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the three types of metacommunication include

the three types of metacommunication include

the three types of metacommunication include

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the three types of metacommunication include

The concept of metacommunication has also been related to Communication Theory. Mateus (2017), influenced by Derrida’s Graphematic Structure of Communication, suggested to see metacommunication as a self-differentiating redundancy. The concept here “describes communication as an ad infinitum process in which every communication supposes always more communication. Metacommunication is the answer to the relationship level of communication and that’s why we postulate metacommunication as a re-communicating communication” (Mateus, 2017).

In 2001 study, it was used to discuss self-referentiality in mass media covering politics and was explained as a consequence of the political public relations’ presence in media themselves.

In Bateson’s works, metamessage was defined (1972) as a refinement of his earlier notion of “mood sign[al]”s from his works of the 1950s. Invoking Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Logical Types, Bateson envisaged a potentially infinite hierarchy of messages, metamessages, meta-metamessages and so forth, each metamessage deterministically providing the full context for the interpretation of subordinate messages.: 247–248, 289 [16] Being rather technical, his definition was misunderstood, and metamessage appropriated with the same meaning as subtext, especially in the field of business communication.Additionally, Bateson’s strictly hierarchical theory was criticized for not reflecting some real-world communication phenomena, where any signal (regardless of level) can be deceitful.

the three types of metacommunication include
the three types of metacommunication include

 Relationship level metacommunication

Why is it that if you say, “You idiot” to a friend they’re unlikely to get offended but the same words, when told to a stranger, can be offensive?

The answer lies in a phrase called relational definition. The relational definition is simply how we define our relationship with the other.

When we interact with others over time, the relational definitions between us and them emerge over time. This emergence is facilitated by a series of metacommunicative and communicative signals. Indeed, these metacommunicative signals sustain a relational definition.

You have a relational definition of “I’m your friend” with your friend. It was built over time when you two engaged in a number of friendly interactions with each other.

So when you tell them they’re an idiot jokingly, they know you don’t mean it. This interpretation is consistent with the relational definition that exists between you two.

Saying the same thing to a stranger, with whom you’re yet to establish a friendly relational definition, is a bad idea. Even if you’re joking, the message will likely be interpreted literally because there’s no relational metacommunicative context to what you said.

The stranger has no reason to think you’re just being friendly. I see this happen so many times. If I’m close to someone, they’ll tell me I can say whatever I want to them. But when the same thing is said to them by an acquaintance, they’re like, “Who is he to tell me this?”

Every person you communicate with, except strangers, has a relational definition in their mind about you.

Metacommunicative signals over time reinforce a relational definition, providing a metacommunicative context for subsequent interactions.

the three types of metacommunication include
the three types of metacommunication include

Episodic level metacommunication

Relationship level metacommunication, based on a relational definition, happens after several, recurring episodic level metacommunications. You have to reach that stage in the relationship after which the subsequent interactions get contextualized by a relational definition.

On the other hand, episodic level metacommunication is devoid of any relational definition. This type of metacommunication occurs on the level of individual episodes only. It includes all the one-time interactions you might have had with strangers, such as saying, “You’re an idiot” to a stranger.

People have a tendency to infer relational intent from episodic level metacommunications. It’s because that is precisely the function of episodic level metacommunications- to build a relational definition over time.

Episodic level metacommunications are tiny seeds that grow into a relational definition over time.

This means you’re more likely to think that a customer care executive is intentionally not helping you than thinking that perhaps you didn’t explain your problem clearly.

Instead of looking objectively at such conflict situations, we readily focus on intentions because we have a tendency to build a relational definition with every small interaction.


So we can understand others’ intentions better in future communications after the relational definition is established. This is just the natural way humans communicate. We’re always looking to form relational definitions out of ordinary, episodic interactions.

Ancestral humans weren’t making customer care calls. They were on the lookout for friends and foes (forming relational definitions) while they shared and defended themselves and their resources.


Meta-communication literally means communication about communication. In doctor-patient communication, it usually refers to communication about how the consultation is going to proceed, and what is going to be discussed or done next.  Both signposting and explicit highlighting (discussed in April and August) are forms of meta-communication.

Meta-communication may be verbal or nonverbal. You can explicitly state what you will do or talk about next (as in signposting), or you may communicate these intentions with nonverbal signals like eye contact, facial expression, or tone of voice (which we will discuss later).

In cases where communication has stalled or otherwise become difficult, you can use meta-communication to try to understand how the problem has come about, and how best to solve it or proceed in a new direction. Thus, meta-communication can also be used to prevent or solve conflicts with patients in the consultation.

the three types of metacommunication include
the three types of metacommunication include


metacommunication. Noun. (pluralmetacommunications) Communication that indicates how verbalinformation should be interpreted; stimuli surrounding the verbalcommunication that also have meaning, which may or may notbe congruent with that of or support the verbal talk.

Furthermore, why is Metacommunication important? Benefits of metacommunication Gives the `receiver’ an introduction to thecommunication that is about to follow so they are prepared with thepurpose, intentions and structure of what you are about to say.Helps a `receiver’ to get on your wavelength or frequency. Relaxesthe receiver, and helps them to pay attention.

Besides, how does Metacommunication affect meanings?

This is what’s called“metacommunication” in action.Metacommunication is all the nonverbal cues (tone of voice,body language, gestures, facial expression, etc.) that carrymeaning that either enhance or disallow what we say inwords. There’s a whole conversation going on beneath thesurface.

How To Learn Each Other’s Metacommunication

  • Don’t assume that your partner means what you mean by the same words and phrases, gestures, or tone of voice. Each family has its own family code. You learned yours. Your partner learned his or hers. Each of you takes it for granted what some things mean. If your partner looks mystified, resist the temptation to get frustrated or judgmental. Instead, stop and ask what your partner heard. Explain what you meant by what you said.
  • Don’t conclude your partner isn’t interested, doesn’t love you, or is a dolt when he or she doesn’t get what you mean. Trouble with each other’s codes doesn’t have to escalate to questioning the whole relationship.
  • Do slow your conversation down. When people don’t understand each other, they tend to get anxious. When people get anxious, they tend to speed up. Instead, take a deep breath and ask your partner to say back what he or she thinks you meant. If they got it wrong, calmly and patiently clarify.
  • Do listen with curiosity and interest. Explain yourself with caring. This isn’t a fight. It’s a lesson in each other’s language. Listening well doesn’t always come naturally, but don’t fret, listening is a skill you can learn.
  • Do put aside defensiveness. When accused of not understanding, admit that it’s probably true. Ask for help in understanding your partner’s code.

What is an example of a Metamessage?

A meta-message describes those messages that comethrough reading between the lines. For example, someonesends his wife an email stating he has three meetings that morningand a report to get out in the afternoon. What he is really sayingis, “don’t bother me today.
the three types of metacommunication include
the three types of metacommunication include

What is called communication?

Communication Defined
Communication is sending and receivinginformation between two or more people. The person sending themessage is referred to as the sender, while the person receivingthe information is called the receiver.

How’s Your Metacommunication?

People often feel – mistakenly – that business success revolves around communications skills.

I do not agree. I feel that success actually revolves around your metacommunication skills.

Psychologists define metacommunication as the sum of your verbal and non-verbal communication. For example, if you say “Glad to see you” to someone and roll your eyes at the same time, they will not feel that you are actually glad to see them. A broader definition would be that metacommunication involves how people perceive you, not just your words.

Here is one way to look at metacommunication. Every time we communicate with someone, no matter what the subject matter is, we place a brick in a pile. These piles are marked with labels such as “I am prickly and defensive” or “I am kind” or “I try to please people” or “I don’t care.” Whether your actual message is correct or not, a brick is always placed somewhere.

Managing your metacommunication involves purposefully choosing where you want to leave your bricks, every time you open your mouth. I honestly feel this is one area where most people – even those who claim to communicate well – don’t pay enough attention.

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