When the human communicates, it is more complex than we may know or understand. Even though there are only four main principles of interpersonal communication, there are unlimited numbers of way we communicate. These are the four main principles of interpersonal communication.
* Interpersonal Communication is Inescapable
* Interpersonal Communication is Irreversible
* Interpersonal Communication is Complicated
* Interpersonal Communication is Contextual
It is impossible not to communicate. Even the simplest of thoughts is communicating. Even though you may not say any words you still communicate. (I.e. Body posture, Gestures, facial expression.) We constantly communicate with those around us. We constantly send and receive communication from others. Even when you sleep, you communicate. Remember, even the most basic form of communication, People are not mind readers. ...view middle of the document...
We don't actually swap ideas, we swap symbols that stand for ideas. This also complicates communication. Words (symbols) do not have inherent meaning; we simply use them in certain ways, and no two people use the same word exactly alike.
Osmo Wiio gives us some communication maxims similar to Murphy's law (Osmo Wiio, Wiio's Laws--and Some Others (Espoo, Finland: Welin-Goos, 1978):
* If communication can fail, it will.
* If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just that way which does the most harm.
* There is always somebody who knows better than you what you meant by your message.
* The more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.
Interpersonal communication is Contextual. In other words, communication does not happen in isolation. There is:
* Psychological context, which is who you are and what you bring to the interaction. Your needs, desires, values, personality, etc., all form the psychological context. ("You" here refers to both participants in the interaction.)
* Relational context, which concerns your reactions to the other person--the "mix."
* Situational context deals with the psycho-social "where" you are communicating. An interaction that takes place in a classroom will be very different from one that takes place in a bar.
* Environmental context deals with the physical "where" you are communicating. Furniture, location, noise level, temperature, season, time of the day, all are examples of factors in the environmental context.
* Cultural context includes all the learned behaviors and rules that affect the interaction. If you come from a culture (foreign or within your own country) where it is considered rude to make long, direct eye contact, you will out of politeness avoid eye contact. If the other person comes from a culture where long, direct eye contact signal trustworthiness, then we have in the cultural context a basis for misunderstanding.