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Interpersonal Communication

One cannot give what he does not have; nor can one share what he does not have in excess. Before anyone can relate well with others, one must know himself first. “The eyes are like a lamp for the body. If your eyes are sound, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eyes are no good, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be! ” (Matthew 6:22-23). Each one is born unique and full of potentials.

As one grows and goes through life experiences, he slowly adapts the influences, labels, expectations put forth before his uniqueness and unknowingly, he becomes a product of the environment. When this happens one is moved farther and farther from his true self and the uniqueness is gone. One becomes just like the others in order to belong and be a part of the society. This state of being just like the others is only as good as it gets. There will always come a point in one’s life that conflict within oneself and confusion arise.

When that time comes, the uniqueness becomes evident again but because one is not prepared to confront his true self, he becomes battered and disturbed. Relationships suffer; communications break down. A process of soul searching takes place. One looks back to the good old days when life was easy and fun. One longs to be brought back to those days when everything seemed to be in harmony. Unless and until this happens, one would remain in the dark and interpersonal communication suffers. What is needed therefore is for each and everyone to come to a point of soul searching before communications and relationships break down.

The process is a must and it would greatly help society in general. How this is done should be a collaborative program of various groups of society – the school, the church, cause-oriented groups, civic organizations, government agencies, and others. The uniqueness of each person should be maintained and recognized. In schools, during the early years of education, most uniqueness is abated if not killed. Labels are given to pupils and they live up to these labels as they grow; only to find out in the later years of their life, that they are not what they have been labeled for. Why is it important to maintain this uniqueness?

It is because we complement each other in society. Without the bass, the violin would sound so shrieking and the orchestra would not sound good. The world should continue to spin in harmony; and so with all our unique potentials and capabilities which must continue to develop and mature with those of others in order to make our relationships and communications better, if not perfect. “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It is no good for the soil or for the manure pile; it is thrown away. Listen then, if you have ears! ” (Luke 14:34-35).

Once we come to know our true self, who we really are, and who we are not, we come to understand ourselves. We gain stability and security. We are now ready to face others as we have already gained insights of which we can be with the unique potentials that we have. We understand others better and we are more patient and humble. Being so, we are ready to listen to others because deep inside us we have already come to terms to who we really are. We have therefore eliminated our personal and internal conflicts and confusions; thus, we are prepared to welcome others and we are ready to join the bigger circle of relationships.

We become more attentive and receptive because we are already at peace with our “selves. ” We can relate with others because we have already opened the barriers that we put to insulate ourselves from others as we allow others to also open their own barriers. Thus, during communications, we do not sift through the message by placing our prejudices and biases. Rather, we respond to the message with understanding and with caring attention. When this happens, communication is between person to person; thus, it becomes an “inter-person” communication. Messages are clearer; opinions are viewed wider; agreements are better achieved.

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