Introduction to Interpersonal Communication Mind map (Functional Aspects…
Introduction to Interpersonal Communication Mind map
Being away from your family, you will probably notice changes to your relationships with them. All of these dynamics, and many more, fall under the scope of interpersonal communication.
interpersonal communication. “Inter” means between, among, mutually, or together. The second part of the word, “personal” refers to a specific individual or particular role that an individual may occupy.
Communication scholars view interpersonal communication qualitatively; meaning that it occurs when people communicate with each other as unique individuals.
interpersonal communication is when people treat one another as unique individuals, regardless of context in which interaction takes place or number of people involved.
: Where communication takes place. How you know the person. Family, job, school, religions, sports etc.
: We measure the quality of the relationship often by the length of time we spent together and the length of time we CHOOSE to spend together.
: Intimacy refers to the closeness of a relationship. There are four kinds of closeness/intimacy.
involves physical contact, hugging, kissing, dancing, sexual, etc..
is about idea exchange.*
is when we share our feelings with another.
is when we share a connection beyond ourselves.
: This is the degree to which we like each other or appreciate each other.
: This is the degree to which parties have power to influence each other.
We could have conversational control (who talks, who interrupts, who decides what is talked about) and who makes the decisions.
We also have power distribution within the relationship. If it is complementary distribution that means that one person has power and the other is more subordinate. Doctor/patient, teacher/student are examples of this.
Symmetrical power distribution
means that the two people share the power equally or they match each other.
Each of these dimensions are helpful in trying to determine how interpersonal your relationship is, but none are particularly good on their own.
Why Do We Form Relationships?
Sometimes we don’t have a choice about our relationships, for instance, in a work setting or with our own families. But there are a number of factors that influence our choice of relational partners:
(we do tend to like people who are like us)
(we are attracted to people who like us)
(we like to be around talented people)
(revealing things about yourself can help build liking)
(being near someone frequently often builds liking)
(a somewhat economic model called the social exchange theory which suggests that we seek out people who can give us rewards that are greater than or equal to the costs we encounter in dealing with them).
Functional Aspects of Interpersonal Communication
We frequently engage in communication designed to achieve
such as gaining compliance (getting someone to do something for us), getting information we need, or asking for support.
• You ask your friend to help you move this weekend (
• You ask your coworker to remind you how to balance your cash register till at the end of your shift (
requesting or presenting information
• You console your roommate after he loses his job (
asking for or giving support
When we communicate to achieve
, we are striving to maintain a positive relationship. Engaging in relationship-maintenance communication is like taking your car to be serviced at the repair shop.
• You organize an office party for a coworker who has just become a US citizen (celebrating/honoring accomplishments).
• You make breakfast with your mom while you are home visiting (spending time together).
• You post a message on your long-distance friend’s Facebook wall saying you miss him (checking in).
We also pursue
by adapting our communication in order to be perceived in particular ways.
• As your boss complains about struggling to format the company newsletter, you tell her about your experience with Microsoft Word and editing and offer to look over the newsletter once she’s done to fix the formatting (
presenting yourself as competent
• You and your new college roommate stand in your dorm room full of boxes. You let him choose which side of the room he wants and then invite him to eat lunch with you (
presenting yourself as friendly
• You say, “I don’t know,” in response to a professor’s question even though you have an idea of the answer (
presenting yourself as aloof, or “too cool for school”
Cultural Aspects of Interpersonal Communication
Communicating in relationships also helps establish relationship cultures
are the climates established through interpersonal communication that are unique to the relational partners but based on larger cultural and social norms.
Think of relationship schemata as blueprints or plans that show the inner workings of a relationship. Just like a schematic or diagram for assembling a new computer desk helps you put it together, relationship schemata guide us in how we believe our interpersonal relationships should work and how to create them.
So from our life experiences in our larger cultures, we bring building blocks, or expectations, into our relationships, which fundamentally connect our relationships to the outside world.