How Communication Works in Close Relationships


Picture of the intent.


What is COMMUNICATION?


Picture of the impact.

Picture of the speaker.

Picture of the filter.

HER FILTER


Picture of the message.


Picture of the filter.

HIS FILTER


Picture of the listener.

Click on each part of this picture to understand more, or scroll down this page.

© 1996, Paul Zelenski, M.A.

Click on all parts of the "big picture" of communication for more information, or scroll down.


Picture of the intent.

=

Picture of the impact.

?


What Communication is:

When one person tries to transfer an "INTENT" which is in their head to another person, they are trying to communicate. Communication always has an "IMPACT" on the other person, it could be slight, or huge. GOOD COMMUNICATION IS WHEN THE INTENT EQUALS THE IMPACT.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of the speaker.

The Speaker.

Here, the woman is playing the role of the speaker. She has some "intent" in her head.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of the intent.

Her Intent.

The only place the INTENT exists before it is communicated is in the head of the SPEAKER. Here, a loving message is the INTENT, but because of communication FILTERS, it could have a negative IMPACT on the LISTENER.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of her filter.

Her

Filter


Her Filter.

Her filter is created by the way that she chooses to say what is in her head. This filter is the product of her education, training and experience.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of the message.

The Message.

The message, once it passes through "her filter" has basically two parts to it. There are the VERBAL and the NON-VERBAL parts.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of his filter.

His

Filter


His Filter.

His filter is also the product of his education, training and experience. It has to do with how he understands certain words and the emotional impact that certain words have on him. Perhaps, his mother used the same words when she scolded him and so now he feels the same emotional impact when his partner speaks EVEN THOUGH THE INTENT IS NOT THE SAME.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of the listener.

The Listener.

Here, the man is playing the role of the listener. He is "impacted" in some way by the message sent from the speaker.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Picture of the impact.

The IMPACT.

The way he understood the words she chose to use to communicate her INTENT, caused him to feel a negative emotional impact. Perhaps it was some of the non-verbals that were misunderstood--her hand gestures, body language, or tone of voice. In any event, we have a miscommunication. Obviously, the IMPACT does not equal the INTENT.

Picture of communication.

Back to the big picture.

Back to Oak Tree Counseling Self-Help Home Page