HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

People Have Layers, Like Ogres

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Based from we have learned about Social Penetration Theory, we know that people can be rather complex in that they have many different sides to themselves that they may or may not want others to see. This varies in people, of course, we all have people we know that are very open and social with other while we also know people that can be cold and closed off from anyone. To add to that, people also rate vary in the rate at which they open up to others or an certain trusted few. For the sake of right now, the more interesting cases of people opening up are the ones that get a bit too attached too quickly, and these stories can hopefully become funnier to tell once the smoke is clear.

Now, this story doesn’t actually include me directly, but it is a good example of this “too much too soon” concept. Two friends of mine began to see each other and spend more time together during the early Fall 2016 semester. It stated off fairly innocent, with light flirting and a couple “what if” scenarios off them actually dating, but almost as fast as it started, it imploded. Turns out one of them was really wanting a romantic relationship, while the other thought they were just having fun and spending time together as good friends and wasn’t truly interested in being a couple. This caused a bit of awkward moments amongst our friend group, things were fine…until the alcohol kicked in… Basically, there was anger, tears, sadness, threats, and some unfortunate self-harm and they were no longer friends. We’ve all worked things out since but the point of this story is to be careful before inventing so much heart on someone. Take your time and make sure that you two are one the same page before taking a simple friendship to something more serious.

In this case, the “too much too soon” was a drunken admission of one-sided love and well as some hurtful things being said for the sake of hurting the other person. Now, this wouldn’t be much of a problem if this whole thing didn’t all occur over the course of a month, maybe even less. One wanted to dive head first into a romance while the other wasn’t ready for that and wasn’t particularly interested in pursuing that with this person. The sad thing is it could have worked out great for both if they allowed themselves to take their time in building up a relationship that could go well, but instead, it got rushed and feeling were hurt. Love is hard thing to accomplish when there’s too many layers still covering the people involved.


One thought on “People Have Layers, Like Ogres

  1. I agree there are many forms of people, and how much they disclose about themselves is very important to everyone. Like many I myself basically absolutely refuse to open up to others. It has come to a point where a selective few are able to know what emotions I’m feeling and what my past was like. Yet there are many who do like to open up easily. Both do have their strengths and weaknesses. One is able to protect their integrity, the other may be used to create bonds more easily.


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