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Communication refers to the means of sending and receiving information from one individual to another. For the information to reach the recipient successfully, it is important that there are less or no barriers or filter present. According to Markman, Stanley and Blumberg there are five main filters of communication which greatly influence communication in marriage.
These filters are:
Distractions can either be internal or external. Internal distractions can be preoccupations, such as planning for the day or feeling tired. External factors can be a hearing problem or a noisy radio. It is important to ensure that there are no distractions when communicating.
This basically refers to moods. Communication is affected by moods. A person with a good mood is likely to receive information positively, unlike one with a bad mood. It is important to ensure that you begin with how you feel before you can proceed with the conversation.
We normally see what we expect to see in others. Thus, a partner is likely to misjudge the other by thinking that one knows what their partner is thinking and thus affect communication.
Differences in style
Different styles are developed from different backgrounds, gender and culture. For example, in one family raising voices may seem as threatening while in the other it may seem like a normal way of communicating. Families develop their unique spoken and unspoken rules for caring, making decisions and communicating. It is important to be aware of these styles.
This is where a partner is afraid of the reaction of the other when communicating to them. An example can be when one wants something, they will tend to ask indirectly instead of going straight to the point. In general, getting one’s full attention is important when communicating since it ensures that they receive the right information that you intend to communicate to them.
A negative interpretation is simply making a biased or negative assumption regarding your partner’s behaviour or thinking. It is important to note that the message received is not necessarily the message sent. The message received depends on our interpretation of the message. Negative interpretation is caused by negative perception present during the communication. It is important to avoid negative interpretation in order to ensure that the message that we respond to is the actual message that was intended. It is important to give the other party the benefit of doubt in order to receive and understand the intended message.
It is essential to acknowledge that misinterpretation may reflect a hidden issue. When a person has a hidden issue, for example, mistrust or disbelief, there will be a likely hood that they will misinterpret any information being communicated to them by their partner. For successful communication, both the sender and receiver should understand each other.
In general, we all have different ways of communicating. These differences are basically attributed to our background. Thus a couple from two different backgrounds will need to understand each other in an effort to communicate successfully. The final message communicated will depend on such filters. It is therefore important for a couple to be careful and aware of these filters in order to ensure that the message received is the actual message intended to be conveyed.