HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Perceiving Others (Prompt #5)

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The light suddenly flickers on as a lively crowd of family and friends bombard me at the door. My heart lurches in my chest as I try to recompose myself.

“Oh gosh, you guys scared the shizz out of me,” I exhaled. Their beaming smiles and expecting eyes follow me as I am finally able to peel myself away from my only escape route.

“But we wanted to surprise you for your birthday!” my 8 year old cousin exclaimed, “We thought you would—”

Okay hold up, not to be a complete party pooper, but I strongly hope I never have to be in a situation like the one I just described. You might be wondering why I would dislike surprise parties, but my conscientiousness can give you an explanation. First off, I do not like being surprised at all (unless it’s a really, really, good surprise like if you were to surprise me with a puppy). Secondly, I crave predictability and consistently in life like I crave sugared doughnuts. I love knowing what is going to happen or being able to predict what is going to happen.

However, I got to give some credit to my high amount of conscientiousness which is my most liked personality trait among the main five. It has gotten me through high school and college (so far) with a decently high GPA. When I am given homework assignments, it helps me stay on track and to not get distracted with all the yummy food I could be eating. Okay, fine. Sometimes, as in 99.99% of the time, I give in and just head straight for the fridge; I got to keep my priorities straight here, folks. My conscientiousness, for the most part, serves me well. I cannot complain about being an organized, clean freak because I actually like living in a room that doesn’t smell like booty (not trying to say your room smells like booty if you don’t clean it. It could naturally smell like Glade’s Hawaiian Breeze in which case good for you).

Since I am a lover of consistency, predictability, and planning I seek out others who are similar. I can be a little biased sometimes when I meet a clean freak like me who actually likes to clean. I will immediately place them on my good side whether or not they deserve it. Overall, my conscientiousness makes me bias during the perception process. I will tend to focus on the person’s conscientious-like traits and discard any negative ones they might have. When the conversation is over, I will walk away with a positive judgement of them simply because they like to clean or they are organized or they love predictability. If you totally think I am nuts by now, just know two things. I do not like being surprised; and if you must surprise me, a fair warning would be greatly appreciated.

Author: Madi J Rapella

Visual and Public Art Major Anthropology Minor Cartoonist for The Lutrinae

One thought on “Perceiving Others (Prompt #5)

  1. I’m in the same boat as you when it comes to surprises, especially considering I hate being put on the spot in front of a crowd of people. And due to my high conscientiousness, I too enjoy lots of organization and a room that doesn’t smell like booty. And don’t worry—we all make quick judgments of others for better or worse.


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