Studies in Interpersonal Communications
Behavioral blend refers to application of different personality types to exhibit a certain behavior (Carbonell, 2008). Human beings have different personalities which define the character of an individual. For instance, a person may be a good decision maker and at the same time shy or influential. These different characteristics or traits are blended together to define the character of an individual. My blend is that I am a determined person, cautious, careful, steady and always interested in people. This has had positive impacts in the way I feel about myself, the way I think, make decisions and even relate to other people. My interpersonal communication has always achieved the desired goals because before I speak, I first reflect on what I want to speak and its impacts on the other party. This has been achieved by being cautious and careful. I am always determined to achieve my objectives in any negotiations or discussion that I participate with my fellow colleagues. This is achieved through presenting messages concisely and precisely (Stewart, 2012). My high affinity to socialize and relate with people has made it easy for me to get along well with other people in any conversation. I understand the feelings and the emotions of people and when I engage in any conversation, I am quick at learning the moods of the colleagues and adjust amicably. This has made me maintain relationships for long. Understanding my behavioral blend has played a significant role in my relationships with other people and more specifically in enlarging my conversation. Conversation between two parties can be enlarged or extended when the two parties think on the same wavelength. Therefore, due to my behavior blend, I have always had a positive conversation with my colleagues. We have always fared and interacted well and formed relationships that have enabled us to know each other better and even transact various business.
Identity is an umbrella concept that describes individuals based on various attributes or characteristics (Burley-Allen, 1995). For instance, a person can be defined in terms of personal identity, cultural and social identity. Identity can therefore refer to the attributes of an individual that makes that individual different from other people. For instance, in a working environment, every employee may be identified on specific attribute or character by the larger group. There are three views of identity which include scientific, humanistic and critical. In scientific view, group in which individual belong predicts communication. For example, communication between whites and blacks, gay and straight or women and men vary. In humanistic view, communication is used to create groups. People form relationships amongst themselves that makes them to form group that identify them. In critical view, the group differences center, privilege or serve some groups and at the same time marginalizing others. This happens especially where decisions reached do not favor whole members of a group. Therefore, identity can be referred to as what is used to differentiate or identify an individual from a group (Bartsch, Hubner & Wilcox, 2005). Communication is very important in developing identity of an individual. It is through communication that an individual is able to share their opinions or thoughts with others. The sharing of opinions helps or contributes to the creation or formation of an identity. Therefore, communication builds identity through the messages we sent and communicate to other colleagues during our interactions (Stewart, 2012). For instance, when a person is very happy or angered the reactions the person shows through communication helps the listeners to create an identity of the person. It reveals who that person is and therefore, if this behavior persists, they form a perception of that individual. On the other hand, the identity of an individual may be concealed through communication. Different situations and circumstances may make an individual to hide his/her identity from the public. Example of strategies of concealing identity is keeping quite, talking a lot among many others. Every person has different identities that contradict or overlap in terms of age, race, political, religious and professional. Identities are also fluid in the sense that they are created by communication and always changes. Lastly is that identities are negotiated in communication and therefore new identities arise as people continue to engage in a conversation. Identity of people is manifested in various ways. For example in sub-Saharan countries, women may express their identity vocally or through their dressing modes. They may wear a head cover on their heads to identify herself with religious inclinations.
Use of metaphors of inhaling and exhaling are important in exploring interpersonal because they help our understanding of communication. Inhaling refers to the process of reflecting on the information that one wants to communicate. To ensure that an individual sends the right information, there is need to reflect on the information and gather enough facts and arguments before speaking it out. On the other hand, exhaling refers to the act of communicating or passing out information in our minds to the third party (Burley-Allen, 1995). These two concepts are important in understanding interpersonal communication because they help individuals adjust their communication process depending on the situations and circumstances. They help people to reach consensus in their communication, as they are able to construct their messages and pass them well without triggering a conflict or disagreement. Listening is very important process in either inhaling or exhaling. In exhaling, it helps an individual understand the information relied and therefore assist in encoding a message in accordance to what was conveyed. Therefore, it helps communication to be relevant and easily understood (Stewart, 2012). On the other hand, listening is important in exhaling because it allows an individual to communicate or convey information that is relevant to the topic of discussion. It helps to stabilize the conversation process. Before communicating or reacting to a stimulus, a person must encode the message to be able to respond appropriately. The process of encoding requires good listening to ensure that the message or information is in line with the context of the conversations. Hence, listening is fundamental in both inhaling and exhaling process in communication. Inhaling is therefore concerned about perception, attention and reception. In any communication, people the parties involved must perceive what they are communicating, have good reception that is achieved by being attentive. This will enable them to understand the message conveyed hence help hem to respond appropriately.
The interpersonal communication need that has been revealed to me in the course of my reading is the context of any interpersonal communication. In many interpersonal interactions, the parties involved in communication should be aware of the context in which their communication is happening (Burley-Allen, 1995). They need to understand the cultural background of the other parties, education levels and many other factors to be able to foster their communication and understanding. I found out that people create misunderstanding in the course of their communication because they fail to give a thought on various factors during their communication. Having knowledge about the other people characteristics is essential in ensuring that communication achieves its main goals (Stewart, 2012). Therefore, some of the resources that I identified to ensure that such factors as the context of the parties in a communication process understand each other are for them to have a clue and knowledge of the people they are talking to (Liddicoat, 2009). For instance, the cultural background of the other party can help in eliminating barriers in communication process. People from different backgrounds have different values, beliefs and way of thinking. Therefore to come into consensus, they have to compromise on some of the values and beliefs they hold to foster communications. Factors such as education of the speakers are equally important in any communication process. The word choice is important when speaking to people who have high academic qualifications and to illiterate people.
Understanding the context under which communication is taking place is important in reducing the barriers involved in communication. There are different types of contexts under which communication takes place. For instance, in high definition cultures, people value group communication while in low definition cultures, individualistic approaches are preferred. Therefore, identifying these differences will help individuals tailor their communications in a better manner to enhance understanding.
In the movie, there are various interpersonal concepts that are employed. Some of the concepts include use of humor, relationship deterioration and repair. For instance, the relationship between a husband and wife becomes sour when the husband decided to host a birthday party for his son without the knowledge of the mother (Stewart, 2012). The two couples differ in their utterances and their actions. In the movie, there is degeneration of communication spiral. This occurs when the actions of individual in a communication process magnify that of the other person (Russell, Wilcox & James, 1993). This scenario is depicted in the movie as behaviors or action of families in the movies trigger action of other families. In the movie, self –disclosure helped in revealing the secrets of some characters that lead to change of behavior and disagreements. In some occasions, it also contributed to repair of relationships among other couples. Identity was revealed when the couples who had disagreed decided to investigate or evaluate their positives and negatives in the quest to seal their disagreements and rebuild their relationships. The movie therefore presents a good illustration of dynamics in relationship creation among different people in the society. Actions that people engage in communicate or say a lot on the attitudes and behaviors of the people. People respond in different ways to actions or non-verbal cues and in some cases, the reactions may be beyond expectations. The characters in the movie have demonstrated the importance of both verbal and non-verbal communication in enhancing relationships.
Bartsch, A., Hübner, S. & Wilcox, J. (2005). Towards a Theory of Emotional Communication, CLCWeb: Comparative Literature & Culture: A WWWeb Journal, 7(4): 1-6.
Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening: the forgotten skill: A self-teaching guide. (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-471-01587
Carbonell, M. (2008). How to solve the people puzzle: Understanding personality patterns. Blue Ridge, GA: Uniquely You Resources. ISBN: 1-888846-44-5
Liddicoat, A. (2009). Communication as Culturally Contexted Practice: A View from Intercultural Communication, Australian Journal of Linguistics, 29 (1):115-133.
Russell, F., Wilcox, & James R. (1993). An exploratory analysis of responses to owned messages in interpersonal communication, ETC: A Review of General Semantics, 50 (2): 201-220.
Stewart, J. (Ed.). (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication. (11th ed.). Boston: McGraw Hill. ISBN: 978-0-07-3534312.