Interpersonal Communication

Topics: Communication, Nonverbal communication, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 8 (2317 words) Published: September 27, 2011
Interpersonal communication is a form of communication involving people who are dependent upon each other and with a common history. There are various aspects of interpersonal communication that can be discussed. This paper looks at the principles of interpersonal communication, its barriers and relationship with emotional intelligence. Four principles are identified, which are: interpersonal communication is inescapable; interpersonal communication is irreversible; interpersonal communication is complicated and interpersonal communication is contextual. The barriers that are discussed include: psychological barriers; cultural barriers; language barriers; environmental barriers; and physical barriers. Emotional intelligence has been identified as a basis of interpersonal communication since it is the ability to control negative emotions, which is a communication barrier.

Interpersonal communication is a form of communication that involves sending and receiving of messages between two or more people. Interpersonal communication can involve all elements of communication like listening, asserting, persuading and non-verbal communication among others. A basic model of interpersonal communication concentrative on acts of communication where there are few people involved unlike other kinds of communication that involve many people in the communication (West and Turner, 2007). In interpersonal communication, there are various areas that can be investigated. For the purpose of this paper, the principles and misconceptions in effective interpersonal communications, the barriers to effective interpersonal interactions and emotional intelligence and its role in effective interpersonal relationships will be discussed.

Understanding Interpersonal Communication
They’re various ways of defining interpersonal communication. One of the most effective ways is comparing interpersonal communication with other forms of communication. From this point of view, one can evaluate the number of people that are involved in the communication, their proximity to one another, the number of communication channels that are involved, and the kind of feedback that is given (Wood, 2007). Interpersonal communication is different from other kinds of communication due to the fact that there are few people that are involved in the communication process, those that are participating are in close proximity, sensory channels are used in the communication, and an immediate feedback is provided. Scholars have described interpersonal communication as a communication involving people who are dependent upon each other and with a common history (Berger and Calabrese, 1975). This kind of communication can entail one on one communication or individuals interacting with many others within a society.

Principles of interpersonal communication
There are four main principles of interpersonal communication that lay the basis of the workings in real-life interpersonal communication. These principles are fundamental to communication. This means that in any form of communication these principles cannot be ignored. These principles are: interpersonal communication is inescapable; interpersonal communication is irreversible; interpersonal communication is complicated and interpersonal communication is contextual (Wood, 2007). Interpersonal communication is inescapable

This principle holds the notion that people cannot fail to communicate. The very effort to not communicate is in itself communicating (Berger and Calabrese, 1975). Although not in words, but by the tone of voice and gesturing, facial expression and other forms of non-verbal communication, people constantly communicate with the people around them. Via the channels of communication that may include non-verbal gestures, people constantly send and receive messages from others. Even when a person is asleep, he or she is communicating. The primary principle of communication is that...

References: Berger, C. R. & Calabrese, R. J. (1975). Some Exploration in Initial Interaction and Beyond:
Toward a Developmental Theory of Communication. Human Communication Research 1, pp. 99–112.
Bradberry, T. & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. San Francisco:
Publishers Group West
Stone, D.; Patton, B. & Heen, S. (1999). Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters
Most, London: Penguin
West, R. & Turner, L.H. (2007). Introducing Communication Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill
Wood, J. T. (2007). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters, Belmont CA: Thomson
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