HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Perceiving Others- Prompt 1

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A lot of times when people are whispering and looking at you, you automatically think they’re talking about you. This happens with people that you know and with complete strangers. An example of this would be someone at the nail salon getting a pedicure or manicure. The person doing your nails starts talking to their coworker in a different language and you have no idea what they’re saying. You may think they’re saying something bad about you, but in reality they could be talking about the weather. I feel like this happens to everyone every single day. These types of situations have sometimes caused unnecessary drama between my friends and I all because of a simple misunderstanding. One time my cousin and her best friend were whispering something and I thought they were talking about me. I confronted them about it and they were talking about something that didn’t even involve me. A different example is when a homeless person asks for money. The majority of people usually assume they’re going to use the money for drugs or alcohol. This may be true, but we don’t really know what they’re going through. They could’ve lost their job and everything just started going downhill from there. They could be using the money to buy food and water. I think step three of perception best relates to these two situations. Step three is interpretation, which means assigning meaning to selected information. I interpret someone staring at me as them being judgemental. When I asked my friend Natalie how she interprets someone staring at her she said “It makes me feel uncomfortable.” My other friend Lauren said “I hate when people stare because it’s creepy.” Everyone has a different way of interpreting things and there is no right or wrong answer.


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