being able to manage that is something that takes practice.

You cannot straight away like your brother’s new girlfriend, but you can try and act as if you do so that everyone gets along friendly. Cognitive dissonance is another theory which i found very apealing.This is because it is very useful in life. This theory was suggested in the 1950s by Leon Festiger. It suggests that people always try to make themselves feel at ease in new situations. I like this theory because people arent very good at it even though they try to so hard sometimes. An example is when people need to give a presentation in front of a group of people they dont know. An immediate reaction could be stammering or sweating, but your mind tells you to stop doing to because you dont want people to see that you’re nervous.

The best thing to do is tell yourself: “ I dont know these people, if i fall flat on my face, no one i know would ever find out because they dont know these people either. The reason why people use cognitive dissonance is when they are in a new situation and they base their expectations on the things they’ve experienced before hand which were in a sence similar. Or in another unfomfortable situation they build it on beliefs or views. These can give them an opinion about the uncomfortable situation. Another theory which i found interesting is the “Expectancy Violations Theory”. THis theory is based on sociopsychological systems.This theory shows the relationship between the messages sent by body language (so non-verbal) and the way that people take in those messages. The social norms in life suggests that some non-verbal messages/ behaiour is unacceptable or accepted.

These norms are beliefs which people in a society build upon when they interpret these non-verbal behaviours and then judge it. The social norms become a belief of their own, and then influence their own oppinions. This is why we have certain expectations of people around us and these may be met but they may also not be met. When this happens we judge them.There are various ways for these judgements: * “Arousal”: When a change of expectations happens and the interest increases a lot! * “Cognitive arousal”: When a change of expectations happens and the interest increases mentally. * “Physical arousal”: When a change of expectations happens and the interest increases, and our body cannot cope with it; sweat, facial expressions, etc * “Reward valence”: when we are disappointed by an expectation, we think about the actual expectation and try to make it seem as though it was less important and then we would not feel as if we were disappointed.

I know that when i havent met my expectations or goals i usually make it seem like it wasnt important anyways, because i know that when i’ve lost something or didnt meet my goal, i could get very upset about it eventhough there is nothing i can do about it anymore and that is why i try to make myself comfortable in situations which i could get wound up about. If i know that i can still meet the goal i will do anything to reach it.Another form of this is when you have exams, and you try to procrastinate even thoough you know that it is more important than anything in the world right now but you make stuff (which is also not fun but necesary) more important for yourself. During my exam weeks, my room is alwas in it’s tidiest state because i tell myself that a tidy room is more important. In the end it is clear that what one says is very important but how they say i tand the way they present themselves is more important. With that knowlegde we can say that the people who come across as a bit insecure we sould pay attention to them as take note of what they are feeling.

Then we can take their message as well.References* Tim Borchers, Moorhead State University, interpersonal communication, http://www. abacon. com/commstudies/interpersonal/interpersonal.

html Accessed 2012 * Wikipedia 2012, Interpersonal communication, http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Interpersonal_communication, Accessed 2012 * Mead, G.

H. (1934). Mind, self and society Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

* Baxter, L. , Braithwaite, D. (2008). Engaging theories in interpersonal communication: Multiple perspectives.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. * Littlejohn, S. 1996). Theories of human communication (Ed 5). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. * Berger, C. R. , Calabrese, R.

J. (1975). Some Exploration in Initial Interaction and Beyond: Toward a Developmental Theory of Communication.

Human Communication Research, 1, 99–112. * Foss, K. & Littlejohn, S. (2008). Theories of Human Communication, Ninth Edition. Belmont, CA.

* Watzlawick, P. , Beavin, J. , & Jackson, D. (1967). Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, and Paradoxes (pp. 120 – 121). New York: Norton.


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