Sunday, April 22, 2012

We All Need to Communicate

This is a paper Mom wrote in 1993, I believe for one of her speech classes. It's more of a concept paper, rather than a details one, talking about the kinds of communication and how they can be used.

It's also hand-written, but Mom's handwriting was always pretty good and I think I got most of it. The photo is of Mom in June 2010 at the Saratoga National Battlefield Visitor's Center in Saratoga County, NY.

I. We all need to communicate. As a child, we learned to communicate with our parents by asking for things so our basic needs could be fulfilled, ex. "Potty," "Mommy," "Daddy, "eat," etc. The skills were pretty basic. As an adult, the learning years can be humorous.

As we grow older, our communication becomes more important and expanded. We get to intrapersonal communication, how we communicate with yourself. This is important as it helps improve your self esteem. How we view our self tells us how we view others.

We also learn how to communicate with others. Dyadic communication is with two people. When we are younger, this could be with a friend, with your mother or a sister. Again, as we get older, we expand our horizons and we have a Dyadic communication with a teacher, a boss, a husband, etc.

With everyone, we must learn to effectively communicate. We must learn to get our point across. Effective communication is when both parties equally participate. It cannot be all one-sided. The all "I" syndrome.

The physical communication is using verbal gestures to get the message across. Some people cannot speak without these.

The spoken word or gesture is sent out on adapters and conveyed to the listener.

Interpersonal communication, two or more people are conveying with each other. Communication with husband and wife, I would see as interpersonal.

Impersonal is a non-caring communication. We convey the ideas, but don't really care whether the ideas are excepted or not. If this communication continues, we may lose what we meant to say. Soon, no one will take you seriously and you will have no audience.

When you are trying to get a message across, you need to hear the message and speak enthusiastically about the message. If you don't like the message, then you will not communicate it well.

A family, for instance, will be a lot happier if they can, as a group, communicate better. Everyone needs the feedback, which you get from communicating well. ex. You asked your teenager to clean her room and later you find it still a mess, then you were not effective. But if you were specific, i.e. pick up your clothes, put the garbage away, make your bed. These are specific instructions and could result in other communication and a cleaner room.

II. Some of the ways I influence such a concept in others is, first of all, by communicating to them. I, first of all, must listen to them and when I speak to them, I refer to something they may have said. I try to remember their name and use it. I use a tone of voice that is encouraging and not too "cheery" or over-whelming."

My significant other, be it a husband, friend or teacher, boss, can greatly influence your mood by how they communicate with you.

We have all gone to work feeling great, only to be confronted at work by a surly boss who got up on the wrong side of the bed. It is very difficult to overcome this type of influence. Sometimes it is a matter of continuing to "beef up" your own behaviors and self concept. Maybe you just need to stop for a minute and walk away, if you can. If this happens often, we may need to prepare better our own communication.

We may need to say "I know me and I feel good today," then prepare a compliment for that significant other. "Gosh, sir, you just did a good job with that report. It is surprising sometimes how you can turn a "grouch" around with a few well-chosen words. The same can be said for receiving these words, if you are the surly one.

Sometimes, a very shy "wall flower" can be brought open by some wonderful remarks by a significant other and improve their self-concept or self-esteem.

How well a person performs depends on their self-esteem. We must think well of ourselves before we can think well of others. We need to know how others see us. Sometimes this communication can come in the form of a letter or a card. Something to say I care about you and you are important. We have to care first about ourselves. We can't be impersonal. We have to spread our self-concept.

With the significant other, we need to be self-confident enough to convey this self-concept to them. If you live or work with a person who is constantly tearing you down, your self-concept will be shot very quickly. If they are insulting you want to insult back. If they are to gossip, you want to gossip back. It may take a strong character and strong self-concept on your part to break this cycle. You need to begin to resist this temptation.

If you start complimenting little things, then bigger things, maybe the influence will soon be felt. Then if this doesn't change behavior, then maybe you need to break yourself away from this concept and improve your own self-esteem. Maybe he/she will not improve with you, so you need to improve yourself. Self-concepts or self-esteem is very important in human behavior. No matter what or where we go in life, how you perceive yourself may be how others perceive you.

Connie, Oct. 14, 1993

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