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Communication is an important part of the society since it providesunderstanding and facilitates collaboration. For instance, it will beimpossible to interact with other people without any signs ofcommunication. Hence, the first four chapters of the bookInterpersonal Communication: Everyday Encounters by Julia Woodreveal the essential elements that one should understand. This paperwill provide a summary of the first four chapters that cover variouscritical aspects will understand about communication. Morespecifically, the first chapter will look at the eight principlesthat define an interpersonal communication. It also gives one therules that he or she should respect in such a communication toprevent any challenges that might arise. The second chapter shouldlook at the influence of interpersonal communication in thedevelopment of self. It highlights the behaviors that childrenembraces during their upbringing and how it shapes their ideologiestoo. The third chapter, on the other hand, reveals how interpersonalcommunication shapes human perception. Besides that, it captures theguidelines that one should embrace in ensuring that he or she avoidsany misunderstandings or false ideologies. Lastly, the fourth chapterlooks at the meaning of the words in the society. For instance, thewords help in portraying the labels that define certain groups oreven give rise to misunderstandings. This paper will reveal how thebook covers various issues on interpersonal communication and the keyguidelines that people should embrace.

The first chapter presents the eight principles that govern theinterpersonal communication. The detailed explanation clarifies thefew elements that one has to consider before engaging with anotherperson in the conversations or anything that might be of the essence.The first principle shows that people cannot stay together withoutany form of communication. In fact, the communication will talkvarious forms and not only talking. For instance, striking a pose oreven using signs reveals some forms of communication that peoplemight use. The second principle reveals that the communication cannotbe reversed. Clearly, once a person says something it is hard to takeit back, and the receiver will already have the message. To someextent, it might seem like a warning that caution people againsttalking about anything. Some people might talk recklessly withoutassessing what they are saying. The same assumption is also addressedby the third principles that insist on the ethical choices in theinterpersonal communication (Wood, 2015). For instance, thestatements might have a negative or even a positive reaction hence,it is the responsibility of the sender to decide what is right andwrong before saying it. It is more efficient to avoid something thatis wrong to avoid the consequences that might arise from the same.The fourth principle also shows that the interpersonal communicationoften constructs meanings (Wood, 2015). The words often haveconnotations and symbols that illustrate emotions or even certaininformation as well. It also shows that one will have to consider thecertain meaning that the communication has. It will be useless for aperson to engage in a conservation that does not have any meaninginstead.

The fifth principle shows that the metacommunication often affectsthe meaning of the conversation made. In fact, the metacommunicationrefers to the body language, the tone of the voice, gestures as wellas the facial expressions. Hence, one presents a message with a sadfacial expression another person will understand that the news isdevastating instead. In overall, the principle sensitizes people tomatch the non-verbal cues with the message to make it more applicableinstead. The sixth principle insists that the interpersonalcommunication will be effective in establishing and sustainingrelationships in the long-run (Wood, 2015). For instance, one mightuse the communication in attracting prospective business partners andexpand a network. However, all that will rely on the nature of thecommunication since the parties will judge a person based on the waythat he or she interacts with other people. For instance, a long-termrelationship will be based on the friendly nature of a person while apartnership will look at the professional aspect of a person. Theseventh principle shows that the communication is not a panacea. Inparticular, it shows that the interpersonal communication will nothelp in solving a problem in a situation. At times, a solution to aproblem might need something that is more than a just conversation.The last principle shows that one can learn the interpersonalcommunication effectiveness. Hence, learning how to communicateeffectively will give them an opportunity to succeed in everythingthey do. All in all, the principles are quite appropriate in ensuringthat the communication is effective. People are supposed to embracechange and the various principles that will make communication moreappropriate in the end.

The second chapter highlights the influence of communication in thegrowth and the development of a person in the long-run. Moreimportantly, the chapter shows how a person is born without theknowledge of anything. However, communication reveals a wide range ofinformation that helps a person acquires the essential practices inlife. For instance, the socialization process helps a childunderstands how the earth works and the people around him or her(Wood, 2015). In this case, one might learn different culturalperspectives through the communication process. In the process, achild might also acquire the different social views from the familymembers and friends. The scenario will also help in making the childhave a social identity that mostly reflects on what the people in thenearby environment behave like. For instance, a Black or a Latinchild in a White community will grow up while knowing that they arethe minorities in the neighborhood. In most cases, they will bereluctant to have things that they cannot afford since they are awarethat their parents cannot afford such things. Apart from that,communication will also nurture a person through the comparison thatone might make considering how others behave. A parent might comparea child to another one, and that will help him or her in the personalgrowth. The presence of the social media has also led to the usersportraying a certain image in front of their friends. In fact, theonline users might judge a person based on the updates that he or shemakes on Facebook or even the photos uploaded. In particular, the useof communication helps in shaping a person since it helps in showinga certain identity and how people look at someone too.

The same communication process also helps a person in creating anidentity. More importantly, one will learn from the environment,adopt various behaviors and make them a part of a person’slifestyle (Wood, 2015). Commonly, one will be defined by the way thathe interacts with others through communication. For instance, aperson might learn to behave from a certain age based on the way thatthe parents will nurture him or her. In some cases, the parents mighttreat a child as a girl or a boy based on the name and how they treata child. The parents might also insist on a certain way in which heor she should behave to align with the social views. Parents mightwant their parents to behave like a boy and wear the clothes that fitsuch a gender. The children end up embracing the gender that theparents have made them adopts. Hence, a boy will understand thatcrying is a feminine thing while a girl will know that fighting adbeing rough is a male behavior. One will be questioned if he or sheacts in contrary to the way that people of the same gender behave. Insome cases, a child socialized in a rich neighborhood will be shockedwith the way that the poor people in the ghettos live. In fact, aconversation between a poor and a rich kid will be filled with quitethe opposite content since they have been brought up differently.Even the type of the language that they use will be different.However, the entire scenario illustrates how communication nurturesthe self, and it gives a person a social identity.

The third chapter looks at the way that the interpersonalcommunication facilitates the human perception. In this case, thehuman perception looks at the way one selects, organizes andinterprets the experiences that he or she encounters. The chaptershows that on a daily basis one will interact with various issues andone will understand the concepts from different perspectives. Forinstance, online social networks might expose one to a conservativeideology on an issue, feminist ideologies or even cultural beliefs.The process of understanding such issues will need one to select,organize and interpret the problem before reaching an outcome. Theentire process is referred to as the human perception, and it helpsone in understanding how things work in the environment (Wood, 2015).More importantly, the sensory part and the physiological aspects arequite important in the process of selecting, organizing andinterpreting as well. In this case, the cultural standing of a personalso influences how he or she interprets something. For instance, onemight believe in something based on the social view of a situationand the opinion that one has. All in all, it shows that one will relyon various issues in making the final judgment. However, theinterpersonal perception will not be achieved by simply going throughthe process but, maintaining the accuracy needed (Wood, 2015). Itmight be misleading to have wrong perceptions since one will havecertain beliefs yet, the facts state otherwise. Hence, one shouldavoid being biased and relying more on the facts. Clearly, humanperception is largely influenced by the communication process, andone needs to understand that to achieve the accuracy needed in makingcertain decisions.

The third chapter also reveals how one can use human perceptionaccurately and get the most important information needed. However,the chapter insists that in most cases, perception tends to besubjective and it might be hard to have the appropriate understandingof a scenario. It also shows that the beliefs and the upbringingoften make people perceive things differently. Hence, it shows thatpeople should not be too quick in judging others based on theirbeliefs and ideologies. The difference in the upbringing also plays amajor role in the way people believe. In fact, it might be muchbetter if one asks another person how he or she perceives things(Wood, 2015). How the person looks at the thought might reveal if thehuman perception is wrong or right. In the process, the guidelines inthe chapter also urge one to consider the facts and inferences inorder to prioritize accuracy. In most cases, the inferences are justa product of a person’s reasoning, and they might be wrong.Instead, facts represent the truth behind a certain scenario andusing them in making the human perception often seems helpful thanthe inferences. It also shows that being biased often blinds one fromthe truth and one might undermine the accuracy and lean more towardsthe charitable aspects (Wood, 2015). The guidelines also mention thefundamental attribution error that helps in focusing on the accuracymore and makes communication easier as well. Focusing on the labelsthat the society uses is also critical in understanding how to handlecertain issues in life. For instance, it might give the hints on howto handle or interpret something that might be important in a certainsurrounding. In conclusion, with all these guidelines, it will bemuch easier to maintain the accuracy of the human perception process.

The fourth chapter, on the other hand, reflects on the words and themeanings that they have. The society has various words that are alsocombined to create languages that are used by different groups ofpeople. The groups might have other distinct features such as theraces that separate them but, a language will also be one of them(Wood, 2015). However, the specific groups that use similarlanguages, they might focus on certain words and try to understandwhat they mean. The study might reveal certain themes that are stillcrucial in the society. For instance, some groups believe thatcertain words are derogatory in nature. The blacks have rejected theword “n****r” and they have considered it as being offensive innature. In fact, a White person that uses the word is considered aracist because of the history behind the name. More specifically, theterm was more common during the slavery period since most of theBlack slaves were referred by the name. After the slavery wasabolished, the name seemed offensive since it somehow reminded themof the period and it was prohibited. Some words have been consideredoffensive for the children since they have the sexual or violentnature. Some TV programs and movies will have the labels of “ParentalGuidance” since the producers want the children to be protectedfrom such content. In some cases, the words used in the programsmight be inappropriate for the children and they might adopt thebehaviors as well. The labels that arise from the use of certainwords show how they carry a deeper meaning. Hence, one needs tounderstand the meaning of certain words to make communication moreappropriate in a certain setting.

The chapter also reveals how the language plays an important role inthe communication process and also influences how people understandcertain issues. For instance, language is effective in shaping andnurturing relationships or even destroying them. In most cases, acouple is supposed to be attentive and engage in most intimateconversations that will foster their love (Wood, 2015). However, acouple that is characterized by the occasional fights and everypartner speaking rudely will not survive for a longer period. Acouple that talks openly and reveals all its secrets is also morelikely to handle their problems maturely and avoid any conflictslater. The same scenario also shows how different genders understandand interpret languages. For instance, the men will often avoid manywords, and they will prefer silence yet, women will want to talkmore. In the process, some women might feel like they are beingignored. The scenario shows that there is a difference in the waythat people understand and interpret languages (Wood, 2015). Hence,it is more important if one understand such issues beforecommunicating with another person that might be from another group.The same scenario might also apply in a workplace where themanagement expects people to talk in a professional way. In someinstances, the management might prohibit the use of slangs whiledealing with the clients since they want to maintain a professionaloutlook that matches with the corporate sector. All in all, the wordsoften have deeper meanings and they are supposed to have an influenceover the behavior of a person and the entire communication processtoo. The use of the wrong words might be considered offensive or eveninappropriate in certain settings, and that shows the need for achange.

In conclusion, the book highlights essential guidelines oninterpersonal communication that will help people understand how theyshould interact. In this case, the four chapters are effective incapturing all the required issues. For instance, the eight guidelinesreveal how one should look at the interpersonal communication. Oneneed to understand that communication is irreversible and he or sheshould consider the ethics that guide the process. The guidelineswill prevent any uncertainties and the misunderstandings inconversations that two or more people have. The second chapterhighlights how interpersonal communication shapes how one willunderstand various issues in life such as the ideologies and theidentity too. In fact, that is the same process that children use inunderstanding language and how their respective genders interact withthe community. The third chapter reveals the impact of communicationon human perception and how it shapes one into being a responsibleperson that is not biased. The fourth chapter also shows how thewords tend to have meanings that influence how people interact in thesociety. All in all, the four chapters relate and reveal how peopleshould use interpersonal communication for the positive functions andnot negativity in most cases.


Wood, J. T. (2015). Interpersonal communication: Everydayencounters. Ontario: Nelson Education.

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