Why Do We Communicate?

There are three primary reasons people communicate: to make or maintain relationships, to share or receive information, and to persuade. Communication is done with any combination of spoken words, written text, nonverbal sounds, physical gestures and facial expression.

Communication is one of the most important things any species does. Even species that do not frequently socialize have ways of communicating territory boundaries and readiness to mate. For humans, communication is more complex. A person creates a social or business relationship by finding a reason for another person to interact with him. Maintenance of a relationship involves continued input on either person's part, and the relationship is typically dissolved when both parties cease attempts at maintenance.

Communication to share or receive information usually creates relationships that only last as long as is necessary to communicate the desired information, while communication to persuade usually creates a relationship that lasts as long as the person being persuaded is willing to allow attempts to persuade.

There are many communication styles people may have. The type a person develops depends on what his friends, family, local media and various social groups teach him. A communication style is not only how a person communicates, but also how he perceives what is communicated to him. Differences in communication styles frequently cause misunderstandings between people. Resolving these differences is usually the beginning of any type of relationship.