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Dear Jack and Jill,
I want to first say congratulation on your upcoming marriage. I am writing you this letter to give you some information that I have learn from taking an interpersonal communications class to help you gain some understanding, insight and the skills needed to help achieve healthy communication in your marriage. While taking this course I have learned in order to have a healthy and long lasting relationship communication is an important part and it takes hard work to keep those lines open. Communication is not just talking, its nonverbal as well. In this letter I will talk about the following five learning outcomes; self-concepts and how it is developed and maintained, listening strategies, recognizing the power of words, understanding nonverbal expression and emotional intelligence.
Self-concept is the first thing I will be talking about. I want to explain what self-concept is and how it affects us and our relationships. “Self-Concept can be defined as an appraisal of your own attributes and competencies,” (Sole, pg. 3.1) Self-Concept is in part how we see ourselves, how we perceive that others see us, what people say about us and what humankind believes we should be. Self-concept is sometimes constructed on how we see ourselves physically, which often causes trouble with our interpersonal communication in our relationships. If you see yourself in a negative manner for long enough, then that is how others will see you as well, and the opposite it true as well if you see yourself in a positive manner then others will see the positive side of you. People place too much importance on our outer appearance that when it comes to their happiness. If you are placing some much importance on how you look you are not truly happy with your outer appearance, then you have nothing else to fall back on. “If you feel good about yourself for other reasons, like your abilities, accomplishments, relationships and personal characteristics, youll have more of a cushion to maintain your level of satisfaction and happiness” (Kenny, C September, 2011). When one person in the relationship has a negative self-concept it affects their self-worth and causes them to push their loved ones away. Its important to note that a healthy concept of who you are is tied into your self-image and your self-worth. These are a few important elements that aid in our mental health being good or bad. Mental illness is responsible for many negative aspects of our emotional health. There are ways to maintain healthy self-concept. A few of these would be up lifters such as not beating yourself over mistakes made, work them out and move on dont linger on the negative. Talking positive to yourself and not setting impossible goals, remember that beauty truly does come from the inside and works itself to the outside.
Listening strategies is another learning concept that can really help having a healthy and wonderful relationship is having understanding and using different listening strategies. Listening skills are very important in any relationship. Interpersonal communication is more than just verbal; therefore you must learn how to be a skilled listener not only for words but listen to what is not being said as well. It is important to listen to your partner and give them your full attention. There are many times when one is talking and the other is busy doing something during these times important to communicate that you are listening to them even though you arent giving them your complete attention. Empathetic listening is must for any relationship. Just like anything we want to get good at we must practice, listening is the same way you must practice active listening. Listening to not only the words that partner is saying but also listening to the words that arent being said as well. Asking question to make sure you have a total understanding of what is they are saying about. . When we do not understand the motives for what is being said it is too easy to make assumptions on what the other person is thinking and wants. “When a person feels heard, truly listened to and understood, the feelings created are so close to those of feeling loved that most people cant describe the difference”(Neilson, R., 2010).
The power of words can be very powerful. Words help us to create mental pictures in our mind. When someone is talking to us, we are listening to what they are saying and our brains are drawing us a mental picture of what they are saying. Some words create wonderful pictures and other can create unpleasant pictures. Words are powerful enough to affect our attitudes and our behavior. Because of this, it is important that we are careful with what words we choose to use when we speak. Certain words imply a powerful and negative connotation which means that they affect our emotions. “Negative connotations often act as triggers to derail your interpersonal communication, we all have trigger words that create an immediate emotional reaction when we hear them” (Sole, pg. 4.1). It would be beneficial to you both to talk about certain trigger words early one; this could save hurt feelings in the future. With knowing that watching what you say is important as well because words cannot be taken back.
I believe it is worth talking about the positive emotional impact that words can have on your partner. Just as words can bring you down there are words that can lift you up. There are words that make us happy, they create a smile, bestow love and trust, again knowing the power of words. Remembering that we want to build your partner up and not bring them down and if you choose your words wisely you will do just that. . “And it doesnt only have to be a persons appearance thats