When people communicate, our tone, choice of words, and nonverbal use of body language lets the other person know how we are feeling at the moment of exchange. All of these affect or are affected by the emotion we are feeling t that same time.
As we interact with our client and learn about their issues, we are developing a relationship with that individual. How we relate to the client is important. There are different situations when a persons’ therapist will have empathy for their client. In other situations, the therapist will have sympathy for their client or show sympathy for their situation. Both empathy and sympathy deal with the feelings concerning another person. The type of emotion displayed can make a difference to the client. It can help to establish and build trust between the client and the helper (“Interpersonal
Communication And Human Relationships”, 2015). When empathy is shown for the client, it helps to build upon the relationship that is developing between the therapist and the client. From the clients’ perspective, empathy shows that you are paying attention and are connected with their feelings. It shows that you understand what your client is telling you, and shows common courtesy and respect. These behaviors will help to draw out more information from you client. Having sympathy for a client or their situation is similar, yet different than having empathy.
Sympathy is an emotion that shows compassion for your client, or their situation. You could also be commiserating with the client, acknowledging that you understand how your client is feeling, and not necessarily how you feel. Another way to convey emotion within interpersonal communication is through our facial expressions. Our facial expressions can show joy, surprise, disgust, sadness, fear, confusions, desire, contempt, and anger. At times, it may be difficult to determine which emotion a person may be feeling. Masked emotions can be a barrier to the actual emotion.
Their emotion could be masked by physical symptoms such as having a headache, or other physical ailment that could cause our facial expressions to change. Other barriers may include the client feeling trapped because of the emotional pain, or they may feel the emotion is painful. If this is true, the client may not be ready to deal with the issue, and could lead to other emotions that affect behaviors. When we pay attention to feelings and emotions, we are showing that we care. A client my increase their desire to change when they feel we are paying attention to them.
The interview process can be impacted by many different elements. One element to consider is the cultural differences between yourself and your client. People from different cultures may make it more difficult to accurately identify a persons’ emotion. Some cultural differences may be found in gender. It is disrespectful for women in some cultures to hold eye contact for extended periods of time. Not making eye contact could be mistaken as fear or confusion, possibly even as the person being untruthful. In some cultures, it may be instilled in them to always smile.
This could be misleading to the worker about the true feelings of a person. As a worker, we cannot always take to emotion displayed for face value with out taking into consideration the culture of the individual. Interpersonal communication builds relationships between 2 people. Our emotion can be displayed through different nonverbal clues given through body language that can tell how a person is feeling. Learning to determine the emotion of a person during interpersonal communication can lead to a positive relationship between to the client and the worker. Abstract
My paper discusses interpersonal communication and how one is able to determine what emotion a person is feeling through the tone of their voice and facial expressions. Facial expressions display several different emotions from sadness to joy. Emotions can be misinterpreted if the individual is feeling pain or has other forms of physical ailments that cause a person to display the emotion related to the pain as opposed to the emotion as it relates to the conversation. Empathy and sympathy are discussed to show their similarities and the difference in when a person is empathetic versus sympathetic.