Interpersonal Communication - Relating to Others

Interpersonal Communication - Relating to Others by Beebe, Beebe, and Redmond explores the way we interact with each other, and how body language, distance in space, and other issues can help or hinder the process.

The book is very well laid out, with each topic covered thoroughly in its chapter, both with text explanations and graphics. I sometimes gripe about the amount of graphics some college textbooks have, and certainly some of the graphics in this book fall into the "silly" or "useless" category. Still, many of them are quite helpful. For example, a graphic showing space zones helps make it quite clear how close or far away people stand from each other to be in different zones.

The content seems fairly strongly geared at an 18-20 year old, and while certainly many college students fall into that category, I found several of the examples fairly silly or simplified. I'm sure even young adults would appreciate a more thorough coverage of the topic and could handle a more in depth explanation.

Also, some of their examples are a bit iffy. Lance Armstrong is used in discussions about "improving performance levels". An essay talks about the US becoming the brain of the world. The authors are upset than an "incredible" (their words, meant derisively) amount of people agreed with the statement that "I am an important person". As compared with what? Should all those people be thinking they are an UNimportant person? Also, the authors stated that most people spend 80%-90% of each day communicating with others. I find that quite unlikely. Even with as wired as we are to technology, many people still spend long periods of time on solitary tasks.

Still, the book provides a solid grounding in its topic area, and especially for young adults it is geared towards communicating to them as clearly as it can. A good introduction to the material.

I purchased this book with my own funds for the purpose of taking a college course on interpersonal communication.

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