There are many different factors of communication in relationships. One of the most often asked questions about communication is how one achieves mutual communication in any type of a relationship. People sometimes feel that communication makes a better marriage. Many people often wonder how to reconnect with their partner after communication has stopped. Body language or non verbal communication plays a major role in communication. These are some the topics that will be discussed in this research paper.
Mutual communication is achieved when both partners in a relationship can effectively listen and communicate their feelings with one another. Some say that this is the basis for a healthy long lasting relationship. There are many skills a good listener has to have. Some of which are easier to express than others are. The most important of which is expressing empathy (De Jong). In mutual communication both partners should make eye contact with one another. Usually when one makes eye contact it shows that they are paying attention to what the other person is saying to them at the time. When mutually communicating neither partner should send destructive messages. Destructive messages include but are not limited to ordering, threatening, lecturing, and ridiculing (Lauer). Destructive messages lead to conflict and not resolution.
When one person sends a destructive message to the listener the listener more than likely will get discouraged and that will make the situation worse. Ordering and threatening lead to more of a power struggle rather than to effective communication. There are many different styles of a poor listener. There are people who fake the fact that they are listening when their mind is in another place. For example John is making it seem like he is listening to his wife Julie when in fact he is thinking about his golf game the next day.
There are people who interrupt. Interrupting decreases mutual communication. There are also people who can intellectually listen and carry on a conversation. An example of an intellectual listener is Jessica. Jessica has just told her friend Jake about her new teacher at her college. She tells Jake what he taught and the manner in which he taught it. Jessica is clearly giving Jake non verbal cues that should lead him to believe that she has a romantic interest in the new teacher. Jake does not pick up on the cues but criticizes the style that the teacher uses to teach his classes.
Some people say that communication makes a better marriage. Everyday conversations increase satisfaction by offering a broad range of topics to be discussed. Usually in a marriage, when everyday conversation increases happiness, and the partners often laugh more together. Everyday conversation also allows the couple to talk about their interests and the happenings of their day in a relaxed and calm setting. When you have good communication in a marriage, conflicts are often calmly discussed.
People in a marriage are self disclosed. Self disclosure is defined as the honest revealing of ones self to another. Self disclosure increases intimacy and marital satisfaction (Lahey). Partners who are in a married situation often feel the need to communicate their feelings and ideas to keep their marriage open, happy, and healthy. The main reason for breakup of marriages is a lack of communication (Stark). The cause for the lack of communication most often is that people do not know how to properly communicate with one another especially in a conflict situation where they do not agree on a point.
Sometimes it takes someone from a neutral point of view to point this fact out to couples, who are having problems in the relationship. Most often the couple will not realize that they have a problem unless an outside source points it out to them. This could help them or create more conflict with in the relationship. If there is a problem, and there is no communication between the two partners in the relationship the problem will grow. However, if there is good communication the problem has potential to be resolved and to possibly never reoccur (De Jong).
It is also important, to effectively communicate, to maintain the boundaries. Maintaining boundaries is the separation of home life from work life. If you bring your work life into your home life discussions, it is more than likely that you will get distracted from the topic at hand (Stark). Some people bring their work life home it creates jealousy. Jealousy is also a leading cause of breakups in a relationship (Laurer). When people effectively communicate in a married relationship, exchange and role equity are heightened. Exchange equity, for example is the female being the primary bread winner and the male staying home. Role equity, is sharing the chores of the house as well as the duties of the head of the house.
Partners in a married relationship may have different opinions about role and exchange equity. Some people feel that the female should stay home and be a traditional house wife. For example the woman would do the dishes, laundry, and take care of the children. Some people feel that both the male and female should be able to go to work and have a career. Effective communication in a marriage about these kinds of feelings can solve many future problems in a rational and timely manner (Lauer). Therefore, if there is ample problem solving and good communication, in a marriage it will generally be a healthier, happier, more satisfying marriage.
Body language or non-verbal communication is said to be used between 50-80 percent in a relationship. Women use non-verbal cues or body language more often than males do. Non verbal cues froe example are the position in which a person is sitting, the expression on ones face, or the amount of eye contact that they are making. If you have an open posture, and are leaning in towards the speaker, you are giving off good body language. If you are sitting with your arms crossed, and a closed posture then you are giving off bad body language. Women also tend to read into body language and the meanings behind it more than men (Lauer).
Women tend to read body language on a more emotional level than men do. For example women tend to see when someone has a romantic interest in another where as men do not see that. Partners, generally speaking, in a good relationship should be able to read the other partners body language and know what they want to say without them always having to verbalize their thoughts. Body language can tell your partner what you are thinking without actually having to say it.
I decided on this particular topic for a few reasons. The first of which is that I have seen a lot of friends and family who have been in relationships that did not last and wanted to figure out why that was. The second reason was because I thought it could help me in my future relationship(s), and to help me from making the same mistakes that I have in the past or that others have made.
Another reason that I chose this topic is because I am also interested in being a counselor and counselors need to be able to have good communication with their clients. Another reason is because counselors need to be able to understand, in some sense, where their clients are coming from and to be able to help in any way possible.
One good analogy that I found one day while surfing the internet was this: “If you were to be in thorough and complete communication with a car and a road, you would certainly have no difficulty driving that car. But if you are in only partial communication with the car and in no communication with the road, it is fairly certain that an accident will occur.” This was said by Ronald Hubbard who is an expert in the field of scientology. He deals mainly with the realm of communication.
That quote really inspired me to look into the realm of communication further. I wanted to know what effects that it had on a relationship and / or a marriage. Just an ending piece of advice: The best problem solving agent is honest open and effective problem solving.
DeJong, Peter. Interviewing for Solutions, 2nd Edition. California:
Wadsworth Group, 2002.
Hubbard, Ronald. www.standardtraining.com Church of
Scientology International: 2000-2002.
Lahey, Benjamin B., Psychology: an introduction, 7th Edition. New
York: McGraw Hill, 2001.
Laurer, Robert H. and Lauer, Jeanette C., Marriage and Family, 4th
Edition. Chicago: Brown & Benchmark, 2000.
Stark, Rodney. Sociology, 8th Edition. Wadsworth Group, 2001.