Relational Education Space

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Relational Education Space

Key Takeaways

  • Active listening is an essential part of good communication as it involves engaging in the conversation, paraphrasing what was shared, avoiding interruptions, suspending judgments, and asking questions. This involves understanding what was said, including that which was not verbally expressed.
  • Emotional barriers hinder effective communication as it causes one not to be open, and being open is an essential factor in effective communication.
  • Passing judgment is a barrier to effective communication because it hinders one from listening with the intention to understand. Judgmental listening prevents one from considering the ideas of the other person.

Introduction

This research presents insights into the necessary interpersonal skills that improve personal relationships. This also includes barriers to effective communication and some research studies highlighting the importance of working on communication skills in improving relationships. The details are outlined below.

Interpersonal Skills as Key to Working on Personal Relationships

1. Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

  • Maintaining boundaries is an essential interpersonal skill. Maintaining boundaries means keeping what one is "willing to accept in a relationship." Boundaries are a representation of one's expectations, values, and limitations.
  • Maintaining boundaries strengthens relationships because having limits in terms of expectations or spending time together helps develop respect, respect for the other person, and respect for oneself. In addition, it also shows that one cares about the other person's needs, values, goals, and emotions.
  • Keeping healthy boundaries also improves interpersonal skills because it allows one to "share personal information appropriately." That means there is no oversharing on one end and no avoidance of sharing one's personal life on the other end. A lack of boundaries causes one to share too much or too little.
  • Without a healthy boundary, a person may find it difficult to say no to people's requests and may get too involved in people's problems.

2. Active Listening

  • Active listening is also an interpersonal skill that is an essential factor in nurturing stronger relationships.
  • Active listening is an essential part of good communication as it involves engaging in the conversation, paraphrasing what was shared, avoiding interruptions, suspending judgments, and asking questions. This involves understanding what was said, including that which was not verbally expressed.
  • Active listening is an essential factor in building stronger relationships because it shows care and interest in the person speaking. It is also a way to learn more about the person being listened to.
  • In addition, active listening allows one to offer support and validation to the person being listened to. This strengthens the relationship as it usually propels the speaker to value the listener as a confidant.

Barriers to Effective Communication

1. Emotional Barriers such as Anger and Pride

  • Emotional barriers refer to emotions that hinder one from openly communicating one's thoughts. The primary emotional barriers are pride, anger, and anxiety.
  • Emotional barriers hinder effective communication as it causes one not to be open, and being open is an essential factor in effective communication.
  • Anger in the middle of a conversation causes one to be less logical. Anger hinders one from understanding what the other person is communicating.
  • On the other hand, pride causes a person to talk more than listen. It hinders effective communication and fails to strengthen the relationship because pride causes the person to think that one is always right. It hinders active listening and thus impedes the opportunity to learn more about the other person.
  • Anger management skill is an important interpersonal skill for nurturing effective communication. The lack of this leads to misunderstandings, offense, and failure to solve or discuss the issue at hand.

2. Personal Communication Barriers such as Passing Judgment

  • Personal communication barriers refer to preconceived notions on a subject matter and include factors such as bias and differences in judgment. It can cause one to pass judgment on people or opinions.
  • Passing judgment hinders effective communication and weakens relationships because it is offensive to the other person. A person passing judgment analyzes the behavior or thoughts of the other person negatively.
  • Passing judgment is a barrier to effective communication because it hinders one from listening with the intention to understand. Judgmental listening prevents one from considering the ideas of the other person.

Scientific Studies Validating the Importance of Communication Skills

1. Family communication patterns and relationship quality between emerging adults and their parents

  • This study was authored by Erica Szkody and Cliff McKinney. It was published in June 2021 in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.
  • This study examines the relationship between family communication patterns and child help-seeking or child help-providing behaviors in parent-children relationships. This is focused on the period of a child's emerging adulthood.
  • The study made use of a latent profile analysis to identify pattern types of family communication. Two communication orientations were looked at, conformity orientation and conversation orientation.
  • The data also supported the protective and pluralistic family communication types that have been created from the two communication orientation scores. These were used to differentiate relationship qualities and support-seeking/providing behaviors.
  • This study reveals the importance of family communication in the quality of the relationship between parents and children.

2. Communication, the Heart of a Relationship: Examining Capitalization, Accommodation, and Self-Construal on Relationship Satisfaction

  • This study, published in December 2021, was written by Priscilla Maria De Netto, Kia Quek, and Karen Golden.
  • This study notes that the study of processes involved in nurturing positive relationships is an under-researched area.
  • Studies have shown that relationship quality is related to accommodation response or a person's way of responding during couple conflicts and the capitalization response or disclosure of good news.
  • The study authors also note that Western perspectives have widely dominated the understanding of accommodation and capitalization communication processes. In addition, studies also show that Western and Asian cultures differ in the expression and perception of beneficial communication behaviors.
  • This study examines the accommodation and capitalization communication processes in Asian culture, particularly Malaysia. This study explores the relationship between communication processes and relationship satisfaction.
  • The data were collected through online surveys of 139 Malaysians in dating relationships.
  • This study reveals that the active-constructive capitalization response has substantially influenced relationship satisfaction.
  • In addition, a passive constructive response is seen to be beneficial only during positive news disclosure and not during conflicts. Also, this study reveals that passive-destructive responses were the most detrimental factor in relationships compared to other destructive responses.
  • This study highlights the importance of nurturing relationships through better conflict management and enriching relationships through capitalization on positive aspects in the couple's lives.

Research Strategy

For this research on the relational education space, we leveraged the most reputable sources of information in the public domain, including Very Well Mind, B Scholarly, Soject, SagePub, and Skills You Need.

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