HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Self Concept

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One positive label I always remember hearing about is nice or kind. Since childhood, my parents always stressed that I be nice and extend kindness to everyone, friends, family, and strangers. I was always rewarded and praised if I shared with my sister or was generous with kids at school. Eventually as I grew older, being nice became a central part of my self concept as I did my best to help everyone I met and always be nice, just as I was conditioned. Being nice to people was easy and made me feel good about myself and I tried my best to come across as nice to everyone I met. It got to the point where I realized that being purely nice all the time had become a kind of passive shield as others began to take advantage of me because they knew I was nice and would put up with it. From doing all the work in group projects to some of my best friends ignoring me or teasing whenever they wanted because they knew I would forgive them. After a lot of difficulties understanding how being nice made me feel so awful, I began to evaluate what I believe it means to be nice, and how I could continue to do so while remaining true to myself and not getting taken advantage of. I came to the conclusion that I could be nice to everyone I met without doing everything they asked of me. Letting go of passivity was difficult, as was talking to my friends about how I felt used and ignored but I made a lot of steps to maintain happiness while holding onto one of my core concepts. In my relationships today I still do my best to extend kindness towards everyone I meet while still continuing to be true to myself and my self concepts now. I still like to appear as nice in my new and old relationships, but in a way that portrays I am my own person. 🙂

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