Understanding Interpersonal Communication (Communication Patterns in…
Understanding Interpersonal Communication
Characteristics of Interpersonal Communication
What Makes Communication Interpersonal?
---Two-way interactions between people who are part of a close and irreplaceable relationship in which they treat each other as unique individuals.
Mediated Interpersonal Communication
---An affiliation between people who know each other only in the virtual world.
---A mixture of the words
, used to describe episodes in which people pay more attention to their devices than they do to the people around them.
Why people use communication technology
1. Mediated channels enable communication that would not happen otherwise.
When people are far away from each other or have different routines, technology can help them stay connected.
2. Mediated communication can feel nonthreatening.
For introverted people, mediated channels make it easier to build close relationships.
3. Online communication can be validating.
One appealing quality of online communication is its potential to convey social support.
4. Electronic communication often has a pause option.
Many forms of mediated communication are asynchronous, meaning that they allow you to think about messages before sending them.
Drawbacks of online communication
Whether people who communicate online already know one another or not, the virtual world presents challenges in terms of interpersonal communication.
How We Choose Relational Partners
Evaluating Relationship Potential
1. The person is physically attractive.
People are more likely to show interest in others they consider physically attractive, both in person and online.
2. We have a lot in common.
We like people whose temperament, values, and life goals are similar to our own.
3. We balance each other out.
Differences strengthen a principle when they are
---when each partner's characteristics satisfy the other's needs.
4. The person likes and appreciates me.
People who approve of us bolster our feelings of self-esteem.
5. I admire the person's abilities.
Forming relationships with talented and accomplished people can inspire us and provide flattering validation.
6. The person opens up to me.
People who reveal important information about themselves often seem more likable, provided of course that what they share is appropriate to the setting and the stage of the relationship.
7. I see the person frequently.
Proximity leads to liking.
8. The relationship is rewarding.
Social exchange theory
---The idea 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.
Relationship Reality Check
First impressions can mislead.
We tend to overestimate how similar we are to our friends and underestimate how similar we are to people we don't know well.
Our priorities change.
Attractive features may open doors, but apparently, it takes more than physical beauty to keep them open.
Perfection can be a turn-off.
We are uncomfortable around people who are
It's not all about communication, but it's a lot about communication.
Long-term compatibility relies less on superficial similarities and more on how people interact with each other once they start a relationship and encounter stressful issue.
Types of Interpersonal Relationships
Youth versus Mature
Some elements of friendship hold true across the life span.
Short-term versus long-term
Short-terms friends tend to change as our lives do.
Low disclosure versus high disclosure
Some of your friends know more about you than others.
Doing-oriented versus being-oriented
Some friends experience closeness "in the doing".
Low obligation versus high obligation
There are some friends for whom we would do just about anything.
Frequent contact versus occasional contact
You probably keep in close touch with some friends.
Same sex versus other sex
Friendship varies, to some extent, by sex.
---A collection of people who share affection and resources and who think of themselves and present themselves as a family.
Grandparents and grandchildren
Parents and children
Male and female intimacy styles
---A state of closeness between two (or sometimes more) people. Intimacy can be manifested in several ways: physically, intellectually, emotionally, and via shared activities.
Acts of service
Stages of Romantic Relationships
---Theoretical frameworks based on the idea that communication patterns are different in various stages of interpersonal relationship.
1. Each stage requires different types of communication.
2. Relational Development involves risk and vulnerability.
3. Partners can change the direction a relationship is headed.
Communication Patterns in Relationships
Content and Relational Messages
---A message that communicates information about the subject being discussed.
---The degree to which people like or appreciate one another. As with all relational messages, affinity is usually expressed nonverbally.
---A message that expresses the social relationship between two or more individuals.
---The degree to which we hold others in esteem.
---The degree of interest and attraction we feel toward and communicate to others. As with all relational messages, immediacy is usually expressed nonverbally.
---The social need to influence others.
Messages (usually relational) that refer to other messages; communication about communication.
Self-Disclosure in Interpersonal Relationships
---The process of deliberately revealing information about oneself that is significant and that would not normally be known by others.
Characteristics of effective self-disclosure
4. Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand?
The level of sharing in successful relationships rises and falls in cycles.
2. Is the disclosure appropriate?
Appropriateness relies on personal preference and culture.
5. Is the disclosure reciprocated?
Unequal self-disclosure creates an unbalanced relationship.
3. Is the risk of disclosing reasonable?
Take a realistic look at the potential risks of self-disclosure.
6. Will the effect be constructive?
Self-disclosure can be a vicious tool if it's not used carefully.
1. Is the other person important to you?
Disclosure may be the path toward developing a more personal relationship with someone.
7. Is the self-disclosure clear and understandable?
When you express yourself to others, it's important that you do so intelligibly by clearly describing the
of your message.
Models of self-disclosure
Social Penetration Model
---A theory that describes how intimacy can be achieved via the breadth and depth of self-disclosure.
---The range of topics about which an individual discloses.
---The level of personal information a person reveals on a particular topic.
The Johari Window
---A model that describes the relationship between self-disclosure and self-awareness.
Open, Blind, Hidden, Unknown
Lies and Evasions
---Deception intended to be unmalicious, or even helpful, to the person to whom it is told.
---They evade full disclosure by being deliberately vague.
---attempts to manipulate the listener into believing something that is untrue to advance the deceiver's agenda.
Dialectical Perspective of Interpersonal Relationships
---The perspective that people in virtually all interpersonal relationships must deal with equally important, simultaneous, and opposing forces such as connection and autonomy, predictability and novelty, and openness versus privacy.
Openness Versus Privacy
Disclosure is one characteristic of interpersonal relationship. Sometimes-conflicting drives create the
Predictability Versus Novelty
Stability is an important need in relationships, but too much predictability can lead to feelings of staleness and boredom.
Connection Versus Autonomy
The conflicting desires for connection and independence are embodies in the
"I felt trapped"
"I needed freedom"
On one hand we desire intimacy, but we often feel the need to maintain some distances as well.
Strategies for Managing Dialectical
One of the least functional responses to dialectical tensions is to deny that they exist.
When communicators feel so overwhelmed and helpless that they are unable to confront their problems they are said to be disoriented.
When partners employ the strategy of
, they respond to one end of the dialectical spectrum and ignore the other.
Communication sometimes alternate between one end of the dialectical spectrum and the other.
People find a balance of sorts by each staking a claim at opposite ends of a dialectic continuum.
People compartmentalize different areas of the relationship.
Compromises in which people back off from expressing either end of the dialectical spectrum.
Redefine the situation so that the apparent contradiction disappears.
Acknowledging that dialectical tensions will never disappear and accepting or even embracing the challenges they present.
2. Partner can be in sync in some ways, but not in others.
3. Some approaches are more conductive to relational satisfaction
1. Relationships involve continual change and negotiation.