Communication is going to be the cornerstone of any relationship; trust is going to be the heart of what makes any relationship beat and overwhelming love will be how any relationship will last. Taking the opportunity to learn more in depth about your interpersonal relationship with yourself and your partner can strengthen a relationship; therefore, taking such opportunities should be looked upon as a rehabilitation tool or a hinder on what you need to possibly improve to make a relationship work.
One feature that interferes with communication with anyone whom you want to have a conversation with is barriers. Barriers are typically the reason that communication falters between individuals; therefore, it’s important to have an understanding of the conversation and be a listener. A recent article from the website skillsyouneed.com.uk mentions “Barriers may lead to your message becoming distorted and you therefore risk wasting both time and/or money by causing confusion and misunderstanding.”
Overcoming barriers involves effective communication, especially when barriers hinder conveying a clear and concise message. Being aware of language barriers, physical outside sources like noise to nonverbal communication can and will effect a conversation. Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with a friend or family member while in a crowded restaurant, that not only had screaming or crying children but adults yelling at a television that was mounted and playing a sports show such as an NFL game will in this establishment?
Under those circumstances, it’s rather amazing that a conversation can be heard, let alone understood. Many people may rely on nonverbal communication during times like those via using mediated communication such as text messaging between one another. A downfall during media communication is that your true emotions cannot be correctly stated when they are read, but so many individuals rely on mediated communication devices instead of face-to-face time.
Increase of media communication has benefitted the majority of society to keep in touch with their family members, “A majority of those surveyed (83%) considers going online to be a “helpful” form of communication among family members” (Connecting Generations (2012)). Another negative about media communication is how people portray themselves through such social networks like facebook, myspace to name a few. Unfortunately, our world is not a safe place, and thanks to pedophiles, neither are social networks.
Even having the knowledge of barriers that are being conducted during your conversation does not mean the receiver acknowledges the sender’s message and is willing to participate with the conversation. Some individuals just have the lack of interest in the topic at hand and decide not to maintain communication between others. You need to make sure that each person has a desire to have a rappaport and animated feelings about the conversation or you could end up with receiving a lot of “Umm”, “Yea” or a head nod.
The impact that our nonverbal communication can provide a conversation and enlighten someone to what is actually going through the other person’s mind can drive a conversation instead of just relying on the power of words. It can be the simplest nonverbal communication as holding hands will driving down the road, leaving a simple gesture as a flower or having someone just smile that can impact how your day may go or end.
“The best communicators are sensitive to the power of the emotions and thoughts communicated nonverbally. Nonverbal communication is the single most powerful form of communication,” stated Susan Heathfield (2013). You don’t have to say any words for what you feel you need to gesture, it’ not always necessary too.
Without realization of what you are doing with your body language, facial expressions or hand gestures, you are providing the other person your true thoughts and feeling without having to say a single word. It’s about being able to read an individual with your eyes instead of listening to how they are speaking to you. One of the most important emotions someone can provide you is the sense of touch: on the cheek to trace a tear, a hug for comfort or a kiss on your lips just because they were overwhelmed with the fact that they miss you.
One experience I have found with nonverbal communication is the rolling of eyes during a conversation. It shows the lack of interest, platen disrespect to the person talking and how uneducated someone is in common courtesy. I have been experiencing this particular nonverbal disrespect in my line of work for years and I have noticed how my own children have started to pick it up with some of their peers. Needless to say, we have talked about it and we are trying to improve.
Unless you learn how to curb your nonverbal communication, you are capable of being read like an open book; however, there are those that flaunt nonverbal communication which is read incorrectly leading to perception, which can hinder a relationship. Perception is one of the biggest evils when it comes to any type of relationship, friend or romantic, because it’s showing a lack of trust, which is the heart of any relationship. Without perception, I believe people wouldn’t have a way to gossip or speculate about what they don’t have a clue about. The only people that truly know what is going on is those directly involved in the situation at hand; therefore, perception is what others think and want others to believe about said relationship based of their gossipy words.
Words have the magical capability to create and affect attitude, behavior or perception of an individual that is being looked at from the outside; therefore, communication and the builtment of trust before judgment would accommodate any relationship. Attitude in a relationship can hinder it, even if said attitude is not specifically coming from your intimate partner.
Your attitude from work can continue until you are home, during a nice dinner with your significant other and cause a conflict that wasn’t present before. I recommend establishing a rule that allows each individual to vent about their day for a maximum of ten minutes, and then they can’t mention it anymore and must enjoy their family time. We realized this works great for all family members since it’s a controlled release of all of our emotions that is not directed to anyone specific.
Nan Russell wrote in his article for JobsBankUSA, “Communication that builds trust is a dialogue, with a fountain built from integrity, forthrightness and honesty.” Without those three, you can’t build trust which results in the lack of communication and therefore, no relationship. Possessing integrity and never waiving from it shows that you have principles and you will do what is right at all times. If you waive from it, your forthrightness should be direct about what you did wrong, regardless of how petty it may seem to you, because it may mean everything to the other individual. Honesty is going to be what holds your relationship together; lies are never welcomed in any type of relationship. But you need to realize outside judgment may weight heavier with your significant other or your closest friends.
Outside judgment of an individual can drastically affect their attitude, behavior and how they are perceived, not just from others, but how they see themselves; therefore, they seek communication with someone they trust. Nothing hurts more than unkind words, regardless if the person knows you personally or not. People don’t realize that some take what they hear about themselves literally, and some have taken to the bullying they have endured over the years by, unfortunately, taking their lives. Projecting a better attitude than what those people are saying shows that you are the bigger person and that you feel that regardless of what any one individual may say about you, you have your own best interest at heart, and perception doesn’t mean anything to you.
Finding that someone that you can trust full heartedly is a task in itself. You let all your guard down when you are fully comfortable with an
individual, hoping they are not judgmental about what they hear about your past and when you find the one that doesn’t perceive you how others may do, then you can realize that they won’t ask you to place your integrity into jeopardy and take your friends at face value, instead of placing them on the back burner.
Lack of trust and communication can destroy friendships, families, marriages, jobs and romantic relationships; the things that people find to be the most important in their lives. Without trust in a friend, you will feel like they are just associates. Without trust in family, you will feel like an outsider when visiting for a family get-together. Lack of trust and communication in a marriage may result in a divorce. Lack of trust and communication in the job force could lead to unemployment or a death of a co-worker. Lack of communication in a romantic relationship could mean the end before it even began. Without knowing who you are as an individual, it may affect any type of relationship you have the desire for.
With the understanding of your self-concept, you are able to appreciate yourself, how your partner sees you and vice versa; however, the opinion of how others see you may affect how you see yourself. There is nothing more appreciative then someone who is confident with who they are, as long as it does not come across as cocky. When an individual realizes who they are in this life, or who they want to be, it can be the driving force of their happiness, and happiness can be contagious.
According to a quote in our textbook written by Sole (2011), “Your self-concept is learned, it is organized, it is dynamic and it is changeable (Purky, 1988).” Self-concept has been part of us since we were born; we were taught to respect ourselves and respect those that are older. It’s organized due to the understanding of how we approach who we want to be. Dynamic for the impact of how our own self-concept can change other’s opinions of themselves and of us and changeable because we simply don’t know what tomorrow will bring to our lives or take away.
The environment that you decide to place yourself in is going to affect you as an individual. It will help mold you into the person you feel you are, build your self-esteem and self-image; you are interchangeable to provide adaption. Wherever and however you grew up in society does not mean you have to be the same later in life. Placing yourself in an environment that makes you happy, regardless if it’s your home or occupation, is going to affect who you are going turn out to be. It will assist you in some way of how you mold your life, but it’s up to you in how you end up getting molded. Having a high self-esteem can be the driving force of how you want the world to see you, and as a couple, having self-esteem as a unit is going to be how other couples want to be you.
Self-image is the appreciation of yourself, how you carry your knowledge, confidence and maturity. Self-image is the impact of how others may see you, want to be you or feel threaten by you. Having a self-image that is threatening towards others can be the cause of many individuals not having the desire to converse with you, let alone be friends with you.
The abilities we have to change assist us with any environmental adaption we may come across in our lifetime. We never know what type of situations we may be in five minutes from bow, but our self-esteem and self-image could mean the difference of how the circumstances may play out. Regardless, it’s how you want to see yourself and how you project yourself to the world.
Even with the input of your partner, your family and friends, you are the one responsible for you; therefore, you need to figure out what makes you happy, take their opinions with a grain of salt and that you will change only when you feel it fits the situation. Making changes to your appearance, the way you talk or how you spend your time or money to impress someone isn’t going to win them over; therefore, you are making yourself miserable in the process when you can’t be your true self. When someone can’t accept you for who you are, what you do or how you act as a human being, that relationship may need reevaluated.
When a family member or friend can’t understand why you behave the way you do, or come across as outspoken and confident, sit down and explain to them
why you feel that certain way about the topic. Losing a family member or a dear friend over a few choice words or lack of understanding can be heart wrenching, so keep all forms of communication open without losing yourself in the mix of it all.
Self-disclosure of each individual in a relationship, especially with your significant other, will help you reinforce what you thought about who you are as a couple and as yourself. Self-disclosure about what happened to you in your past that made you who you are today can be the most significant information to your partner, and have a better outcome then what you expected. How you want to purse a college degree, where you want to visit in the world or how many kids you want (adopted, fostered or natural) is some of the insight people are looking for when they decide to enter into a relationship. Holding back about how you may feel about situations that arise can be the uttermost biggest mistake when looking at any relationship you are trying to have in your life. Research study in 2010 by BMC Medical Research methodology found that “readiness for self-disclosure” was associated with higher relationship quality.
Being able to disclose yourself by sharing your fears, doubts, private thoughts and how you perceive yourself can and will impact your relationship to the fullest extent. Who wouldn’t want someone to cling to when you come upon a fear? Nothing is better than having the comfort of someone’s arms around you when you need it most. To provide you words of encouragement when you start doubting yourself? Simply words can make the biggest impact when you feel that regardless of what you do, you are going to fail.
Share your private thoughts with and knowing that they won’t be divulged regardless of the circumstances? Having that person you can tell any secret to, and know that it won’t be told, even under the worst circumstances, is one reason people have best friends from such a young age. Without self-disclosure, no one really knows who they are keeping company with or who they are. It’s the difference between a fake individual and a real friend.
Without divulging information and hiding how you feel about any situation with your partner can be seen as breaking the trust in which your relationship was built, showing no care of how the other may feel and showing the lack of communication that could be built. Who would want to be with someone who simply broke your trust on a daily basis or showed the lack of caring about what you were discussing?
I have found myself in these circumstances throughout my life. I have had a family member break my trust, communicated the most horrible words that could be spoken to a child and since have not communicated any words with that individual in over eighteen years. I have had the best partner in the world, who did everything in his power to bring a smile to my face, showed when I least expected it and showered me with hugs and kisses. He took his time to leave me notes on my door, made dinner arrangements at the weirdest locations and made the most beautiful impact in my life that I have actually compared others to him upon his death.
I have raised a child that doesn’t communicate at all with his father, who doesn’t take the time to call his son or write a letter. Instead my child has the pleasure of communicating with his dad’s ex-girlfriend, has extended family that is not blood reach out to him and has realized at a tender age of eleven that not everyone is who they say they are or will be. He is lucky to have numerous people in his life that want to be a part of it.
I have learned to remove myself from environments that impact my moods and attitude, learned to step back and appreciate my friends (regardless how few) and my family and come to realize that if a person doesn’t like me for being me, they don’t deserve to be part of my life or my children’s lives. May people have asked me why I have disconnected myself from so many, besides those that I work with, and I have come to explain to them that there is enough stress, unwanted drama in this world that I don’t want it in mine, and if they can respect that, they are more than welcome to remain in my life.
I am trying to show my children that communication is a two way street, just like respect, and that both is needed to make our world a better place. There is no need to speak negatively about anyone they don’t know or towards one another, that action does speak louder than words at times and that regardless of any situation that they may come upon, I will be there.
Enlightenment of any aspect of a relationship, regardless of if it’s with yourself or your significant other, can benefit either party with the knowledge that they may have been seeking or possibly feared. It’s about having the confidence of communication and understanding between two individuals that influences the lasting years between couples. “Love is to trust, hope and endure whatever may come (Bible).”
Heathfiled, Susan M. (2013). Listen with Your Eyes. Tips for Understanding Nonverbal Communication. Retrieved from:
Russell, Nan (2006). Six Tips for Trust-Enhancing Communication. Retrieved from:
Schoenberg, Nara (2011, Jan). Can We Talk? Researcher Talks about the Role of Communication in Happy Marriages. Retrieved from:
http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/840600645/fulltext/13CBA1F7DFE34D3C383/1?accountid=32521 Skillsyouneed.com.uk. Barriers to Effective Communication. Retrieved from:
Sole, K. (2011). Making Connections: Understanding Interpersonal Communications. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.