HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Perceiving Others (#6)

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Honestly, the way I would perceive them differently would probably depend on which views differed from mine. For example, if they were fiscally liberal and I was fiscally conservative, that would not be a big problem, or a problem at all. I would be interested in hearing about their fiscal and economic views. If it was about something fact, proven, or scientific and they disagreed I probably would have less respect for them as an intelligent person. If someone disregards fact there is not much room for common ground or discussion, only perhaps to try and convince them to believe the facts – which can be very difficult if they are very rooted in their beliefs. One example would be my grandmother who is very big into conspiracy theories. Now, one of the theories she believes is that the Holocaust never happened. Now, I already very much disagree and this trivializes the millions who died and the families who still live and the culture passed on in Jewish communities. My boyfriend and his family are Jewish, so this would be a very awkward interaction. I would certainly call that a challenge.

I think that it is easiest to discuss and debate with those who do not have black and white views of the world or are at least open to hear the grey. For example, I sometimes watch debate videos – both because I would like to get better, and I am interested in the topic. Such as if someone thinks that gender and sex are the same thing, and that there are only two genders. If they are not open to the idea that culture and biology are different then the argument will be very tiring and annoying.

I have had debates or conversations that opened me up to new ideas or I opened the others’ minds to new ideas – and it always feels relieving to be on the same page and to convince someone. I try to be very open minded, but I do have strong beliefs that I stick to, unless I find a flaw in it and then change accordingly. I think that keeping yourself open to new ideas is a good idea and promotes education. It can certainly be very difficult, and I am not always able to do so. There are some topics where I cannot imagine me as a person believing the other side. For example, I strongly believe in if you are not hurting others or yourself, you have the right over your own body. I cannot remember the quote that I am thinking of, but that is the essentials of it – freedom over your own body. If someone were to say people should not do drugs in their own time or women should not be allowed to get abortions, I would disagree.

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