wise love words: interpersonal skills are essential to social life

I was recently reading a chapter in an interpersonal communication text book and was struck by the beautifully worded introduction. Brian Spitzberg and William Cupach (two very prominent names in the field of interpersonal communication) wrote an "Interpersonal Skills" chapter in Mark Knapp and John Daly's (two other prominent names in the field) 2002 book entitled Handbook of Interpersonal Communication. The introduction to this chapter basically sums up the reason why many interpersonal scholars, including myself, do what they do and love what they do. Enjoy these wise words that I happen to also love...

"Interpersonal skills are the sine qua non of social life, yet few things in life are so taken for granted. Like eating and walking, talking and interacting are part of the mundane landscape of everyday behavior. Ordinarily, we take notice of our own or someone else's interpersonal skills when they are exceptionally bad, exceptionally good, or simply not at all what we expect. The rest of the time, interpersonal skills tend to be the ground to whatever figure is the focus of our attention.

Despite the extent to which interpersonal skills occupy the status of "scenery" to our everyday experience, there are few characteristics as vital to our quality of life. Social and interpersonal skills are the means through which all human relationships are initiated, negotiated, maintained, transformed, and dissolved. They are the means through which conflicts are resolved, face is negotiated, and predicaments are managed. In short, interpersonal skills are the fulcrum upon which the levers of social life are maneuvered."

1 comment:

dating diva said...

I found your blog on 20 something bloggers- I really love your website! It looks like it's going in a really nice direction! I like this entry- thanks for sharing some of the segments from his book- I need to read more so this is a nice sneak peek! Keep up the amazing blogging!
Sweet Dee


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