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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Romantic Partners

  1. Identify the types of communication technologies you utilize to initiate romantic relationships. Which type is the most effective? Why? Which types are more effective for maintaining relationships? Would you ever consider using communication technology to terminate a relationship? If so, what advantages and disadvantages would this method have over face-to-face communication?

For starters, today many people use social media as a way to “make a move” on other people romantically. And it’s something being used more and more each day as we advanced farther in technology. I would say that Instagram and Facebook are the most effective social media platforms, however, there are other social media platforms strictly for dating and hooking up, such as Tinder. Personally, for me, I don’t rely on social media to talk to guys or find a romantic partner. I hate when guys “DM” (direct message) me. I met my current boyfriend at a music festival, called Lightning in a Bottle, and I prefer to meet anyone I’d be seriously be considering dating in person versus online or being DM’ed.

The most effective way technology can be used to maintain relationships is simply by calling/ texting and staying in communication with your significant other. My boyfriend and I talk on the phone almost every other day, mostly because we have a long distance relationship and also because we miss each other but we rarely get into fights or arguments and I think a lot of it has to do with our strong communication with one another and being honest/ trustworthy.

Advantages of technology in a relationship, well it’s easier to lie. The disadvantage is the lying as well. An advantage you can always talk to and hear your significant other’s voice no matter how far away you are. Another advantage is face time so now you can also see your partners face too. However social media can drive a wedge between your relationship and cause jealousy and lies.

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I believe that friends come and go but the main determining factor is if the friend becomes family or not.   Friends come and go as we enter and exit stages of our life, fulfilling specific needs in our lives with specific people.  As children we have a large amount of free time and very little other resources, so we are able to divert our energy into social situations and plenty of friends.  It is also because of the lack of many resources that those friends that we have are not very close because we do not yet have the experience to connect with our peers at a deeper level.  Once we become older and have more life experience, we are able to maintain more serious friendships and relate on a deeper level.   This means we have less friends but they are better friends.  Just because the friends are good friends, they are still replaceable because they are not necessary on a personal level for what they bring to the table.  Often there will be a few friends that go on to become best friends, which means that they fill a specific place in our lives that very few people ever could at that point because of differences in background and experiences.  Even best friends can be lost through time and separation because time and distance can diminish communication and new friends are made.  It is once a best friend becomes family that they will never be lost because they truly are family and will never be lost or replaced because there is no one like them.  This is also a similar position as a serious and marital romantic relationship but does not have the romantic element most times.


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Romantic Partners

I took the self-quiz “Test your Love Attitudes” for the purpose of trying to see if two people must have the same love style in order to be compatible.  I connect the most towards storge, friendly lovers, agape, forgiving lovers, and eros, romantic lovers.  I have a low tendency for mania, and none for pragma or ludus.  I don’t believe my love styles match what I think my girlfriend’s love styles are at all.  I know very well that I have a tendency to get infatuated with people very easily and very intensely, and my girlfriend isn’t that way at all.  She is the type of person who needs to have a very strong friendship or interest in someone before she makes that jump.  I think we get along so well because we both are so enthralled by each other that we are more than fine with compromising with our own love attitudes and meeting each other halfway.  When we first got together, I had to slow myself down for her, but she also trusted me enough to take a leap of faith herself.

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Managing Conflict and Power

I took the self-quiz trying to figure out if I’m a high or a low power-distance person, and I didn’t agree with a single statement, meaning this quiz describes me as a low power-distance person.  I agree with this conclusion because I believe it should be normal for people of different social and professional status to not be widely separated in terms of their power.  If we teach children that it’s normal for there to be powers exponentially stronger than any one of us, we are teaching children to accept leadership without question.  We are teaching children that they should desire to be subordinate rather than helping them understand that, at least in our country, we have the power to be the leaders we would like to see in this world.

Because I have these beliefs, I act very informally most of the time and try to make meaningful connections to people that I meet daily, and I have trouble acting formally in situations where it isn’t absolutely necessary.  I feel the best way to get things done is to make connections without social walls between the people you interact with.

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NonVerbal Communication

The most important relationship currently in my life is my relationship with my girlfriend, Melissa.  She and I talk very often and a lot of it has to do with nonverbal communication now.  Before, when we weren’t as close as we are now, I wouldn’t be able to catch any of her nonverbal cues that tell me a lot more about how she’s feeling than what she says out loud.  Much of this has to do with eye contact.  Eye contact is the gateway to understanding more about another person than they may let on through verbal communication.  Where their gaze lies at any given moment shows what a person is paying attention to, and depending on the situation, that could mean many different things.  If I’m starting to talk a lot and my girlfriend’s gaze shifts to her phone or other things for an extended period of time, I know she isn’t feeling up to having a long conversation at that time.  I know she likes talking to me, she’s just more introverted than I am, and she needs to take her own time off once in a while.  I wouldn’t be able to come to this conclusion if not for watching out for these nonverbal signs.

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Perceiving Others

Given the five personality traits discussed in the chapter, I most like my agreeableness.  It’s been a part of me that I’ve liked and nurtured for all my life.  I believe this is because my dad is a very strong example of someone who is very agreeable, as he is a sponsor and has been a part of A.A. and N.A. for 30 years.  Although it’s a difficult attribute to be consistent with in daily life, I find that being an agreeable person helps me significantly more than being the best at some of the other traits.

I took the self-quiz and I agreed with all of the statements in Agreeableness, 4 of the statements in Extraversion, Neuroticism, and Openness, and less in Conscientiousness.  Because I feel strongly towards many of these personality traits, I have a strong liking for people who show the positive traits and a kind of understanding towards people who show traits that are a part of neuroticism.  In addition to this, I feel that since I have a very agreeable personality, I get along very well with people who have outgoing personalities.  I favor people with personalities that I can see, understand, and interact with rather than very private people.

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Self Concept

Many of us have problems speaking in public and dealing with crowds. Last year while speaking at a computer science and technology conference, after recovering from a cold I had the week before, I relied on my pacing and drinking water. A problem I often have when relying on water is I drink too quickly and water gets caught on the way down. In a presentation situation, this is a disruption of the mask, the public self character that we tend to put on during social interactions. It is common be hesitant to clear your throat when speaking in front of others. Yet in an academic situation the audience should be forgiving of the presenter or presenters on the stage. To recompose myself I remained calm and concentrated on my needs over the needs of the audience to feel comfortable while listening to my talk. This approach compares well to the textbook’s method when it mentions terms such as: self-concept, mask, and the looking-glass self.