Statement of Problem Communication “can be understood as the practice of producing meanings, and the ways in which systems of meanings are negotiated by participants in a culture” (Schirato and Yell 1). Effective communication is imperative to creating healthy relationships in general. Specifically, what we will be addressing in this paper is how effective/ineffective communication can make or break intimate relationships.

We are also analyzing effective/ineffective communication within arguments in intimate relationships, what the main issues are that contribute to conflict within these relationships, and what are the different outcomes in the dispute resolution process. The article we used to develop our questionnaire and ultimately the subject basis of this research paper is “19 Steps to Effective Communication”, taken from http://www. shaadimatchmaker. com/static/dating_tips/communication_in_relationship. o. We took these points, and created questions to analyze if our subjects were using the tactics described within the article to be effective in exercising their communication skills within their intimate relationships. This paper serves to analyze the results of our 15-question questionnaire. Our paper serves to analyze how age and level of education affects different types of intimate relationships (i. e. casual dating, boyfriend/girlfriend, engaged, and married).

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We correlate excuses/assumptions and whether they are submissive or outspoken; and how education level plays a part in these types of responses within arguments in intimate relationships. Throughout the article, we reference the original article, “19 Steps to Effective Communication”, seeking to determine if adhering to the “Steps” is indeed effective in achieving open and healthy intimate relationships, and how deterring from the “Steps” can lead to unhealthy, closed communication. In analyzing the latter, we identify signs leading toward the dissolution of intimate relationships.

We hope that, ultimately, this research will lead ourselves, and others, to more beneficially and effectively communicate in the creation of healthy intimate relationships. Literature Review In our research paper, “Using Effective Communication in Intimate Relationships”, our goal is to find what works and what doesn’t for effective communication in real life. The books and article below focus on “magic words” and body language signals we give off that may skew the message in our favor or against us.

Many of the words and signals we use day to day can be perceived differently by others and may be the cause of why you cannot seem to get what you want out of life. Whether it is something as simple as asking someone to complete a task, or as life changing as having your partner understand who you are and what you want out of the relationship, using effective communication is essential for creating healthy, balanced relationships and getting what you want out of the relationship.

As described in the journal article, “Linking Worldview, Relationship Attitudes, and Behavioral Outcomes: Implications for the Study and Practice of Public Relations” (Bruning), one of the key facets of “communicating in relationships” is relationship management. This article is about the idea that the practice of public relations is relationship management. Recent research has begun to explore ways in which adaptations of interpersonal relationship-building strategies can be incorporated into an organization-public relationship context.

The results of this research show that when existing or potential customers view the world differently from the organization, relational dissatisfaction can result, which can lead to relationship termination. The findings from this investigation suggest that relationship attitudes play a role in personal, professional, and community relationship retention. This provides a quantitative illustration showing that public relations strategies, grounded in interpersonal communication relationship-building theory and adapted to meet relationship needs and expectations, can positively affect public member attitudes, evaluations and behaviors.

The article also includes the benefits that can be accrued by taking a relationship-building approach to the study and practice of public relations. In the book, “Law of Connection: the Science of Using NLP to Create Ideal Personal and Professional Relationships” (Losier), it is explained how communicating in relationships can be enhanced by neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). In the “Law of Connection”, the author describes how NLP can provide the key for successful communication.

NLP helps the reader to gain skills needed to create better understanding with the different people who occupy different roles in one’s life. The book poses that there are four different styles of communication, including visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and digital. It also poses that there are three conditions for connecting, four easy methods for effective communication, describes various ways to create positive rapport, and outlines techniques for effectively calibrating your conversations.

Losier maintains that this book will help you improve your communication and your relationships will become fuller, richer, and free of conflict. NLP is a rapidly-expanding new theory on communicating effectively in relationships. In the book, “Communication Power” (Castells), the analysis presented refers to one specific social structure: the network society, the social structure that characterizes society in the early 21st century – a social structure constructed around (but not determined by) digital networks of communication.

The author contends that the process of formation and exercise of power relationships is decisively transformed in the new organizational and technological context derived from the rise of global digital networks of communication, which in the network society means both the multimodal mass media (i. e. Facebook) and the interactive, horizontal networks of communication built around the Internet and wireless communication. Power works by acting on the human mind by means of communicating messages, and it is important to understand how the human mind processes these messages.

This book demonstrates an understanding of the construction of power relationships through communication in the network society by integrating three key components of the process; 1) including the structural determinants of social and political power in the global network society; 2) the structural determinants of the process of mass communication under the organizational, cultural and technological conditions of our time; and 3) the cognitive processing of the signals presented by the communication system the human mind as it relates to relevant social practice.

The author also makes the assumption that the greater the autonomy provided to the users by the technologies of communication, the greater the changes that new values and new interests will enter the realm of socialized communication, so reaching the public mind. “The rise of mass self-communication enhances the opportunities for social change. ” The online article, “How to move from disagreement to problem solving, using NLP art of negotiation”, describes how communicating effectively in relationships is all about negotiation.

Negotiation is the process of getting what you want from others by giving others what they want, and takes place in any communication where interests conflict. There exists a balance between your integrity, values and outcomes, and those of your partner. The article purports that the key skill in negotiation is to dovetail outcomes, which is the process of fitting together outcomes so that everyone involved gets what they want. This is a positive alternative to manipulation, where your partner's wants are disregarded.

Explore the reasons why you both want different outcomes, as these differences will point to areas where you can make trade-offs to mutual advantage. People may want the same thing for different reasons. The article states that it is important to focus on interests and intentions rather than behavior; and that all good negotiators use a lot of questions. The internet source “What men want in women” (Uebergang) is presented in Tower Of Power, a company that works with developing social and communication skills.

In this article the author presents men’s view on female communication and how they relate to it. An interesting point of view was when the author chose to compare women who try to trigger an attraction by cooking, cleaning and shopping to men who sit watching television and drinking beer, that it is equivalent and end up having the same results: unattractiveness. Another aspect that was interesting was the non-verbal communication men and women use.

An example from the article would be that when a man likes a woman he will communicate that to his friends by saying “she is cool” and his feelings towards the woman will be determined if he chooses to remain with her, while women often tend to communication through verbal-diarrhea and analyzing the relationship with their friends. Uebergang relates to our main article in the sense that our main article advises on positive reinforcement, the source talks about men hating women who criticize and complain and that it’s poor communication that creates barriers that ultimately may kill the relationship.

In the book it relates to the part of dissolving relationships, the first stage of communication process in dissolving relationships is the recognition of dissatisfaction, which in this case applies the result of criticism and complaining. In the academic article “Offensive jokes: How do they impact long-term relationships? ” (Hall and Sereno), the authors deal with one of the most important factors that make long-term relationships work; sense of humor. Humor creates intimacy and closeness between couples. It also forms a certain understanding that they are on the same level of communication.

The article talks about expressive levels and what emotions are evoked with inappropriate jokes. A great example from the article: “Although most people respond to negative jokes negatively, those with an advanced sense of humor respond with a reframing interpretative response that renders the joke both wrong and funny in their eyes. In the context of a relationship, it is difficult to discern how offensive or put-down humor might be received”. This relates to our main article in the way that people might not see it the same way you do (perception).

In the book reframing is used as a necessity for maintaining and developing a relationship but if reframing cannot be cannot be done, in this case due to negative humor, the effect will be a dysfunctional relationship. The book “Cognition, communication, and romantic relationships” (Honeycutt) deals with a lot of communicating emotions and in what time-frames they are used. Chapter 4 in the book “Emotion and Cognition about Relationships” reviews the role of emotions in processing information about the development of relationships. The chapter states that emotions are merely prototypes associated with other types of emotion.

In the case of relationships, the appropriate emotion to apply would be love and anger, being the most commonly used. These to emotions could be, by some, associated with despair or infatuation. It also deals with that people’s expectations for relationships affect their emotional responses to the events that occur. The emotions then translate into actions of honesty and openness which both our main article and book emphasizes on in order to develop a relationship. Emotions may also translate into non-verbal communication and that is also a key factor in interpersonal communication.

Emotions give away the non-verbal. An example would be if I look sad but say I am fine, my emotions translate into facial expressions, non-verbal, and therefore communicate that I really am sad. The book source “The language of emotional intelligence” (Segal) combines the basis of developing skills that build emotional intelligence ultimately keeping the relationship productive and fulfilling. The book states that emotional intelligence is necessary in order to be a great communicator, since it is emotions influence our behavior.

It also emphasizes the importance of non-verbal communication and gives advice on how to improve those skills and how to read different expressions. Humor and playfulness is also of importance. The book also gives different advice on how to handle arguments and putting things into perspective in order to understand why the other person may be irritated. Many of the same advice this book gives is consistent with the advice and tips given in our main source article and speech book. Examples of these would be never to argue when you are heated, cool down and collect yourself.

Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand their process of thought. Understanding is one of the key elements in communication. The book source “The language of emotional intelligence” (Segal) combines the basis of developing skills that build emotional intelligence ultimately keeping the relationship productive and fulfilling. The book states that emotional intelligence is necessary in order to be a great communicator, since it is emotions influence our behavior. It also emphasizes the importance of non-verbal communication and gives advice on how to improve those skills and how to read different expressions.

Humor and playfulness is also of importance. The book also gives different advice on how to handle arguments and putting things into perspective in order to understand why the other person may be irritated. Many of the same advice this book gives is consistent with the advice and tips given in our main source article and speech book. Examples of these would be never to argue when you are heated, cool down and collect yourself. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to understand their process of thought. Understanding is one of the key elements in communication.

The book “What to Say to Get Your Way: The Magic Words That Guarantee Better, More Effective Communication” (Boswell) teaches the reader how to use words when you have an important message to relay. Anything from what tone to use, which words to avoid, and how to be confident and clear without creating enemies. Boswell gives the reader the “Power! ” over their actions by creating scenarios and giving appropriate actions to take, he states that it “give [them] a sence of control, no matter how false of fleeting that control actually is. He reasures that “opting for patience over [their] temper just makes [them] feel better”(Boswell). Since the focus of our research is to find out what works in real life relationships, we found this book to be an essential instrument to our research. Boswell focuses on the importance of positive words, and how they make people feel. For example, they can sting or be soothing, they can make people aware or misinformed, they can be liberating and also leave life-long scars. It truly puts emphasis on how the wrong choice of words cause undesired effects that at times cannot be undone.

Effects vary from simply turning off the listener to having the misinformation lead to an unwanted chain of events. This book mainly focuses on what NOT to say and what mistakes not to make. I believe the goal is to make the reader aware of the everyday misinformation, misinterpretation and miscommunication, whether they are the sender or the receiver. Another book source “Words That Hurt Words That Heal How to Choose Words Wisely and Well” (Telushkin) focuses on the power of words and the effect they have on others.

Showing ways to build bridges rather than break them. Speaking to someone clearly and directly allows you to say what you truly mean without being misinterpreted. The main difference between this book and the book previously mentioned, “What to Say to Get Your Way: The Magic Words That Guarantee Better, More Effective Communication” (Boswell) is that instead of focusing on the positive and healing effects of kind words , Telushkin focuses on the damaging effects of unkind words, and like the title says how to choose words wisely.

Another main focus of this book is how one talks “about” and “to” others. Telushkin compares the damaging effects of negative and unpleasant words to the damage that alcohol and drugs can cause on a human’s life, he states, “words can be used to inflict devastating and irrevocable suffering. ” By placing both perspectives, a positive and a negative, and providing a full spectrum of scenarios, it becomes a lot clearer to the reader how to define and deal with many day to day situations.

These books help us to see the fine lines between integrity in self-disclosure and gosip, all which are predicaments within ourselves and our relationships. The author is a Jewish Rabbi, and many of his stories come from Jewish teachings. He refers to speaking in an ethical manner as “sacred and a form of art” (Telushkin). Another book source, “Get People to Do What You Want: How to Use Body Language and Words to Attract People You Like and Avoid the Ones You Don't” (Hartley and Karinch) is useful to tie-in the two books previously mentioned in perfect harmony.

Since it appears that the biggest part in misunderstandings and miscommunication tends to be the wrong choice of words, and the second and perhaps the hardest to master is body language. The reality is that because we mostly communicate in real time, what we say with our bodies can be lost in translation if it does not match with our verbal conversation. Hartley and Karinch teach the reader about the importance of body language while communicating. They provide tools such as: “questioning, psychological levers or approaches, baselining, probing and active listening. Hartley and Karinch point out many forms of body language and how we can use it as a guide for just about anything from spotting a lie to persuading a person to do something we need. This knowledge is very useful and an important in relatioships because it can help to clear-up or discover information that either partner may be afraid to share, or may simply just “not know how to say” (Hartley and Karinch). Finally to tie our research project together in harmony we chose anarticle by William Buchanan entitled “How Others See Us”.

In this article Buchanan helps the reader to see how they would come across to others given specific situations. In this order we believe the readers can go step by step to learn how to use words for their benefit and how to use their bodies to reinforce the message they are sending across. While the other books help the reader to become better understood, thus increasing their popularity, since we all know, “we like people for how they make us feel” (Buchanan). This article focuses on the final step, how we come across and how others see us, which is the final step in efficient communication.

By this step we should have mastered the art of communication, as we have an understanding to what is important and what is not throughout the communicating process. More importantly, to prove to the reader that “who we are is not necessarily who other people see, and now that we are no longer blind to ourselves, we have all the right tools to mold our very own image. ” (Buchanan) C. Statement of What the Research is About We are conducting a questionnaire to examine different aspects of effective and ineffective communication within intimate relationships.

This usage of effective/ineffective communication both causes arguments and is used within arguments. Our paper aims to analyze the patterns within the communication tactics used to produce healthy or unhealthy relationships. Our research findings analyze whether gender and level of education are correlated with the usage of effective/ineffective communication within intimate relationships. The research findings seek to show that the “19 Steps”, as previously referenced, are actually effective in producing healthy relationships.