The Interpersonal Communication Process can be Frustrating

Interpersonal Communication Process:

Send Message - Receive Message

The process is simple right? When we communicate with an individual we tell them our message, listen to theirs, and repeat. Unfortunately, we are complex individuals and we are all different. This makes for a virtually unlimited resource of variables to add to our interpersonal communication experiences. Personalities, moods, emotions, interests, and communication styles make the process different every time you engage an individual. We all have to do it, and that's what makes it so interesting.

Sending Messages:

We send messages in many ways through the communication process. Our eyes, facial expressions, and body language are constantly sending a message to an individual we are engaged with. The volume, tone, and inflection we use as we deliver our message sends even more information to the individual we are communicating with. Lastly, our message is presented to the individual. We also use non verbal communication every day in the form of texts and emails to send our messages. We could send the same message over and over to an individual and communicate it differently each time by changing one or two variables in the process. Sending a message effectively is easier said than done. It is far more complicated than just sending a message. It is complicated further by the receiving party. Our message must be presented and sent so it is received. Unfortunately there are many more variables awaiting us on the other side.

Receiving Messages:

Ever stop and think when someone is talking to you and you aren't listening at all? Well that's exactly how much control we have on the other side. We have to put ourselves on the other side to really understand. I find it interesting that virtually every day I catch myself just not listening to an individual's message. Now how could I possibly get upset if someone isn't listening to me? Unfortunately the level of participation is clearly not defined or enforced in the interpersonal communication process. I spend my entire day listening attentively to my customers and employees doing my best to receive their messages and satisfy their needs. Typically when I get home is the problem. Regardless of whether you're at work or at home, how well you receive messages depends on your moods, interests, emotions, and many other variables. Receiving messages is as much work as sending them effectively.

Understanding just how complicated interpersonal communication is really opens our eyes. It's no wonder effective interpersonal communication is so difficult to achieve. It's easy to see how the types of conflict result from sending and receiving messages. As we communicate in our interpersonal relations , we must understand both sides of the process to gain a full perspective. Other forms of communication in the form of texts and emails follow the exact same process. Although we can't see the variables, they are there waiting for your message.

How do we become better participants of the interpersonal communication process? Take time to look at yourself. Are you using good interpersonal skills to present and send your message to ensure it will be received? Are you effectively receiving the messages sent back to you? We have control of ourselves. Start there and you are sure to find a wealth of information for you to become more effective. The individual on the other end is a bit more complicated, but learning through yourself will get you started!


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