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Interpersonal communication is defined as any communication between two people; though it most commonly refers to spoken language, it can also include written and non-verbal communication. Learning and practicing effective interpersonal communication skills is important for everyone; for couples who are trying to figure out how to live together in a committed marriage relationship, interpersonal communication is an essential skill. Two principles will be most helpful for them.
The first important aspect of interpersonal communication between engaged or newlywed couples is making sure most of their conversations involve two-way rather than one-way communication. In an office setting, getting a memo or an instruction from a supervisor is perfectly acceptable; routinely getting an instruction or a directive from a partner is not. Rather than talking at one another, they must talk with each other. When two people are working together to create a long-term relationship, they must discuss, explore, compromise, and resolve--all things which are more effectively and efficiently accomplished through two-way communication.
The second necessary component of interpersonal communication for these couples is listening. This is one of the most under-rated aspects of communication; even the word communication implies speaking rather than listening. Nevertheless, couples who take the time and spend their energies listening will undoubtedly develop more successful relationships than couples who fail to listen to each other.
Listening involves both active participation and response. Just nodding half-heartedly while someone else speaks is not really effective listening; interrupting to make a point or even for clarification is also not effective listening. A dialog in which both participants listen and speak is likely to be productive and advantageous for people who want to make a relationship work.
Engaging in two-way communication and practicing active listening are two keys to effective interpersonal communication for newlyweds and engaged couples--or anyone else who wants to develop successful relationships.
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