HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Perceiving Others: Prompt 5

1 Comment

The trait that I perceive and like most in myself is conscientiousness. On a daily basis, this may not be as obvious to a stranger that sees me studying at a library: I can get easily distracted, fidget a lot, or take a bunch of 20-minute breaks in my efforts to answer one homework question. But when it comes to long-term organization and duties, I am very careful and methodical.

For example, I may neglect a math review sheet until the morning it’s due (like right now) out of pure laziness. This would lead me to be more careless, less focused, and highly distracted when I do get around to it. But when it comes to things like saving money, planning ahead for next semester’s enrollment, or seeking out internships and job opportunities, I am very methodical about how I approach these tasks.

A reason for my selective conscientiousness, I believe, is that I need to either be passionate about the task at hand or or feel a sense of urgency to get it done, otherwise I become disinterested and it loses its urgency. This is why I’m more likely to apply for internships at a company I admire or work on a programming project as opposed to getting my environment homework done. This persistence and methodical, organized planning are what lead me to believe in my high conscientiousness.

I definitely do see how my opinion of this trait in myself can impact the way I see it in others, especially in a negative way. Whether it’s consciously or not, we’re always making quick judgements about others’ behavior and personality traits, especially if we feel confident—it’s in our nature. If someone were to look over at me while I’m goofing off, for example, they may assume in that moment that I lack conscientiousness. What’s to stop me from doing the same to others? Not everything we perceive is as it seems, however. Usually there are many underlying traits that have yet to reveal themselves to others.

Author: Carlos Estrada

Computer Science major at CSU Monterey Bay and Webmaster at The Lutrinae.

One thought on “Perceiving Others: Prompt 5

  1. I love your statement “Not everything we perceive is as it seems”. It is so true, we rarely show our true selves to the world. We instead put on a mask that may or may not be accurate. People can wrongly misinterpret our behavior or our personality. In a way, we are like icebergs. Most of the world only sees the chunk of ice that is out of water, while the true nature of us is all underwater.


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