Research has been conducted to determine if communication skills play a role in determining just how long a friendship or relationship will last. If we use the same types of communication or communication skills in our interpersonal relationships, do we stand a better chance at a life-long friendship, or a lasting marriage? The studies have shown that how we communicate with others can have an effect on how long our interpersonal relationships can last.
In his article, Bower (2010) explains when persons converse with one another and use the same type of function words in their conversations, that they are on their way to building a lasting and stable friendship or romantic relationship. These function words refer to the different parts of speech, such as the conjunctions and prepositions, which each person uses when he communicates. When we use them in the same way or with the same meaning as others do, it is believed that we are in sync with one another; in a sense, we are also more compatible as well.
The author does not believe that using particular function words or parts of speech makes us more or less compatible with others. We simply use the language and words we have learned during our youth, or based upon the experiences we have had in our past. We may be drawn to those who speak the same way that we do, complementing one another, but it is not the only way that we should match our compatibility with others. Being compatible with others is based upon more than just the way each person speaks, or the words that one uses when speaking. For example, we are compatible with others based upon the hobbies that we enjoy participating in, the books that we enjoy reading, or the foods that we like to eat. We are also compatible based upon the experiences that we have in common, such as being a part of a military family.
“Unconscious verbal coordination signifies not how much people like each other but how much each is paying attention to what the other says” (Bower, 2010, para. 3). This unconscious verbal coordination is also known as language-style matching. The author submitted a sample conversation of text messages between a co-worker and herself for an analysis of our language-style match. The analysis showed that our score was a 0.61, with the average being approximately .84. “Compared to other IMs that we have analyzed, your LSM score is below average” (Pennebaker Conglomerates, Inc., n.d., para. 1).
The author believes the results signify that she and her co-worker may not pay close enough attention to one another when we are speaking to one another. The author does not believe that anyone should rely heavily on the results of the Language-Style Matching website. The analysis was given based upon a small conversation between two people. The conversation provided is just a brief picture of the different types of conversations that the two of us engage in with one another. She feels that the results were based upon the abbreviations, or text lingo, that was used in the conversation of her co-worker. The author does not use abbreviations or misspell words when she is texting, which would make it appear that we are not compatible and will not have a lasting friendship.
Is this analysis by the website accurate? She does not feel that it is, since it was a glimpse of the conversations that took place between two people. Does the author feel she and her co-worker will be life-long friends? Only time will tell; she is not able to predict the future. Does she believe they did not pay close enough attention to one another? Absolutely not – each question and statement was answered by each person. She feels the messages we were sending one another were understood, which make us effective in communicating with one another (Sole, 2011).
Studies have shown that how we communicate with others can have an effect on how long our interpersonal relationships can last. How long friendships and romantic relationships last depend upon the persons involved, as well as how compatible they are on many different levels. Communicating is not about using the same words or phrases; the importance is making sure the person with whom you are speaking with understands what it is you are trying to say.
Courtney from Study Moose
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