Letter of Advice
Can I have a minute of your time? Dear Joe and Sara, I am writing you because I wanted to send my congratulations, as well as give you some advice to help you in your relationship. I know that you may or may not have thought of the importance of communication however I wanted to let you know that the key to a successful relationship lies in how you communicate as well as how you understand what is being communicated to you. I have read and utilized a majority of what I am about to share with you. 10 minutes is all it takes to have a successful relationship.
Joe I am writing this to give you a blueprint for a successful relationship I want to first of all make you aware that it is not a perfect thing. You will not be perfect but you have to be a minute man. 10 minutes to be exact. First as a couple you should focus on communicating at least 10 minutes out of the day. This is going to help you with keeping down the conflicts that may arrive within your relationship. Within this note I am outlining what I am looking to focus on as well as give you a baseline for success, now with the information that I am giving you.
I will use myself as well as others that I know as examples within the different situations. But like I said previously and you will hear throughout. It is all about communication, if you have it and you receive it. You are doing well. . Understanding the impact of gender and culture on interpersonal communications. Joe and Sara, some of the issues that can cause a breakdown in communication stems from who you are where you came from and what you have experienced. Per my previous statement I am going to speak to these issues that we do not think about when we are looking to get married.
However the key is communication and what you interpret as being communicated to you. In the book: Gray John, “Men are from Mars Women Are from Venus” It is a discussion of how you can communicate with your mate. Though I know that there will be times when you will want to jump off of a cliff because your significant other has taken something you said in the wrong context but you will need to deal with it. Really deal with it. For example as a man we think differently. I know this because I am a man. So using my relationship as an example, I will speak about a situation that I ad with my wife and how the fact that I am a man had a lot to do with where things went wrong. I was sitting in the basement (Man cave) on an early Saturday afternoon, when I was heard my wife yell down that she needed me to run an errand. I said ok! At the time she was pregnant with my first born and was in pain all day. She was not in the shape to be running back and forth to the stores. Which is the reason why I was asked to run errands for her. I have answered her in regards to her wanting me to run the errands and yet I have not heard what or where I am supposed to go. So what would you do?
I was enjoying the solitude the basement was giving me from an uncomfortable pregnant woman. So there was no rush, I answered yes to her wants. I thought that my job was half over since she asked and I answered. That was far from the case. She wanted to speak to me face to face and ensure that I understood what she needed. Now you probably feel like I did in the sense that hey I answered no big deal. But as coming from her perspective she wanted to feel like I heard her not just hear that heard her. Huh? What? Yes exactly. The breakdown is that what she said and what she wanted was being communicated differently and I only heard half of it.
This has much to do with myself being a man as much as it does my exposure to her communication style. I have been communicated to all my life very simply. For example if you want me to take the garbage out I will take it out on my own time. If you would like for me to take the garbage out right away, say it. These are very simple things but often over looked in the way we communicate. Like I said she asked me to run some errands and I said yes, but what she really wanted was for me to come up stairs and sit and talk to her about what she needed and receive confirmation that it was received.
Now after hearing her ask me again about the errands I figured that I should go upstairs and see what is going on. So by this time she is fuming and ready to bite my head off like that Lioness did the Wilder beast. So I went upstairs and consoled her and asked her when she wanted me to go and where and things were smoothed over. What I learned from that example. Hmm, well I learned that as a man if it is not spelled out to me that I will just get to it when I get to it. Which is not a good idea, the key is understanding how she communicates. It sounds simple but it is not an easy task.
Per my previous reference to the book Men are From Mars and Women are Venus. It was to state the obvious unobvious in how we as men gender speaking view women as well as vice versa. The thing that is going to help in communicating will be the fact, you are a man and that she is a woman. But the key to success within that relationship will lie in your ability to occasionally move to Venus and gain insight into her world and what makes her tick. It will definitely be the beginning of understanding her and communicating. Develop strategies for active, critical, and empathic listening.
Joe and Sara, another thing that will be important in sustaining good communication, will be Strategies for active, critical and empathic listening. Huh? You say, yeah I was the same way until life set in and the babies were in school and she was back at work. Whoa! Yeah man, life as we know it was taking a turn and it was for the better. In the previous part of my letter I spoke about how my gender affected the relationship from a communication standpoint. Now I am going to tell you as well as your wife to be how to survive each other. You have to have a plan for communication.
It is not an easy thing to do, I am telling you that now. However it is something that is key, having a strategy for active, critical, and empathic listening will enable you to have an understanding of each other. By definition Empathy: Putting yourself in another person’s shoes emotionally and imagining what he or she is thinking and feeling. I reference that only because that definition is a key element to the creation of your strategy. There is a need for you to put on her high heel shoes, put on is wing tipped hard bottoms. Regardless of who, you‘ll need to know the others’ plight. This is where your strategy, comes into play.
I read an article that stated that it is important to have at least, 10 minutes of time a day to know and understand your mate. The strategy for an active, critical, and emphatic listener, you will need to talk and listen. •Per Making Connections,Understanding Interpersonal Communication. Sole,K(2012) Ashford. edu/books/AuCOM 200. 11. 1. The strategy should be focused on knowing when to talk and when to listen. I know from experience that the more you listen the easier it can be to succeed with your partner. As an example: my strategy starts and begins with communicating with my spouse on a daily bases.
I take time to ask the appropriate questions: how as your day? What major projects you have coming up at work that is going to look like it is going to stress you? Is there anything that I can do to help you? And then just listen. As well as apply what I asked about. No need to start something and not follow thru. That is the most important part of the strategy, the follow thru. The few examples seem easy however it is not something that can be conquered in a day. It takes consistency and a Will and Want to listen no matter if it hurts. Also it will take you and your spouse communicating and being emphatic to each other.
The measures that you take will be vital to your success. Which is why I am writing this? My goal is to help you avoid the mistakes that I made and possible still making. The end-result should be that you have a understanding of empathy when it comes to each other. Recognize how self-concept and defensive and supportive messages and behaviors create positive and negative communication climates. Joe and Sara, another thing that I would like to discuss with you how to recognize self-concept and defensive and supportive messages and behaviors to create positive and negative communication climates.
Relationships are like climates you will have your Fall Winter, Spring and Summer. It will seem like a life time when it is Winter but it will be worth it. I used the examples of seasons because you will have your cold spells, your hot spells and your’ not so hot spells. But it is about the growth that you encounter throughout. The reasoning behind the examples has to do with the recognition of self-concept and defensive and supportive messages and the behaviors that create the positive and negative communication climates.
The importance of non-verbal communication and verbal communication as well as how you view yourself all can affect your relationships. Self-concept is a vital aspect of success within your relationship. It is how you view yourself that can affect how people view you consciously and subconsciously. In the book: “The Power of your subconscious MIND” by Murphy Joseph” It delved into the fact that you need to look at yourself and think of your mind as a Garden. You are a Gardner, and you are planting seeds (your thoughts) in your subconscious mind all day long, based on your habitual thinking.
As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment. For instance if you are looking to have a peaceful day, I suggest you start with something that calms you in the morning. Take a walk together, read quietly, Try yoga. This will help with the process of achieving a goal of peace. The self-concept portion is thinking of you and your partner as a unit but maintaining your individuality. It is a tight rope that you must walk but it is do-able. The way you handle these issues of self will directly affect your environment.
I know that from experience once I started viewing myself in a certain way it helped with my communication with my wife. As a example I make it a point to get up every morning and tell my wife that I love her, even if we had an argument the following evening. The reason for the message to her is that I want her to give it back. It is my way of being supportive even if I disagreed and to create a positive climate for communication. The opposite measure has taken me in a direction that had the house as a hold in a bad mood for at least a week. It is funny how the little things can help or hurt your communication climate.
The key again is about recognition and getting to the point where you are comfortable with the behavior of being positive no matter if you disagreed. You want to maintain how it can be a positive thing and not create a negative climate. Your mind is can be a powerful thing if you use it. I know that when my wife has had a tough day at work based off of her non-verbal messages that is it is best to let her cool off for the first 30-45 minutes while she is home. It is the supportive message that I give to her, so when I am in a similar situation it can be given back to me. It is always about the give and take.
The more I give her, and the more she takes her behavior shows that she is receiving it and understands that I am not wanting to have a negative climate rather I am looking to help. The recognition of how self –concept and the messages be it defensive or supportive will assist you in how you work as a unit. And the importance of being and maintain that unity is what’s going to keep you together. Define emotional intelligence and its role in effective interpersonal relationships Joe and Sara, I am sure by this time you are getting to the point where you are reading and thinking to yourself who is this Dr.
Phil? No only someone that is interested in seeing you two succeed. With that, I would like to continue on my rant about communication and touch on how your emotional intelligence and its role in effective interpersonal relationships. Before I jump into that I would like to give definitions of Emotional Intelligence as well as Interpersonal relationships. Quoted from Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus “when a man can listen to woman’s feelings without getting angry and frustrated, he gives her a wonderful gift. He makes it save for her to express herself.
The more she is able to express herself, the more she feels heard and understood, and the more she is able to give a man the loving trust, acceptance ,appreciation, admiration, approval, and encouragement that he needs. ” Per “Cole. ” Emotional Intelligence: involves making good judgments about when to deal with emotions and when to put them on hold. Interpersonal Relationships is an association between, two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment..
Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. The reason I gave you the definitions are to explain the importance of the two and how it is very important to your success and communication. Emotional intelligence has much to do with what right in your relationship as it does what’s wrong. You will need to have good judgement when it comes to your decision to speak or not speak. To interact with someone or not! It is not a tough road maintaining a good line of communication as well as a relationship. You will be tested, for example.
As a married couple you will be faced with people that are going to come in and out of your life from a interpersonal relationship standpoint. You will meet people with intentions that will possible harm your relationship, as well as you will meet people that will have your best interest. I am someone that have your best interest so get that out of your head. My point is that you will need to have your emotional intelligence in check and know who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and who is just a wolf. I want you to know that it is just as important to be highly emotionally intelligent as it is to be intelligent in an interpersonal relationship. Because knowing is half the battle”. ”GI JOE” Assess their personal communications and improve their communication competencies. So I hope by now you have noticed a theme? Yes, I am trying to beat a dead horse. This is something that you need and I only want the best. This is why I have one last thing to drive home. Every once in while you have to take the time to assess the two of your personal communications and improve on your communication. It is something that is a constant, whether you take the advice or not. It is known that the more you know, the more you grow. Based off of the information within the article: Schoenberg, N.
McClatchy – Tribune News Service [Washington] 17 Jan 2011”Can we talk? Researcher talks about the role of communication in marriages”. The importance of communication and the assessment is key to longevity of a marriage. Communication is a onion that you must peel back layer by layer until you feel the tears welling up. This is an important insight because in essence it describes how far we must go to get to clear communication. The assessment portion of communication is the missing piece in most relationships. We quickly forget how we got into the relationship and quickly replace it with hobbies, children and work.
You will always need to talk to each other and come to an agreement where you know that you have changed but understand the why you have changed. This simple thing of trying to get to the bottom of why; Can circumvent a lot of issues that may arise. Defining your Communication Style is a way to know and access your personal communication. Per “Making Connections,Understanding Interpersonal Communication. Sole,K(2012) Ashford. edu/books/AuCOM 200. 11. 1. There are 4 types of communication styles. Passive Communication Style: one in which a person tends to give in to the demands of other people and accepts being “put upon” by others.
Assertive Communication Style communicates clearly, openly, firmly, and fluently in conversations. Aggressive Communication Style tend to dominate conversations. Typically speak at a high or low pitch, and their tone of voice can be demanding, they are forceful or “in your face” in their communication and can be intimidation to others. Passive aggressive Communication style is a hybrid of a passive style and an aggressive style of communication. On the surface, there is no visible aggression, however the passive- aggressive communicator expresses anger, resentment, or negative feelings indirectly or attempts to sabotage ituations. Since knowing is half the battle if you are able to identify with any of the 4 styles it will enable you to better communicate. If you are passive aggressive then it is probably safe to say that you need to change. Per my findings, its’ known that assertive communication style is the best style to communicate. She is a firm and upfront about her motives. Again, knowing is half the battle if you partake in an annual, monthly or weekly assessment it can make for a great relationship and show improvement in your communication.
The improvement of communication competencies lies in the understanding of the styles and how they can affect your relationship. I have said many times that the more you know the more you grow. An important aspect of communication is growth and understanding what she said and why she said it. As an example that I used earlier in the letter, I spoke about my wife yelling that she wanted me to run some errands. I knew, based off experience that I needed to go up and speak with her in person and look at her eye to eye because she is an assertive communicator. She is firm and gets to the point.
I on the other hand, I am laid back but I know when it is time for me to be assertive. The understanding and the competency of how she communicates has helped our relationship grow to where we understand each other better. Not to say that we are great in our relationship but we have made steps to continue to grow and know each other. With That I hope that your time together is long and fruitful and full of growth. I know that I could not give you all the answers; However, I hope that you find this helpful with your relationship. Remember to always communicate and assess and improve daily, weekly, monthly and yearly.
Sole,K(2012)’found chapter 9 pg. 233’“ The most common problems in relationships stem from silence o refusing to communicate, placating the other person, and playing games. These behaviors can be sabotage a relationship and prevent honest, open communication. ” Whenever problems occur in a relationship, emotions and feelings are usually involved. Emotions are the reactions your body has to certain stimuli. Feelings arise when you add thought and interpretation to these physical reactions. By becoming aware of the thoughts and interpretations you give to our emotions and the feelings they produce in you, you have the potential to improve your life. Getting in touch with your emotions and feelings also allows you to develop the ability to understand and feel empathy for other people. Your goal in expressing emotions with others should be to share your feelings in a way that is helpful or constructive rather than one that is judgmental and blaming. You can do this by thinking of emotions as information that helps you analyze yourself and your relationships; by putting feelings on hold, but not storing them; and by owning your feel¬ings.
Your emotional intelligence is a measure of how well you handle emotional issues. “The ways in which each person deals with conflict varies based on experiences, person-ality, and communication style. Using an assertive communication style allows you to openly and honestly express your feelings and is generally the most constructive way to deal with conflict” In conclusion if you want a long, lasting relationship, work on communication. Communication is the key to a successful relationship. Reference Page •Making Connections,Understanding Interpersonal Communication.
Sole,K(2012) Ashford. edu/books/AuCOM 200. 11. 1 •Close relationships sometimes mask poor communication. (2011, January). U. S. News ; World Report, 1. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global. Document ID: 2270370591. •Bower, B. (2010, November). Shared talking styles herald new and lasting romance. U. S. News ; World Report, 1. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global. Document ID: 2223940991 •Schoenberg, N. (2011, January 17). Can we talk? Researcher talks about the role of communication in happy marriages. McClatchy-Tribune News Service. Retrieved from ProQuest Newsstand.
Document ID: 2240370261. •Chinese Evaluations of Emotional Support Skills, Goals, and Behaviors: An Assessment of Gender-related Similarities and Differences Communication Research February 1, 2006 33: 38-63 •Factors that Make a Difference in Marital Success – Stronger Marriage strongermarriage. org › Married: by Thomas R. Lee, PhD Department of Family and Human Development Utah State University •The Marriage Clinic, by John M. Gottman, published by WW Norton ; Company in 1999. •Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus John Gray •The power of your subconscious Mind •By Joseph Murphy