The first paper focused on interpersonal communication in marriage. Interpersonal communication refers to the sharing of information between individuals. The number of people involved in the sharing of information can be two or more. Interpersonal communication is the key to building a positive relationship between individuals, especially in marriage.
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The theories of interpersonal relationships, skills, and concepts are the main pillars in ensuring effective interpersonal communication. Self-disclosure is one of the major concepts of interpersonal communication. It involves intentionally telling the other person about yourself so that they understand your way of doing things and in the process a person is also able to understand themselves (Berko, Wolvin & Wolvin, 2007).
In ensuring time management, it is necessary that the husband and wife explain their idea of how things should be done and the time frame within which the completion of the projects is appropriate. Once they understand each other, it will be easier to guide their communication and come to a consensus. The deepest level of self-disclosure is achieved when the actions of one party can affect the actions of the other party.
Another concept in interpersonal communication is the seeking of approval. Communication between two people most of the time is aimed at one party seeking to be approved by the other party involved in the communication. In some circumstances, people may want to be approved to the extent that they no longer consider themselves or their opinions as important (Berko, Wolvin& Wolvin, 2007).
In a relationship between a husband and a wife, seeking approval is an important concept since most of the time they are involved in projects together and it is important that one gets the approval of the other prior to proceeding with a project. In this relationship, as much as each of the partner’s should seek approval, they should do it in a manner that their opinions are considered and used when making decisions.
Hence, they should choose what to disclose to their partners. They should also be in control of their own lives and not leave their fate to be decided by another person. In interpersonal communication, it gets to a point where one person requires another person’s support or needs one person to agree with them.
From the case given, sometimes, the wife feels that she has been irrational in postponing issues and also feels that at times the husband has been irrational when he did things in a rush. These are the moments when gaining compliance is necessary (Berko, Wolvin & Wolvin, 2007).
There are many methods through which one partner can get the other partner to agree with them. They could apply pre-giving, where one partner may give the other what he or she wants so that the next time the one who received what they wanted will have to compromise for the other. They may also use liking, where one partner could do something good to the other or put the other in a happy mood in order to get them to do things their way.
Self-feelings can also be used, an example is by saying a statement that will make the other person feel guilty and therefore enable them to do things the way one wants them to do. Through this, each of them can have a balance of what they want and also compromise what they perceive as ideal in order to give the other a chance to achieve their wants.
One theory of interpersonal communication is the uncertainty reduction theory. According to this theory, the beginning of people’s relationships is usually filled with things which you do not know about each other. The people relating are uncertain about each other and they try to eliminate the uncertainty between them.
From the case, the couple had been in a relationship for two years before they got married and even after they got married they had problems with their different backgrounds. In the case given, the couple had an uncertainty issue concerning time management. Uncertainty may cause them to create a distance between them.
Hence, in order to be able to communicate effectively they can reduce uncertainty through various ways such as observing each other, asking about how the other person has handled time management issues in their previous relationships wand finally they could have a discussion on the issues they are not sure about that concern time management.
They had a discussion and each of them had a different view on the issue since one thinks doing things faster will relieve future stress while the other thinks that it increases stress at the present moment. At this point, another important skill of interpersonal communication could be used – listening. Each partner should listen to the other’s point of view and compromise on various occasions as their views on the different matters are different.
The social exchange theory is another example of a theory that has been used to explain interpersonal communication. It is based on looking at what one gains from communications and the costs one has to incur during the communication. According to the theory, people will generally struggle to increase their gains and to reduce losses.
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In order that communication between two people is successful each of the two has to satisfy their interests. From the case, when the benefits outweigh losses, the relationship will be successful. In the case provided, each member wanted the time management issue to be handled in their way. It is important that both their interests are satisfied in the relationship to be successful and this requires that each of them compromises on different occasions to accommodate the needs of the other.
The social penetration theory on the other hand views that communication varies from superficial to deep. That someone may first tell you the superficial reasons for doing things and keep the deeper reasons until when they think they can benefit from telling the other partner that information.
Using the time management theory, the couple can be explained as thinking that doing things in a rush will present future stress or maybe delaying things will prevent present stress. Probably, there are past experiences that have triggered such kinds of feelings but they have never disclosed to each other and are waiting for the most favorable moment to disclose the information which may come later on.
It is important now that all of them should encourage self-disclosure to ensure that the issue is discussed effectively. In summary, it is evident that the different concepts, skills and theories of interpersonal communication learnt in class have been important in improving my interpersonal communication.
This will improve my communication skills in my relationship and further improve the relationship. There is no theory or concept that can be applied to each situation in our relationship but all of them come into play during different situations.
Berko, R.M., Wolvin, D.A., & Wolvin D.R. (2007). Communicating: A social and career Focus. Upper Saddle River NJ: Pearson Education Inc.