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Interpersonal Communication Chapter 1

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Chapter 1: Of all the various needs served by communication, which ones do you attend to the most? Why? The least?

Communication is used to serve a variety of needs that determine why we communicate based on maintaining our health, relationships, identity, spirituality, and daily tasks. Out of these five needs served by communication I know that I attend to instrumental and relational needs the most and to spiritual and identity needs the least.

The need that I fulfill the most by communication would be instrumental needs. These needs represent the day-to-day communication that is necessary in getting through life. According to Floyd, "...most of the communication you engage in on a day-to-day basis is probably mundane and routine- not heavy, emotionally charged conversation, but instrumental interaction..." (p.10). Examples of instrumental communication can include short term goals such as; ordering a drink, getting a haircut, or raising your hand to speak in class. Long term goals could be communicating daily at your job to earn a promotion. So, even though the majority of communication throughout the day is considered instrumental and somewhat "mundane" it does not mean that this communication is not as important as or more important than other communication needs. For example; instrumental communication is very important in my fast food job, taking customers' orders and communicating with my managers and co-workers is very important in this job. Even though all of this "mundane" communication feels unimportant it is really helping me maintain a job so I can maintain my education and look for a better job.

The second need that I most often serve through communication would be relational needs. Even though I am not what anyone would call a social person since I am somewhat introverted I do have a couple people that I communicate with on a constant basis. To maintain my personal relationships with these people communication is necessary to do so. There are certain people that everyone has to turn to for a sense of companionship and affection. Using communication to form and maintain social relationships is an aspect of everyone's lives. The internet has even helped fulfill this need by allowing people to connect and form relationships with people regardless of location (Floyd, 2009). This has dramatically helped fulfill relational needs since a companion could be simply communicating a click away. Relational communication needs are important for social interaction within neighborhoods and schools for example and many aspects of community life.

Clearly instrumental and relational needs are very present in my life. However, two needs that I fulfill the least or never at all through communication would be identity needs and spiritual needs. Even though I am a spiritual person I never communicate spirituality to other



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