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Communication And Interpersonal Relationships Essay

2197 words - 9 pages

Communication and Interpersonal Relationships
Roberta Curtis
Colorado Christian University


Communication and Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal relationships are the momentum that keeps us moving forward with life. Effective communication is an important variable in determining the success of interpersonal relationships. The absence of communication can cause relationship failure; however, in contrast a satisfying relationship is successful because of communication. Effective communication is at the center of the development and maintenance of all interpersonal relationships.
The ability to share ideas, dreams, hopes, fears, desires, and needs is essential to ...view middle of the document...

One of Gadla’s subjects had filed a complaint against him for not maintaining order when an ox had strayed from its owner. The magistrate sent a message ordering Mandela’s father to appear before them. Gadla replied “Andizi ndisaqula (I will not come, I am still girding for battle” (Mandela, 1994, p. 61). It was known that one did not defy the magistrates as the behavior was viewed as disrespectful. Gadla violated the magistrate’s expectations because Gadla believed “that the magistrate had no legitimate power over him” (Mandela, 1994, p. 61). This misinterpretation between Gadla and the magistrates state “We aren’t all the same and that meaning comes from different sources for different people. What satisfies me may not satisfy you” (Griffin, 1987, p. 70).
Observing patterns within group dynamics in order to gain insight into effective communication was the foundation of Watzlawick development of the Interactional View of communication. Watzlawick stated that the actions of a single participant are not solely determined by themselves, only as a part of the whole. To understand how Mandela became the man he matured to be, one must reflect on who and where he came from. Mandela’s father, Gadla, was part of the royal Thembu dynasty and the chief of the small village. Gadla was not only a chief of the tribe by blood and custom, but also “as a government-appointed chief” (Mandela, 1994, p. 11). This custom allowed him privileges to receive a portion of the fees the British government levied on the community, and made him eligible for a stipend as well. Like Watzlawick, Mandela believed that “the behavior of each person affects and is affected by the behavior of another” (Griffin, 2012, p. 182). Mandela considered his father’s character and behavior, “my father possessed a proud rebelliousness, a stubborn sense of fairness,” and believed his father’s behavior affected him and passed it along (Mandela, 1994, p. 158). According to Watzlawick family system, Gadla’s behavior explains how he affected everyone, including Mandela, in the family group.
As Mandela matured, his self-concept began to develop filters towards the world around him. Through his 27 years of imprisonment, enduring the cruelty of the Afrikaner guards, inhumane bodily torture, and sleeping in a cell that was nearly uninhabitable one would believe and even endorse Mandela to hate. Mandela admitted to deep despise towards them for imprisoning him for so long, for the abuse, for missing his children growing up and the feeling, he lost the best years of his life. He said “I was angry. And I was afraid, because I had not been free in so long. But as I got closer to the car that would take me away, I realized that when I went through that gate, if I still hated them, they would still have me. I wanted to be free. And so I let it go” (Mandela, 1994, p. 60). Mandela had a well-focused identity upon his release from prison. He may not have known he would later win...

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