HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Verbal Communication (Prompt #1)

Daisy Gomez Garcia is my entire full name. On my birth certificate, however, my name is Daisy Gomez with the exception that my mother’s given last name isn’t on it. I would never consider changing my given last name. The name that I was given was chosen by my parents and having their last name basically means that I am a part of them and their past generations. The characteristic of language that is most important in supporting my position would probably have to be personal idioms. The last name Gomez has meaning to my father and his family and now my family.

I am not sure how many of you do this thing where you say a person’s name out loud and see if their first and last name sort of just blend together and make a great mix. If I say Daisy Gomez out loud, it sounds about right, but if I were to say, for example, Daisy Bravo, it just sounds odd to me. That is possibly another reason why I would not change my given last name.

If I got married, I would consider changing my last name to my spouse’s. I know there are people out there who have different opinions and see situations in different points of views, but I feel that once you change your last name it means so much more. It would make me feel as if my spouse and I have become a family. In the process of thinking about this question, however, I see changing your last name when you get married as sort of a label and it makes the other person seem more dominant. In my culture, it has always been that when you get married, your last name changes to your spouse’s so that is what I am going to do as well.

After marriage, I possibly would consider hyphenating my last name. If I were to hyphenate my last name, my spouse and I would both have equality and there wouldn’t be this feeling about one being more superior than the other.

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Verbal Communication (Prompt #4)

The majority of the idioms I use with people are those who I feel very close to, such as my sister (not as much nowadays), close friends, some family but primarily my significant other. I do not really remember the personal idioms I would use with my family, sibling, or others because I do not use them much anymore. However, I do use a lot of the personal idioms with my significant other. One of my favorite things with getting close with someone is that we can tell each other “Fuck you, ya dweeb” and it meaning you love each other. I wouldn’t really call it tough love, because there is not any sort of negative feelings to it, it outright means we love the other. Some of the other examples include, “hun, honey, love, cutie, bun/bunny, family” and loads more of disgustingly cute names, it’s great. On the other end we also call each other names like, “nerd, weeb, fuckin memer” and the list goes on. The different names erupt different feelings and emotions but both sides are positive. While the cutesy names are romantic and sweet, the others are playful and show trust.

I think the relationships where I have the least idioms are probably professional settings and family. I am not very close to my biological family, and I try to limit my contact. I know the idioms they go by but I do not want to use them. Such as with my parents, it is hard for me to even think of them as Mom, Dad, etc. and I more so think of formal terms like Mother or Father. An example of negative idioms would be “goblins”, which I call a couple of my abusers to help cope.

I do not think that personal idioms are only positive, they can be negative although they are positive for the most part in my case. I enjoy using (the positive) personal idioms, it creates a feeling of closeness with whoever you use them with – especially if both sides use it. My boyfriend is kind of stoic and has a harder time with vulnerable emotions but he uses more personal idioms and more often than I do, which I think is an interesting contrast.

I want to use more personal idioms with friends I have, but it is harder for me to use them unless I have gotten to know the person for a year or so. Maybe it is just me but once I learn someone’s name it takes a lot of uncomfortable effort to call them by a nickname, for most people I only use one name.

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Verbal Communication: Prompt 8

A language is more than just a way of speaking with others. It carries rich cultural context, long-held belief systems, and the many values and attitudes unique to it. Not only that, but many languages, like English, adopt words from other languages, including chauffeur from French, a cappella from Italian, doppelgänger from German, and countless more. If half of the world’s current 7,000+ languages were to go extinct, English would still suffer, resulting in less cultural history and a drop in diversity in the English language.

While English is far from extinction, an evolution of the language is entirely possible. Take Old English, for instance. Now an obsolete form of English, it evolved into what is now referred to as Middle English, followed by Early Modern English to our current Modern English. Each of these stages lasted 2-4 centuries before a complete evolution occurred. Even then, our Modern English language has countless dialects—American, Australian, British, Canadian, and many more. Considering all these different dialects and the lifespan of each English stage, it’s only a matter of time before future English speakers see another evolution.

Let’s imagine, however, that the English language is on the brink of extinction and a brand-new language has begun to take its place entirely. All English-speaking countries like England, the United States, and Australia would begin to lose the cultural context, traditions, beliefs, values, and dialects embedded deep within their language. The regulative and constitutive rules that govern the English language we know today would be replaced by that of the new one. As English dies out, we would have no other option but to learn the new language and prepare for the inevitable end. Thankfully, this worrisome scenario is not the case and we can continue to cherish all of the qualities of our language that make it unique and the context that accompanies it.


Verbal Communication (Prompt #1)

Geneva, Octavia, Summer, Leilani, Collette, Beverly, Nova….

The list of names that I would change my legal name to is endless. Don’t get me wrong, I like the name that my parents picked out for me. The name Madeline is pretty, but I personally do not feel it fits me. It is a little too common for my taste. I mean it could be much worse; I could have been named Dick (if I was a dude) or freaking North West (no offense to Kim K). Although I am proud to be named after my great-grandmother, there are so many gorgeous and exotic names out there that I absolutely love. So, I would be lying if I said I never thought about legally changing my name. I would want a name that holds a strong meaning for me while also sounding unique. Like if someone were to ask what my name was and I said, “[insert unique name here],” they would say, “oh wow, I love your name! It is gorgeous!”

I know some people who don’t even think twice about their given name; but I am not one of them. Names are important; they are a part of your identity whether you like it or not. Even though I am not in love with my name, I would want to have my surname hyphenated when I get married. I couldn’t imagine having to write my full name and not write Rapella at the end. I would not be able to part with it. But I am not going to lie, people have made fun of my last name plenty of times. They misspell it, mispronounce it, and even leave out the last three letters which turns it into Rape. How lovely is that. Ya, it is so old.

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Active Listening Prompt 3

I can be insufficient to listening when the conversation can be quite “dry”. When the person I am talking to does not quite engage me into the conversation. This can also happen when I just cannot focus on this person’s story. There are times where I am in conversations and just dose off and think about something else and pop in once in a while to get to understand at least a small section of what they are saying. This sounds terrible but it happens sometimes and I can’t help it. I do the insufficient listening replies like “that’s crazy” and “oh wow”, but sometimes I’m actually listening but I can’t appropriately reply. I can probably change this by applying myself into the conversation, not like narcissistic listening but try my best to engage myself. I should actually try harder with this because my “huh” replies are getting old to my roommates when I talk to them.

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Active Listening (Prompt 8)

The majority of people I talk to and engage in conversations with, are people which I see as respectable and genuine. I like to believe that I am a people-oriented listener and at worse, an action-oriented listener, but for the majority of the time I listen to whomever is speaking and try to offer positive feedback or reinforcement. I try to offer genuine help and listen to the person’s problem but there is always that one special case. I have an acquaintance who is just so painfully obnoxious and unbearable to be around, this person is one of the few people who I selectively listen to, if I do at all. The reason I perceive them like this is because they are blatantly disrespectful and lack common manners which is why I do not pay much attention to what they say. I could have avoided this selective listening behavior by either turning it to pseudo listening or completely avoiding the person altogether. My choices of types of listening that I can apply to this person are limited because of their narcissistic listening. This person will use any opportunity to change the conversation back to them and completely ignore others thoughts or ideas and will usually escalate to aggressive listening. When I first met this person I applied my normal listening strategies and tried to understand them and establish commonalities, but soon found there were none because of the kind of person they were. In special cases I believe it is alright to (employ) negative listening strategies to maintain your own mental sanity and not respond to the conversation in a negative manner. Personally, I believe it is more polite to pseudo listen or selectively listen to a person like this rather than replying to them with anger or annoyance because it is beyond their understanding anyway.

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Active Listening Prompt #2

I consider my best friend Natalie to be an effective listener. She has several qualities that make her an effective listener. First, is that she always keeps eye contact with me while I am speaking. I could be telling her a long and boring story and she will stay focused on me the entire time. I know some people that get distracted and look at other stuff while I’m speaking. It makes me feel like I’m being annoying and that they don’t care about what I’m saying. Second, is that she will ask questions while I’m telling a story or even after I’m done talking. This shows that she was paying attention because she’s asking for clarifying details or even giving me advice on what to do. In the chapter this was referred to as giving feedback and responding. When you have no comment to what someone says and you were making a bit of eye contact, it seems like you were only pseudo-listening. You were acting like you were paying attention, but in reality you weren’t. Third, is that she gives really good advice. I can rely on her to always help me when I need her and to never judge my actions. I always go to her when I feel stressed because of school or when I’m having a problem with a guy. If I’m feeling sad she always knows how to cheer me up. Fourth, is that she is really good at keeping secrets. Now a days, it is really hard to find people you can trust. Not once has she ever let me down. She is a really understanding and caring person. I think someone who is an effective listener has to have all of these qualities. Unfortunately, not every person has the ability to be an effective listener.

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Active Listening (Prompt #8)

I have an acquaintance, let’s say his name is Ted. Ted has been known as the person who just babbles on and on about provocative, unintelligent, useless things. Unfortunately because of this, I have put him in something I like to call “The Bubble”. The bubble is nothing to be proud of. It something that has not only been used for Ted.

The bubble is this imaginary place I put people in so I don’t have to listen to them. So, when Ted comes in the room, I begin to see him as if he is in the bubble. While he is in there, I cannot seem to make out the words he is saying. All I hear is a slight mumble sound coming from afar, representing his conversation.

Some of my friends were more more patient than me and would sit and converse with him for almost an hour. I, however, was no so big of a person at the time. Until, I found out why so many people would give him the time of day.

I had found out a few weeks later that he has been suffering with depression, anxiety, and ADHD. I was astounded. I knew that there was something a little off about him, but I would have never guessed that he was going through problems that could have felt unfixable. Later that week I had made the time to really get to know him, and he shared with me how he always feels alone if he isn’t constantly talking to someone. He told me that he knew not everybody listened to what he had to say but he just never could stop sharing.

Ever since that day, I make it a point to say hello to him and to ask him how his day is going. But the biggest thing that I took away from that day was to never judge or put someone in a category until you really take the time to understand them.

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Active Listening Prompt #4

Before taking the Self-Quiz “Multitasking and Attention,” I didn’t think that I multitask online as much as the score I got reflected because when I am trying to concentrate it is difficult for me to do other things at the same time. For example, I almost never do my homework listening to music because I get distracted. After taking the quiz, I was surprised because I agreed with the seven statements in which the score says that I spent much of my time multitasking, and likely I find it challenging to focus my attention on just one thing. This made me think more deeply if I multitasked and it was funny that as I was doing the quiz on the book, I was also using my computer, and then I received a notification, and without thinking, I grabbed my phone. The quiz made me take a look at my daily activities, and I realized that I am always multitasking online. If I am not doing more that one thing at the time I get bored. I think I was not like this before, probably in the last year that has changed. Although I am always trying to do two things at the moment, I believe that if I focused my attention completely on only one task at the time, I would be able to finish everything faster. For example, when I am on my computer doing homework, I usually have more than one tab open with different assignments that I need to do, or with random things that distract me from completing everything faster and I am almost always checking my phone as I am doing something else.  Also, in some of my classes, while the professor is speaking, I am on my computer, or I check my phone and although I can still hear what s/he is saying I believe I am not entirely listening. Besides, if I am watching Netflix, I am also using my phone or trying to do homework if it is something that it does not need my full concentration. So, I think my attention is never fully in only one thing. Something that I could do to minimize my multitasking online would be to put my phone away and when I am on my computer to just do one thing at the time.

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Active Listening: Prompt 2

To me, being heard means being taken seriously. Therefore, what I consider an effective listener is someone who immediately shows interest in what the other person is saying. This means that the listener is showing that he/she is attentive and actively make efforts to understand what I said by making immediately comments about the topic I rise-up. This really shows that my message went across to the other party correctly and the listener is interested to hear me.

A great example of the greatest active listeners in my life is my dad. He is an easy person that I can approach and start sharing my feelings, concerns, happiness, plans, etc. To me this means a lot because anytime I am facing a challenge, I right away know who is my go to go person and knowing I won’t be judge for my actions. Instead, my dad right away opens a confident environment allowing me to feel heard and can attentively give me an advice or feedback, which this enables me to get confidence in expressing myself. Further, the fact that he can just listen to me and give me solutions to my situations makes me feel that I have someone to count with on the good and bad times.