Self-Reflection on Personal Relationships

The main aim of any communication is to ensure that the communicator message reaches the audience intended and that the recipient can conceptualize what is communicated. Hence to ensure that communication is effective, competent and ethical then it’s essential for one to understand the aspect of relational communication. Individually relational communication has been crucial in establishing of personal connection among friends and family. It’s necessary since it encompasses both the qualitative and quantitative methods coupling with theoretical perspective. Relational communication is research-based since it examines both the interpretation and expression of the message within a personal relationship which surrounds our daily interactions together with critical relational events. The approach shows the role that communication plays in the development, dissolution, and maintenance of relationships, how it impacts partners and their respective relationships and offer guidelines on how to improve the quality of a contact or an individual’s wellbeing through a relationship.

Strengths and weakness in the interpersonal relationship

Strengths in relational communication

Perhaps the biggest strength that I have in my communication is that I am a good listener and can easily communicate with any individual under the table which means I do less of the talking. I tend to be perceptive, sincere and interested, and genuinely I focus on what the person communicating to me is saying. I don’t just focus on what I think you are saying or just pick what supports my opinion and I do not only hope the person will speak what’s appealing. Am occasionally interested to hear what a person wants to say. I exclusively focus on asking questions which have intent and purpose. Sometimes I battle with the right and care more about creating an understanding between myself and the party communicating than really focusing on what is right. I vividly acknowledge that the point an individual is expressing, doesn’t necessarily mean that I agree with it, even if I give out my opinion while making a communication. At times I can pick up when I may feel like expressing my point of view or when I may want to express myself differently for the speaker to hear me. I may ask some questionable things honestly while avoiding being brutal.

Weakness in relational communication

As seen in the course, they are many reasons that may cause a communication to fail. Individual they are many aspects that I hold which may be my weaknesses in establishing a successful communication. Hence consequently, may lead to the intent of the message never reaches the recipient. Perhaps personally one factor includes the emotional barrier, and the previous perception of the one is communicating. It’s not odd to have someone’s picture before a communication which eventually shapes how you will receive the information that is laid out by that individual. Then sometime it may become so hard to express some topics which I may conclude to be off-limits. The prejudice and prior expectation lead to false stereotyping and assumption on the person that holds given information. There is also the factor of psychological barriers which I guess affect most communication, the mental state of the communicator I believe influences how the message gets sent, receive, interpreted and perceived. If an individual is stressed, for instance, he or she might be less receptive to the information. Also, anger is another factor which I believe makes people say things that they regret later. I guess these aspects are my weakness in establishing relational communication.

The uncertainty reduction theory

The theory was developed initially by Charles Berger and Richard Calabrese and is also known as the initial interaction theory it’s a conventional communication theory which was established from the post-positivist tradition. The provision of the argument focus on looking at the interaction of people before the process of communication, it asserts the belief that during an interaction, the parties that are to be involved in a conversation need the information about each other with the aim of reducing levels of uncertainties. Upon gathering this information then people can predict easily the other person’s behavior and the action that may be as a result. According to the theory, the two aspects are essential in establishing effective communication (Knapp et al, 2014).

Berger and Calabrese show the connection between the central theory of uncertainty and seven significant variables that are crucial in the development of a relation, using a series of axioms, and in doing so, they deduced a series an of theorems. In the development of relational communication, they come up with two uncertainties, behavioral and cognitive uncertainties. They also came up with three interactive strategies that can be used while seeking out information on someone they include: active, passive and interactive. The initial interactive approach can further be broken down into various individual stages- the personal stage, the entry stage, and the exit stage. Based on the theory and research people tend to find interpersonal relationships unlikely and often are motivated in reducing it using interpersonal communication. In the recent years, the approach has been used in new relationships. However, it is still widely respected as used in explaining and predicting the initial interaction before an interaction (Rodgers, 2014).

Relational dialectics theory

It’s also a theory of relational and interpersonal communication which provide for close personal relationships and ties which highlight struggle, tension and an interplay between tendencies which are contrary. The theory was developed in 1988 by Leslie Baxter and W.K. Rawlins who they defined that communication among partners in a relationship may be due to endemic dialectical tensions. In their description of this theory, Baxter and Barbara Montgomery simplified further their initial concept by posing, yes, positive attract, but the bird of the same feather often flock together. They also conclude that two is a company, three is a crowd but again welcome, the more the merrier. The contradictions that are given are same to those that are always being experienced in relationships, affecting an individual. While making decisions, we welcome multiple viewpoints which at time contradict (Halliwell, 2015). Relational dialectic was an elaboration of Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept who believed that life always is an open monologue and occasionally human do experience conflict between opposing needs and desires. Baxter formulates a list of tension which acts as a reminder of the changing nature of relationships, and for relationships to be satisfying and successful, it thus requires constant attention. However, though Baxter description of relational dialectics is comprehensive, it’s not inclusive and exact, and we all experience a different kind of tension within a relationship. Dialectics factors in almost all relationships, scholars suggest that relational dialectics does expose tension that is available in a relationship, at the same time it has devised a method of maintaining and repairing the pressures. Hence, as a result, it becomes an incredible tool in defining the way forward in managing tensions within a relationship (Rudick & Golsan, 2014).

Attachment theory

It’s a psychological model which aims at describing the short and long-term dynamics between relation communication and interpersonal relationships. However, it’s not formulated as a general theory it’s used to address specific facets. The theory deals with how humans respond to a relationship when hurt, when separated from there love one or when they perceive a threat. It makes believe that the ability of any individual to make physical or emotional attachment to another individual gives a sense of security and stability to take risks, grow, and take risks and development in personality. The theory is broad and holds many expressions which one has to look at each to understand its concepts (Paetzold & Rholes, 2015).

Mary Ainsworth developed many ideas from the original creator Bowbly. She particular acknowledges the existence of what she refers to as attachment behavior which she gives an example of an insecure child trying to get attached to a present caregiver. Since the occurrence of the action is concurrent, then it makes a basis for the conclusion of an innate or instinctual trait within humans. Hazana and Snaver focused more on attachment theory as it affects communication in human generally and not focusing on children in spite it being instrumental in developmental psychology. In their studies, they observed some couples and examined the nature of attachment between them later analyzed how the couples reacted to various stimuli and stressors. For most adults the strength of the attachment is essential, and where the attachments were weak, then they were feeling inadequate and lacked intimacy on one or both parties involved compared to children. Relationships work best if the parties managed on balancing their intimacy.

Recommendations and conclusion

In developing an effective interpersonal communication, then one has to meditate on the following questions: are my personal feelings confusing the objectivity of the communication? Why am I choosing to say or do this? Would I like to be treated this and would like other to be treated this way? And finally, if this was to go public would I be comfortable? The following recommendations help in solving these concerns:

Effective listening and maintain respect In establishing a communication its ethical not to jump to conclusions, making premature agreements, judgments, criticism or comparisons. One should seek the reasons behind the statements and comment that are made by the communicator. An individual should emphasize on facts and the objectivity of the information. Respect is maintained through avoiding embarrassing others in public and avoiding misdirecting anger to the juniors. Act carefully and thoughtfully initially, it’s important to understand the view of other people even if disagreeing or agreeing with there ideas. Another important aspect is keeping a record of the conversation. During a conversation one may not have to agree with a given action instantaneously, it’s safe and wise to wait. Last include behaving humanly since this is interpersonal relations its good to factor in people feelings and emotions.

To conclude all persons want to feel treated reasonably and feel that they have been respected and understood, regardless of the message communicated. An individual ability to respectfully listen is sufficient in most emotionally charged situations, for instance, listening to concerns about discrimination, sexual harassment and giving someone advice on a job. The theories and aspect provided above provide a clear outline of how the structure of efficient relational communication is established.


Rogers, L. E. (Ed.). (2014). Relational communication: An interactional perspective to the study of process and form. Routledge.

Knapp, M. L., Vangelisti, A. L., & Caughlin, J. P. (2014). Interpersonal communication & human relationships. Pearson Higher Ed.Paetzold, R. L., & Rholes, W. S. (2015). Attachment theory and methods for meanings of couple intimacy. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 15(1), 414-417.

Rudick, C. K., & Golsan, K. B. (2014). Revisiting the relational communication perspective: Drawing upon relational dialectics theory to map an expanded research agenda for communication and instruction scholarship. Western Journal of Communication, 78(3), 255-273.

Halliwell, D. (2015). Extending Relational Dialectics Theory: Exploring New Avenues of Research. Annals of the International Communication Association, 39(1), 67-95.