Emotions in Interpersonal Communication

The Way Emotions Affect Interpersonal Communications

The fact that emotions either knowingly or unknowingly portray what we feel inside to those around us proves clearly that emotions are personal. They are also interpersonal in nature according to the fact that a display of emotions by another person most often triggers a chain reaction from others. In any interpersonal relationship, emotions are central, and understanding what influences and cause emotions leads to better response to others’ display of emotions and our own emotions. Since emotions are personal feelings, emotional communication can be defined as communication through feelings also known as social or emotional intelligence.

People cannot relate with others without involving their emotions in the process, because emotions influence the kind of interpersonal relationships that people have with each other. Emotions may be blended or primary; for example, the basic emotions are fear, joy, acceptance, surprise. In addition, there are blended emotions which is a combination of two primary emotions, for example, acceptance and joy results in love. The many aspects that influence emotions include culture, body, and mind (Fussell, 2002).


The impacts of emotions on interpersonal communication include the effects they have on interaction outcomes that are mainly influenced by an individual’s self-perception. This affects his/her self-esteem and shows how others view and deal with the individual. Besides, emotions impact the individual’s ego. Emotions might tend to portray the person as high and mighty or snobbish in nature; this will affect how the individual treats others which in turn will show how people relate to them. Interpersonal skills also influence the level of confidence an individual has. In some way, emotions influence how a person relates with others in terms of work and socially. Understanding the interpersonal influences greatly helps in both understanding oneself and development of more effective working relations (Newman, 1994).

Obstacles an Interviewer Faces in Dealing with the Client’s Emotions

While dealing with a client’s emotions, an interviewer may face resistance from his/her cultural beliefs and rules, mental evaluations or bodily reactions. Cultural and societal customs in most cases affect client interviewing since the different cultures have divergent views on emotion expression. In this aspect, going against them will make a bad impression on the client-interviewer relationship. For example, in Chinese culture, when a student is passive and quiet, it is a sign of respect, which means asking questions would imply that the teacher or lecturer was not clear on the topic. 

Inadequate interpersonal skills also present a challenge in an interview; due to this, the client may use body language which may not have a good impact on the interviewer. Fear is another obstacle in dealing with a client’s emotions since addressing the issue may make it seem that the interviewer is vulnerable. This makes them both put a barrier on their expressions, and reactions tend to discourage any emotional display. Another barrier that an interviewer could face in dealing with a client is tied to personal beliefs that an he might have about the client or his job, lifestyle or even class (Fussell, 2002).

Assessing the Client’s Cultural Considerations and Their Impact on the Interview Process

Client’s cultural considerations can be accessed through avoiding stereotyping the client and trying to use the right terminologies accepted in his or her culture. The development of cultural awareness both personal and in the organization is important in fulfilling this aspect. The development of appropriate cross-cultural competencies must be achieved in addition to developing cross-cultural skills and self-awareness of one’s own culture in order to conduct a successful interview and avoid conflicts with a client. Developing an interest in other cultures helps in accessing cultural considerations, finding competent interpreters. Moreover, the use of cultural appropriate placements in the interviews and ensuring appropriate cultural responses can help access client’s cultural consideration (Fussell, 2002).

The impact of these cultural considerations is that they help in understanding and considering a client’s cultural expectations, values, and beliefs. They also can be used in facilitating smooth working relations with clients that have diverse cultures. They also help reduce and address biases and prejudice that may be present in organizations or during interviews in regards to different cultural groups and their beliefs that helps facilitate respect for their religious values and beliefs.


  1. Fussell, S. R. (2002). The verbal communication of emotion: Introduction and overview. The Verbal Communication of Emotion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1-22.
  2. Newman, C. F. (1994). Understanding client resistance: Methods for enhancing motivation to change. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 1(1), 47-69.
May 29, 2018 in Communications
Team Building and Communications

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