In this journal, I will describe the relationship I have had with my daughter in law. I have been married for thirty two years. I met with my husband like 37 years ago in high school and have been together ever since. The reason for our long relationship is not because we loved one another too much, though love has been a key element, but because of the mutual understanding we have practiced over time when resolving our issue.
Contrary to the healthy communication climate my husband and I have had, the communication climate between my daughter in law and I has been rather unhealthy. My son, who is now 29 years old, has been married to my daughter in law for four years now. The relationship with my daughter in law was smooth in the first two years of their marriage. Issues began arising in the third year when my daughter in law began having issue with my son. I tried to reconcile them as my own two children but it always seemed to my daughter in law as if I was defending my son. Her view led to deteriorating relationship between the two of us further widening the level of close communication we had had previously.
I later discovered that I was presenting a closed communication environment where I was only set to have resolve their issues without due consideration of their feeling and emotions. I had approached the issue with a literal perception of the two being my children. I had total ignored the fact that they and especially my daughter, where grownups able of making rational decisions. I later gradually changed this and began confirming their emotions, showing the empathy by placing myself in their own shoes. This greatly improved the relationship between my daughter in law and I.
Looking at my score of 8 out of 9, I can consider myself as a good communicator though with some slight flaw. This could explain why I have maintained a healthy relationship with my husband for the long period we have been in marriage life.
There are elements that either develop or destroy proper communication. Among the elements that help develop a positive communication environment are communication confirming and empathy (Floyd, 56). Communication confirming involves issue to do with acknowledgement, endorsement, and recognition. Every human being wants to be recognized in a communication environment. This involves showing awareness of a person’s existence. Mostly, this recognition is portrayed by the non verbal cues such as headshakes and smiles. We might fail to recognize a person’s existence when we do not respond to their existence. Keeping silent for instance could be a way of disconfirming a person’s existence (Floyd, 78).
Empathy involves putting oneself in another’s shoes. This means putting yourself in the other person’s position and viewing issue from their perspectives (Floyd, 34). Being empathetic enables one to fully understand the other person’s situation and thus be able to handle the issues based on that understanding.
Being neutral in a communication environment involves avoiding taking any stand in a communication (Floyd, 64). There are times though when we have to take sides. You can be neutral if are called upon to act as the mediator in given communication environment. The behavior we portray in a given communication environment will also mean a lot and may have a great significance in the dimension the communication process is going to take.
Last but not least, the most important element of communication is determined by what we utter. There is so much power in our words that we do not recognize. Intentions statements for instance are statements that direct a communication event in given conscious direction (Floyd, 38). We might sometimes deliberately utter some statements to portray a given effect whether positive or negative. How choose to communicate whether consciously or unconsciously determines whether we maintain and improve our communication or we weaken our communication and thus our relationship.
Floyd, Kory. Interpersonal Communication: The Whole Story. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.