Saying "I love you" online

Here is a brief article on saying "I love you" online. It looks like it will make an interesting discussion starter for relationship development and commitment.


Politeness as an Interpersonal Relationship Theory

This brief discussion of politeness as an interpersonal relationship theory comes from my Interpersonal Communication Book but I thought that those using Interpersonal Messages or Essentials of Human Communication might also find this relevant. 

Another approach to relationships looks at politeness as a major force in developing, maintaining, and deteriorating relationships. Politeness theory would go something like this: Two people develop a relationship when each respects, contributes to, and acknowledges the positive and negative face needs of the other and it deteriorates when they don't.

How to be Liked at Work

Like all cultures, workplace cultures have their own rituals, norms, and rules for communicating. These rules, whether in an interview situation or in a friendly conversation, delineate appropriate and inappropriate verbal and nonverbal behavior, specify rewards (or punishments for breaking the rules), and tell you what will help you get and keep a job and what won’t. For example, the general advice given throughout this text is to emphasize your positive qualities, to highlight your abilities, and to minimize any negative characteristics or failings. But in some organizations—especially within collectivist cultures such as those of China, Korea, and Japan—workers are expected to show modesty (Copeland & Griggs, 1985). If you stress your own competencies too much, you may be seen as arrogant, brash, and unfit to work in an organization where teamwork and cooperation are emphasized. Here are just a few of the ways to be liked at work which, as you’ll see, are essentially rules for communicating.

Politeness in the Workplace: Self-Test

I originally created this self-test on politeness for the revision of Interpersonal Messages but later decided to use a more general (and shorter) self-test for politeness. But, I thought this one might be of use as well, especially for those who want to focus on the workplace.


Moving in Together

Here's an interesting list of suggestions for moving in together. This fits in well with our text discussions of relationship development but it's something none of the textbooks touch on.


Interaction Management

The term interaction management has been used in a variety of studies on interpersonal communication and refers to the techniques and strategies by which you regulate and carry on interpersonal interactions. It is certainly one of the essential interpersonal skills. Effective interaction management results in an interaction that’s satisfying to both parties. Neither person feels ignored or that he or she must carry on the entire conversation; each contributes to, benefits from, and enjoys the interpersonal exchange.

Of course, all interpersonal communication theory, research, and skills are devoted to the effective management of interpersonal interactions. Here, however, are three specific suggestions:

<  Maintain your role as speaker or listener and pass the opportunity to speak back and forth—through appropriate eye movements, vocal expressions, and body and facial gestures. This will show that you’re in control of and comfortable in the interaction.

<  Keep the conversation fluent, avoiding long and awkward pauses. Powerful people always have something to say. For example, it’s been found that patients are less satisfied with their interaction with their doctor when the silences between their comments and the doctor’s responses are overly long.

<  Communicate with verbal and nonverbal messages that are consistent and reinforce each other. Avoid sending mixed messages or contradictory signals—for example, a nonverbal message that contradicts the verbal message. These will signal indecision and hence a lack of power.


Politeness for Kids

Here's a brief list of reasons for children to say "thank you" and is a useful primer on teaching politeness behavior to children.

Dating Cautions


Here's a clever little piece on cautions to observe when a potential dating partner seems too perfect to be real.


Falling out of Love

Here's an interesting article on relationship dissolution which should spark lots of class discussion especially on Valentine's Day.



Here is a brief discussion of equality as a communication strategy to add to those already posted.

In interpersonal communication the term equality refers to an attitude or approach that treats each person as an important and vital contributor to the interaction. In any situation, of course, there will be some inequality; one person will be higher in the organizational hierarchy, more knowledgeable, or more interpersonally effective. But despite this fact, an attitude of superiority is to be avoided. Interpersonal communication is generally more effective when it takes place in an atmosphere of equality.




Here's a great list of ways to teach basic politeness to kids. In many ways, these are common communication principles and will fit in well with the emphasis on politeness.


Communication Currents

The new issue of Communication Currents is out. This is a publication of the National Communication Association and is addressed to the general public--its subtitle is: Knowledge for Communicating Well.  Edited by Katherine Hawkins, the current issue contains articles on long distance relationships, small talk, communciation and success, and free speech. Take a look; I think you'll be pleased.