HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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This site contains the student blogs of Mr. Rodger’s HCOM 214 class at the University of California Monterey Bay (CSUMB).

All students are required to post each week.  Our blogs engage with classroom readings and blog prompts, as well as chronicle our growth from classroom discussions.  Our postings are responsible, reflexive writing in action.



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Overestimating Friendship

The conflicts with people around you are inevitable in life. Parent, siblings, friends, or co-workers could be the one who have troubles with you. Amongst the lists I wrote, I think friends are the most troublemaker to me, and friendship are overestimated, because we typically think that friendship lasts forever, and it cannot be replaced with anything; However, I do think that Friendship is light as much as interest relationship, and best friend can hurt you the most with your secrets you shared.

I got really awesome friends when I was 20. We met at the college in my country. We were same age, and we had a common that we all were discharged from military service. We shared each military experience, and used to take the same classes in the school. We used to introduce the girls to each other to give them chances for getting girlfriends. Everything was great, and we felt that our friendship will be last forever.

The trouble started when my 2 out of 3 friends rode high. My three friends and I went abroad for success, and we shared information and story to get rid of stress and encourage and help each other; however, since one of my friends had to go back to his country ,due to low score in the school and financial issues, he got jealous of others. He suddenly interfered other’s privacy, and flak their weakness without any reasons. It hurts our feeling, and it was clearly irritating and against the rule in our friendship at the same time. We were supposed to respect other privacy, and do not care whatever they do unless it is harmful or dangerous to others or themselves. We were trying to handle this conflicts before it hurts other’s feeling. We used to change the topic when jealous friend got anger, Avoidance, and pseudo-conflict to avoid him. Plus, Accommodation, which is that abandoning other goals and acquiescing to another person’s desires; however, He was getting fierce as much as a lion, we could not talk anymore, and one of my friends fought with him, and thus I lost two friend eventually. The sad thing is that jealous friend was my best friend, he was very kindly when we got together in Korea.

Friendship, what an emptiness. We might overestimate the friendship, which is not las forever and deep relationship at all. Friendship can be changed suddenly, and they could give you hurt as much as you believed them. Even though I used to avoid the conflict by using many strategies, I lost two friends at the result. What I learned is that do not overestimate the friendship you are having, and do not do not expect that friendship will be last forever.

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Friends W/Benefits,Say What?!

Assuming I am an advice columnist for a college newspaper, one of my readers needs tips on how to manage a “friends-with-benefits” relationship, I would have a lot to give. First and far most, they say that friends are suppose to be people that are just like family. They have your back through thick and thin no matter what the circumstances are. The love is suppose to be unconditional and you should never betray a friend. In the United States, there are many people who call themselves a “friend” say they have friends, but truth be told it is all a lie because friends are not made off benefits, and that is what we have here in the U.S.

American friendships are based off what individuals can do for what another, instead of genuinely liking to hang out because of they are. For example, Crystal wants to friends with Maria because she is popular and has all the oranges for lunch. Maria wants to be popular too and wants to eat oranges too which triggers her to grow a bond with Maria. Now, Maria may not want to be friends with Crystal because she doesn’t have oranges and is not as popular as she is. Factors like this always form when people are looking for benefits in a friendship. It could even go as far as, another kid wanting to be friends with Maria, but gets rejected. Even though, Maria and that other kid share something in common because they both don’t have oranges Maria might not have wanted to be friends considering the fact that this kid has no oranges to give. There have been many generations who believe that if an individual can’t contribute to their success, then they can’t be around them at all, so there’s no point in being friends. however, what about the times when you just want to have fun, when you don’t have nothing to offer, or when you need shoulder yo cry on, what friend is going to be around then.

With all that I mention, I think people just can not manage a “friends-with-benefits” relationship because it is impossible; they aren’t really friends. Benefits usually is strictly about business and with business people can’t be friendly. That is just how society works.

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Romantic or not?

I do agree that passion fades in romantic relationships, but it is not as simple as it seems. Depending on the people in that relationship, passion can be dip in and out of their lives, or it can come once for a long period of time, and then vanish into thin air never to return. I believe it is what you make of the relationship that reveals the passion or not. Those who are encouraged to have passion be a quality of their relationship will never lose it because they work hard everyday to make sure it doesn’t die out. The others who don’t care for passion being in their relationship will let it disappear. People can recognize, which relationships have passion and which ones don’t. Have you ever seen a cute couple walking along a side-walk, holding hands kissing, grabbing their waist, chasing each other, that type of bond is called a passionate relationship. Have you ever seen a couple that have one word responses, barely touch each other don;t ever look each other in the eyes, that kind of bond is referred to as a non passionate relationship. The difference between passionate and non passionate is the intimacy level. Passionate people are highly intimate and the non passionate ones are not intimate at all.

The relationship I am in has stages following intense passion. We were close friends for years and met in middle school, so we already we familiar with each other’s personalities and characteristics. We spent a lot of time went each other so much that when we weren’t around each other we had to text each other the entire time, until we got back in person. So we both enjoyed each other’s company; being together is like there is only us two that exists on the planet.All the time we spend each other has grown us a trusting bond, so we are able to tell each other secrets, joke about each other, be in the bathroom together, we are comfortable to be with each other. Each day, that goes by the bond and passion gets stronger.

I am not one who believes that when the passion ends that love automatically ends. I think that when one chooses to stop showing passion the love will die out. Passion can come to an end multiple times when you aren’t paying attention it could slip away However, that is relationships are all about. It is the members of the relationship responsibility to pick that passion back up and start-up again. It is a continuous cycle and will never end as long as the relationship wants to stay alive.

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Bullying at Work

Workplace bullying is repeated unethical and unfavorable treatment of one or more people by others in the workplace. It happens in a variety of ways, such as shouting ,swearing, spreading vicious rumors, destroying the property, and excessive criticism. In some cases, the bullying can go so far as physically applying violence like hitting, slapping, and shoving. These trouble events can bring negative effects on the physical and psychological health. Individuals generate feelings of helplessness, anger, and problems of sleep disorder, depression, and chronic fatigue. Workplace bullying  needs to come to an end because it is costing companies. They have to deal with for the compensation claims, lawsuits, reduced productivity, high staff turnover, and deteriorated customer relationships.

There was a time when I experienced and Isolation forming at my workplace. I was the new employee and for some odd reason the other workers like to pick on you as if you don’t know anything at all and can’t be any help. The thing that pissed me off about this is that they were once starting off as new employee to,so I figured they should cut me some slack. When I first came in as I was washing my hands, I noticed the workers all huddled up talking loudly and laughing hysterically; having a good time. I put my gloves on and greeted them, but their response did not sound as enthusiastic as it just was when they were having that group discussion. They all told each other and structured out who was going to do what, then parted ways. One went to restock, the other went to chop up meat, and the other went to take the temperatures. They didn’t include me in anything, so I went and found me something to do to stay out of their way. I thought we were a team and those that have been here longer have that responsibility to tell the new members how things work around the workplace. However, that wasn’t the case at my job.

About a quarter of the United States citizens, are bullied at some point of time in their work lives including isolation, control of information, constraint of responsibility, creation of dangerous work conditions, verbal abuse, or destruction of professional reputation. Workplace bullying is typically ignored, which is why it is so widespread. Most cope with this job by quitting or finding a better job that is more convenient, However, not all people have those options; they are depending on a income to survive. It is n’t fair that they have to through such a hardship to get a little money, especially when they already have to work hard for about half the day.

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Extended Family

As a child, I would say I was apart of an extended family, and it was a great experience. We all lived in Castro Valley, California, in this huge house, with a big backyard that had a beautiful garden. They use to throw holiday parties and surprise birthday parties there and even more family would come. Grandma Ann made enough food for a village,, so we always had food for everybody, we played music so everyone would get up and dance in a big group like to the song CHA-CHA Slide by C The Slide Man. The kids would play in the pool Marco Polo, basketball, ride the bikes, and skateboards,watch television, have dance and rap competitions. We even had a family volleyball games in the front lawn of the house. It was all so much fun and I enjoyed it. My grandparents,aunt, my step uncle, my cousin, step cousin, and mom, had a room in that house. I have so many memories in that house, but the house was sold, which I will never be happy about ever.

Most of those people who were around in those days weren’t even my blood family. I didn’t know that at all, for a while I was living a lie thinking all those people were my blood. For instance, my grandpa has always been in my life,so I looked up to him as my father. I called him my Dad because that is what I believed, but my biological father just was never around. My grandpa would babysit me when everyone went out and we would make homemade pizzas. We would go out and eat; anything my grandpa I would eat too no matter what it was I just wanted to be like him. We would go to the nail shop and he would get mu hands and feet done while he got his done too. I loved going on trips with my grandpa. He is the best. It wasn’t until, I was about 6 years old that I found out he wasn’t my blood and I was, so hurt I cried. It was on the day, before my birthday too. My mom and aunt took me to party city and on the way we were having a conversation and my aunt said something and I replied, “Yeah because you are all my blood.” My aunt told me that truth and that is what startled my emotions. My mom told me to stop crying or we were going to go home. We were right in front of the store. so I stopped. However, I was still sad.

Some think that there is no difference between someone being blood or not blood family members. Although, that may be true to some extent it still is not something I would take lightly because there are some people I knew my most of my life that I wish were my blood. It would bring us closer. I would be able to go in and see my my grandfather in the hospital whenever I wanted without having to go through any trouble. Sometimes, people treat you differently because you are not their family and when you don’t like that it;s a problem that can;t be solved because there is nothing you can change about blood determination.

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Power: What to Know!

  1. According to the Dyadic Power Theory, people with only moderate power are most likely to use controlling communication. Even though, most people think about strictly business when it comes to power that those in charge call all the demands and get to make the rules. Statistically, I would agree with this, but in society  when analyzing power I feel like it shouldn’t just be viewed upon by it’s numbers or highlights, but to be on a more personal level as in an actual experience. The whole world can tell me,” Santa Clause is real”. But, on that Christmas Eve night, when I stay up late night to see if Santa ate those cookies and drank that milk i left for him, and I spot Levi plastic bags and toy boxes all on the floor with my wrapping up boxes, throwing them under that gigantic tree, I’m convinced that Santa Clause is really not real. Furthermore, all those I thought were in control of being truthful have all lost my respect, in which lost influence or power over me too.

Sometimes, those in charge are not always the correct person selected to get the job done. When I started my new job on my school campus I  was determined to always be on time, smile, communicate, be polite, and not not just stand around doing nothing. I made sure my uniform was always clean and that it is was the appropriate attire. Whenever I was finished with one task i would search for more, giving my own self a task or asking if anyone needed help or had something for me to do. I moved at a fast steady past and never take a lunch break because I would rather keep going all the way, until, my shift is over. Some may assume I was trained into this behavior by someone else, but I taught myself. I find it very strange how I am the newest employee, but the most hardworking already and I feel like I know more than others that have been there for many years. The supervisor had to ask me for help with the bread machine, I have to tell people when they are doing something wrong, I have to let workers know how much food to portion out, it is so ridiculous. People would think I was the boss they way I manage things in my line of work, but I am not. Those that are the boss actually think they are calling all the shots, but how is that if they don;t even know what the shots are?

I like to think of true power as something that certain people have and it isn’t visible for others to see. The ones that think they have power because others can see really don’t make an influence because they don’t do anything, but try to tell others what to do in such a demanding tone. This does not gain or give power; it breaks the power away.



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Mixed Messages

In the world, there are many individuals who feel a particular way in the inside like sad, upset, or disappointment, but  then they ignore it representing a different feeling on the outside like pretending to be happy. This is because on the outer layer there are others who see it which gives the the upper hand or advantage to bring burdens down on you because they know your every movie. Society is not such a peaceful friendly place, in fact there are more negative harsh areas than there are positive ones. Therefore, individuals hold their guard up protecting their emotions, acting as if they have some other emotion, lying, holding the truth, it is all a matter of survival. Many people are afraid for others to know the truth because they don’t want others to use the truth against them, so lying with great expression conceives everyone that your being honest. However, if someone really knows you they will recognize when you are giving a false statement and wonder what is making you lie about your life. I believe this curious attribution comes from  the term mixed messages which occurs when there is a situation in which, a person is receiving verbal or nonverbal cues that seem to contradict from another person.  the typical reactions to this behavior are confusion, anger, and a willingness to cease communication with the person.  For example, A friend tells you he needs to keep his distance away from you ,” and continues to call several times, text message you twice a day, and express how much he misses you on a regular basis. This is a mixed message because he told you one thing, but his actions showed another. In the other person’s mind they’re confused on what he wants and don’t know how to respond, and the connection between each other becomes quite awkward.

I feel like mixed messages can only exist if the bond is close and the people  have known each communicating the messages have known one another for a long period of time. I believe this because if a guy walked past me now and I asked, “Hey. How is your day going?” and he responds, “Great!” I wouldn’t know whether or not he is being sarcastic, maybe he’s dog  may have died and hes trying to not show any tears to protect his masculinity.  The truth is it could be any guess but no one will ever know anything if they don’t know who the person really is. This person could state to he or she that there was once hundreds of acres of land in my name and all you could do is believe them because there is no proof to know its the truth or not.. However, if this person isn’t a stranger, you would be able to question that statement by saying, “Then, why am I always giving you money then if you got land? I’m confused. Those are sending my mind mixed messages. Are you broke or are you poor, dude?” When you have evidence to back up your claim, then you are able to recognize the messages being mixed up.

There is a lot to discuss about mixed messages, but the one thing I think people should know about it is that it’s something individuals adapt to when trying to a avoid a reaction when they don’t want to face it. When my mom struggled to pay bills in the house, we barely had food. Even though, I knew she was hungry, my mom would tells us she ate at the school and that she was full. I always had this feeling in my gut that she wasn’t being honest, but then again I wasn’t either because I hadn’t expressed my concern. I could have told my mother,”Hey, I feel like you are telling a story and just bluffing. I think you are hungry.” People never acknowledge their thoughts and always try to pass by it except their brain is attached to them so there really is no escaping. I believe if individuals could let out their  true identity, thoughts, feelings, make it open to all strangers to view, instead of keeping it inside then, the awkward anxious feelings could stop being so commonly felt.