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5 Types Of Communication That Determine Your Relationships

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5 Types Of Communication That Determine Your Relationships

There are 5 types of communication needed to start and continue a relationship: optical, auditory, emotional, nonverbal, and verbal. From the time you see someone to the time you speak to someone, seconds of communication have already happened.

Communication, in the simplest form, is sending out a message and receiving it. Messages sent out take place in several different ways. Once you understand and learn to apply all 5 of these types of communication, you will be a master at getting and keeping solid personal and professional relationships.

1. Optical

Optical communication is “seeing” someone, having your sights set on someone, and noticing the existence of someone. The moment your peepers see another person and their peepers see you, the optical type of communication begins.

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You see what they look like, what they are wearing, the hairdo, the facial expression, their body position, their body type, and instantly have thoughts like, “I like what I see,” or “I will look elsewhere.” If you like what you see and the other person likes what they see, then another decision as to “the next step” takes place. You or the other person will find a way to get closer and begin the second type of communication.

2. Auditory

Auditory communication is (in my opinion) the most important of all 5 types. This is the listening communication.

Wait, you mean to say that listening is communicating? I thought speaking is communicating?

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Well, let me answer this question with asking you this: have you ever said something like “my dog just died,” and the other person replied with “that’s nice”? Why would anyone say it is nice that your dog died? Because they were not listening, they were not tuned in, and they were not interested. How did that make you feel? Do you think you would have gotten a better response had the person been “tuned in” and listened to what you said? You bet the response would have been more appropriate—this emphasizes the need for listening. When you are tuned in and listen to the other person, you are more likely to pick up on another type of communication: emotional.

3. Emotional

Emotional communication is so important to all aspects of beginning and moving forward in a relationship, so much so that Facebook finally caught up with the 5 additional reaction emojis to its “Like” button. These buttons allow a person to “react with emotion” to a post with more than just “like.” They can now express love, laughter, anger, sadness, and amazement.

Why is it so important for Facebook to make this change to their “Like” button? For the same reason that I mentioned before with the example of the dog. The person in that example said “that’s nice,” and you were no doubt hurt that they reacted in a way that demonstrated inattentiveness and not listening. With these 5 emojis, people can react emotionally and more appropriately to messages that are posted. Now, when you post that your dog died, rather than receiving “likes,” you’ll get the “sad emoji,” letting you know that others care.

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Can you see that emotional communication really matters in a relationship? Whether it be a personal or professional relationship, an appropriate response will more likely keep that relationship moving forward.

4. Non-Verbal

Non-verbal communication includes tone of voice, pauses, rate of speech, facial expressions, body positions (i.e. crossed arms)—even walking away is a type of non-verbal communication. If you are speaking to someone and they smile, you will likely feel affirmed and that things are going well. If someone frowns in reaction to what you said, you get the message that someone disagrees with what you said. Non-verbal cues impact the understanding of what spoken and unspoken communication is taking place between people in a relationship.

5. Verbal

Verbal communication is using language in the form of sentences, phrases, and dialogue—but everyone already knows this, right?

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In reality, it is much more than that. The words spoken can be misunderstood. However, there is a way to keep your words from being misunderstood. Speak and watch for clues of acceptance. If you are really attentive, you can use words in your sentences, phrases, and dialogues that resonate more positively with the other person and will lead to a positive communication experience. A positive communication experience will lead to more positive experiences. This means more enjoyable interactions that will help to maintain the relationship and keep it moving forward.

By now, you have a more holistic approach to communicating in a relationship. Here is a hint: speak to the other person with expressions and be watchful for clues in the way the other person looks, listens, and reacts to you. Also, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of what to do to start and stay in a relationship—and so will your partner after you share this article with them!

Featured photo credit: Angelo González via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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