Interpersonal Communication Skills


Table of Contents

I fell in love. The relationship did not see its third month. We are no longer on speaking terms because of communication issues. To be honest, communication is one of the most important components of human relationships. How we interpret the verbal and the non-verbal communication contributes significantly to our relationships with others, be it family, partners, colleagues or even just friends.

Interpersonal communication skills play a critical role and hold the key to all the circles of our daily lives. Communications take into consideration both spoken and unspoken communication. The verbal aspect of communication takes into account the words and sentences used, the swiftness of the deliverance of this words, vocal variations and intonations. The proper channeling of information at the right moment can resolve a lot of social issues and nurture good relationships.

I think the aspect of my interpersonal communication skills that needs improvement is the expressive element. More often than not I have found myself in problems when it comes to expressing my ideas and feelings to both my family and friends. It is even worse if I don’t trust the other party. The heightening of the multicultural community has even made it worse for my expressive communication skills.

Expressive communication involves the passing of information from one person to another to make something happen or stop happening (Wilson, 1994). In a communication model, expressive communication is the initial stage of communicating. All my communication organs are properly developed, and so this aspect is not developmental. Expression in communication is an important aspect which if not carried out effectively might give detrimental results.

I usually enjoy listening to the music. I can confidently state that it has affected a lot of my communication skills. The genre I listen to most of the time is Hip Hop. The language use in this kind of music is usually adamant and a true representation of the life the musicians live. From time to time I have emulated the language and even how some words are pronounced by the rappers. This language to other individual is considered uncouth and vulgar, however, to us the fans of the music is normal. 

Earlier this semester I met a new student in the institutions she was from India. She was so calm and outspoken. We got to know each other intimately and went out occasionally. We share a lot of activities together like swimming going to the library and even watched movies together. As the time went by we grew more and closer and decided to date. The relationship was all good, we went on fancy dates, talked about our fantasies and did a lot of activities. 

However, everything wasn’t as rosy as it might have seemed. Sometimes we had communicational breakdowns, and we went for days without talking. Sometimes whenever we conversed either of us seemed disinterested in the talk. As time went by the ridge between us grew bigger and bigger. We became strangers. This was when we decided to break it off. But before we went apart we had a moment of disclosure.

As we stated what was affecting us it was clear that I was a poor communicator. Sometimes I could not sustain a conversation, and so we both just had to sit around and stare at each other. At times I threw in a few lines from the music I listen to, and somehow the words that I used were offensive, and more often they sounded like an insult to the lady. My intonation too was an issue of concern. 

This is the justification to why I want to become a better communicator. If I were, I would still be in that relationship. I think I experience this problem for various reasons. First I adapted so much to the hip-hop culture and forgot that the language they use is art and cannot apply in the real life situation. Secondly, the heightening of the multicultural setting in our daily life needs that the language use and communication skills be accommodative of various culture. Sometimes the words that are used freely in one culture might be offensive in the other culture. Lastly courtesy is an important aspect of communication as it fosters respect among individuals.

I have reflected on my shortcomings in communication and developed a strategy to deal with it. I’m going to keenly observe and carry out analysis using the communication concepts that I have been taught. To begin with, I won’t assume that every aspect of language I hear is correct and applicable in the society. I’ll also carry out an in-depth evaluation of my expressive communication skills and make sure that it accommodates the multicultural society. I have faith that if I use the tools and concepts that I have learned this semester, I’ll be able to take my communication competencies to the next level.

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Through reflection of my past relationship and introspection, I have determined the aspect of interpersonal communication that I have to improve on. Being exposed to interpersonal communication this semester has been very instrumental in the identification of my shortcomings. However, it has provided a means through which I can improve in the areas of limitation. Proper communication skills are critical in the attempt to foster lasting, meaningful relationship, I have shown it using my example. The lessons learned will help me improve relationships both in school and at home.

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  1. Berger, I. C. (2014). Interpersonal communication. Boston: De Gruyter Mouton.
  2. Knapp, M. L., Caughlin, J. P., & Vangelisti, A. L. (2014). Interpersonal communication and human relationships. Boston: Pearson .
  3. Wilson, R. (1994). Receptive communication. Colorado: Colorado Department of Education.
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