Interpersonal Communication in Family Relationships

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What is interpersonal communication in family relationships and why is it important? This essay example answers the question. It focuses on the importance of family communication in the couple soon after the marriage. The members of a young family are not yet accustomed to living with each other, which often causes conflicts. In the first part of the paper, relationship barriers are identified. Then, the concept of emotional intelligence is described. At the end of the paper, the levels of self-disclosure and the methods of conflict management are analyzed. 

Interpersonal Communication in Family Relationships: Identifying the Barriers

In this letter, I recount the fundamental principles of interpersonal communication, which could be applied by you in your daily association. According to my personal observations, newly engaged couples often face misunderstandings and can not go over some principal communication barriers. Since I have lately mastered a course in the interpersonal association, I possess some constructive knowledge of message transferring. Therefore, in the following parts of the letter, I identify the connections with efficient information perceiving and provide some pieces of advice for you.

First, it is critical for people, who are not entirely used to living together, to be aware of the possible threats, which might damage the quality of their communication. The lack of comprehension leads to the disruption of emotional stability of the couple. Therefore, the early identification of the problem may save personal relationships as well as ensure well-being in a family.

The fundamental barriers to interpersonal communication include lack of attention, preoccupation or distractions. Moreover, the quality of association is often hindered by the differences in viewpoints, language, and cultural divergences, and stereotyping.

The full devotion to a beloved person might contribute to the obsessive preoccupation be each other’s life. Consequently, you have to understand that personal space must be valued at any stage of the relationships since it evokes mutual trust and support. However, the issue has two extremes, for a lack of attention creates a great distance between people, which preconditions a wreckage of marriage ideals. Therefore, my first advice for you is to talk about the specific time frames, in which you could spend some time exclusively with each other. For instance, it might be beneficial to allocate one weekend day per week to each other so that to keep pace with your personal feelings and to maintain your love and admiration towards each other. It does not matter whether you spend this day in a park, in a restaurant or just on the couch. Still, try to organize your time in such a way so that you could discuss your relationships as well as your plans for future, personal aspirations, and dreams.

Second, the differences in viewpoints might pose some consistent threats to your ordinary life, for the individuals, who bind their fates by the bonds of matrimony, should possess some identical intentions and strivings. For instance, if Sarah is fascinated by the idea of moving to the capital so that to receive a chance for building a successful career, the family life might be damaged in case if John is attracted to rural life and planting vegetables in a small village. The common mistake, in such situations, usually comes in the form of adaptations. Thus, quite often, one of the members of the family tries to accommodate to the plans of wife or husband, which contributes to the decomposition of one’s personality. In other words, with the course of time, the suppressed desires of a person, who gives up personal ideas, evolve in the form of aggression, stress, and emotional instability. Consequently, according to the principles of interpersonal communication, I advise you to seek for compromises in every controversial situation.

Third, according to the fact that you come from different countries, your cultural values, languages, and traditions differ. Such discrepancies often result in the creation of misunderstandings that referred to both uttered and implied messages. Moreover, even if the couple speaks a common language, the process of communication may be hindered through the extensive use of jargon, professional terms, and abbreviations. Nevertheless, the crisis may be avoided in several ways. First, it is critical to find a certain lingua franca, which would serve as a tool for message transmission between the married people. For instance, since both of you speak English, you can use this language so that to explain separate problematic issues if the native languages do not work for each other. Second, you have to agree on the mode of communication, which is supported by you at home. Mainly, even if John is recounting his work experiences to his wife, he has to ensure that the complicated professional issues are explained in a simple language (Ting-Toomey, 2001). Finally, the family is stable if it values the traditions of both a husband and a wife. Thus, you have to celebrate the holidays, which are peculiar to two cultures. In this way, the diversity and appreciation are valued and kept within the union of matrimony.

Furthermore, in this letter, I warn you against the problem of stereotyping, which arises not only among the couples but in multiple social contexts as well. The problem stems from the false expectations that are imposed on the members of matrimonial unions. For instance, a great part of daily behaviors is susceptible to prejudices. Specifically, wives are likely to suspect their husbands of treachery if they identify their multiple delays. The tendency inflicts mistrust and pressure in any relationships. Therefore, my final advice for you would be supporting the explanatory model of relations, which implies dwelling on each other’s problems, listening to each other, and preventing the existence of any lies within the family.

Self-Concept and Interpersonal Communication

The notion of self-concept identifies the idea of personal viewpoints and emphasizes the existence of one’s individual opinions, which evolve independently and separately of the needs of spouses or life partners. The conception of creating a union with another person influences individualism, for it prioritizes the values of the couple over some particular personal aspirations. Since this process may lead to the emotional self-destruction, it is critical to outline some space for personal expression and development in the initial stages of the relationships.

The concept of self-identification represents a definite picture. This image serves as a mirror of one’s personal idea of his qualities or appearance. The notion is tightly connected with the concept of self-esteem. Specifically, if a person compares himself to a weak and feeble personality, this individual, apparently, suffers from the absence of confidence. And, conversely, if personal abilities are viewed by a person as the supernatural skills, the individual tends to be arrogant and selfish. The concept poses a significant threat to personal relationships, for people, whose self-concepts are distorted or illogical, can not put up with the objective judgments or criticism, which usually comes from the side of their spouses. In this case, two potential outcomes may evolve. First, people can lose their personal views since the latter are shaded by the values of their beloved ones. Second, the individuals with unstable self-concepts may suppress the opinions of their matches (Hinde, Finkenauer, & Auhagen, 2001).

My advice to you is to build your relationships on the basis of sound and constructive estimations of one’s personal skills. It is critical to realize that if each of you flatter the other so that to please him or, vice versa, deliberately underestimates each other’s abilities, it distracts your personal self-concepts and creates an unrealistic model of relationships, which can not last for a long time since they promote distrust, fear, and self-conscientiousness.

Emotional Intelligence in Family Communication

The concept of emotional intelligence is connected with the ability to handle one’s feelings, emotions, and thoughts so that to relate logically to the surrounding world. The notion may be identified as soundness or a sense of objective judgment. Since the quality affects the principles, according to which a person treats other people, it is important to emphasize that the revelation of emotional intelligence imposes some specifications on the relationships and family building.

First of all, one has to understand the sources of emotional intelligence so that to access personal traits of an individual. According to some constructive research investigations, the quality is bound to the parameters of behavior and attitude, which were applied to the person in childhood. For instance, if an individual was highly appreciated and respected by his family as well as admired the way, in which the surrounding society treated life, this person is likely to succeed in relationships since he/she possesses some distinct emotional intelligence and is capable of logical estimation of the events and facts. In contrast to it, those individuals, who suffered from abuse and neglect at the time of their maturing, they tend to adopt a hostile attitude towards the community as well as have some problems with managing their personal feelings. The psychologists point out that the lack of emotional intelligence is connected with introversion and restrained character (Lopes, Salovey, & Straus, 2003).

In this letter, I am eager to provide you with some basic techniques, which might assist you in the process of handling your emotions, especially when they refer to each other. First, according to the principles of interpersonal communication, positive thinking defines the actions and words of a person as well as shapes the feelings of an individual towards surrounding society. If a person is motivated to reach his/her goals as well as beliefs about the future of the family, which this individual is about to create, the level of emotional intelligence is raised to immeasurably extensive scopes. Second, both of you have to practice calmness under pressures. Thus, quite often, life conditions of a couple become grave and challenging. In this situation, it is critical for two people to find enough inner balance and power so that prevent themselves from disrupting their negative feelings towards each other. Third, I would like you to remember that the only emotions, which must not be restrained in the process of treating each other, are tenderness and love. Therefore, all the problems lose their seriousness in the face of genuine affection.

Self-Disclosure in Family Communication

Self-disclosure is the personal quality, which evicts itself with relation to human temperament and character. The concept determines the extent, to which one is capable of sharing some personal emotions and feelings with the surrounding society. It is acknowledged that a high level of self-disclosure is peculiar for extroverts and choleric individuals, who are proactive and sociable. Introverts, in contrast, tend to hide their real feelings so that to stay somewhat detached from the life of the community.

Nevertheless, the concept of self-disclosure acquires somewhat altered meaning when it is applied to family building or relationships. Thus, the quality regards an inseparable precondition of becoming a union since family life has to be built on total trust. Therefore, it may be said that there are two types of self-disclosure. While the first one is connected with some personal traits, the second one dwells on the issue of relationship characteristics.

According to the practical assessment, there is no sex-related discrepancy between the levels of self-disclosure in relationships. In other words, both men and women are equally inclined to attend to each other’s personal feelings under certain conditions (Sprecher & Hendrick, 2004).

The process of self-disclosing, therefore, may be estimated, according to the ratio, which correlates personal traits and parameters of relationships. For instance, if a person is restrained and does not experience a full commitment to the other person, the level of self-disclosure is low. In such cases, the individuals tend to hide the information, which refers to their private life, occupation or even family. The trust-directed level of self-disclosure is revealed when a person is shy and introversive by nature, but he/she strives to include the other personal into personal life and opens some feelings about the surrounding world to him/her. Finally, the full trust self-disclosure might be identified in the couples, which are open-minded and practice total commitment and devotion to each other. In this context, my general recommendation for you is to conduct the so-called explanatory type of self-disclosure. In other words, it would be great if you could provide some arguments for disclosing or hiding some specific information from your beloved one. For instance, if you feel that the issue of childhood should not be recounted to your future spouse since it imposes some traumatic reminiscence on you, then you must explain your opinion so that not to create a feeling of secrecy, which might damage the relationships.

Conflict Management in Family Communication

No matter how committed to each other you are, the couples have to remember that conflicts chaste every union and can be prevented under no conditions. Indeed, disagreements serve as the prerequisites for normal relationships since they assist people in identifying their shortcomings and drive the individuals to particular constructive solutions.

The identification of conflict management strategies might be helpful for you as a future family. Therefore, I am motivated to share the basics of interpersonal conflict treatment with you. First, you must embrace talking as a universal tool against any conflicts since only through putting your fears or displeasures in words, the agreement may be found (Hellmich, 2015). Second, I advise you to ignore the trivial issues, which bother you. Thus, many couples can not cope with some daily hardness such as breakage of the water tap, which inflicts serious conflicts. My recommendation for you is to omit the trivialities, which can be solved through the application of any physical material, is not worth your attention. Finally, I claim that conflict management solutions may be found by external parties. Therefore, do not be embarrassed if your spouse suggests that your problem might be attended by a third person. Sometimes, the solutions are better viewed from the side. However, make sure that a person, who assists you in conflict management, is professional in the sphere. It is advisable, therefore, to address psychologists or conflict specialists if you face some serious disagreements.


Hellmich, N. (2015). Hundreds of retirees share secrets to a happy marriage [Press release]. Web.

Hinde, R., Finkenauer, C., & Auhagen, A. (2001). Relationships and the self-concept. Personal Relationships 8(2), 187-204.

Lopes, P., Salovey, P., & Straus, R. (2003). Emotional intelligence, personality, and the perceived quality of social relationships. Personality and Individual Differences 35(3), 641-658.

Sprecher, S., & Hendrick, S. (2004). Self-disclosure in intimate relationships: Associations with individual and relationship characteristics over time. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology 23(6), 857-877.

Ting-Toomey, S. (2001). Cross-cultural interpersonal communication. Sage Publications 15(1), 280-283.

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