HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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NonVerbal Communication: Prompt 3

I would not call myself a big touchy person when it comes to interacting and communicating with other people. Although, that statement slightly differs to the particular person i am interacting with. Touch comes with intention whether you are conscious of it or not. The intentions differ with the type of person or situation that is present, but the intentions are still there. Because of this, I am attentive when touching another person. I tap the person’s arm if I need to redirect focus, I high-five or fist bump a classmate or friend to make some contact with them but not too much, I hug the people who have the status in my life to warrant a hug as a casual greeting, or I hug the people in my life to show my love for them. For each type of contact, there is a reason behind why I do it. There’s not too much for people to think I’m handsy or touchy, but there’s not too little for people to think I shy away from contact. I believe it would have a lot of effect if I were to increase the amount of touching I do when interacting, because it would slightly change how people view me.

Understanding the functions of touch may help me improve my use of touch in personal and professional relationships because touch is a nonverbal communication code. Touch is just another means in which I can communicate and more communication would help better any type of relationship, so in understanding how touch can work to benefit a relationship is essential.


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Nonverbal Communication #6

The only people who I am most likely to allow in my intimate space is my sister, my mom, and when I greet my family. Not so much my dad as our relationship is flip-floppy, at least from my point of view. For example, if he comes in for a hug I get really tense and stiffen up because I get uncomfortable. One of the main reasons being that growing up I really didn’t do that with him so now as adults, even though our relationship is way better than what it was during middle/high school, I feel a bit awkward.

Obviously, depending on the situation, I allow other people into my intimate space if I’m taking care of them, consolating them, etc. But, there are also some situations where I have no say and are understandable like standing in a line, being in a crowded elevator or dancing in a big party/concert. One particular situation where someone entered my intimate space unexpectedly was when I met some family members from México for the first time in a social gathering. Typically, I kiss on the cheek with my uncles, aunties, and some cousins all who I’ve known for a good chunk of my life. Even with first encounters with other family members, I go in for the cheek kiss with women and a handshake for men. So when I met my one of my aunties for the first time we both went in for the hug and kiss. Then I went for the handshake with my male cousin, but as I was extending my arm he came in with the hug and the cheek kiss. I was completely shocked but still reacted with a hug to not be rude because the greeting wasn’t done with bad intentions. I gave my mom a look and she looked at me saying to shake it off. Then my mom told me that even if you haven’t ever met before, on that specific side of the family, the kiss and hug are standard when greeting a woman which was something I don’t do when I greet most of my male cousins.

For the majority of the interactions I have, whether with family members or with friends, occur in my personal space as I am comfortable around them. Like it mentioned in the book, my social space is typically for people who I talk to, but don’t really know that well or for interaction with strangers in a store or in the workplace. I don’t really care or even pay intense close attention to my public space unless I have a reason to; which can also apply to the other spaces. If I’m being paranoid or am going through an anxiety attack, then any space being invaded is a trigger. But generally, my main focus is on my intimate, personal, and social space whenever I interact with others.


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Non-Verbal Communication Prompt(6)

I, myself feel that having space between you and others is typically polite. By allotting the person in front of you enough space to breathe and act normal, you are being polite and respectful of their space. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people invade this space, when they feel as if standing closer will make their turn in line come faster, or something of that nature. Intimate space is space which I have reserved specifically for my significant other and my family. Invading that intimate space from 0 to 18 inches is exceptionally impolite because that is space most people like myself have reserved for the people closest them. Some may even find this as hostile because they aren’t being given the courtesy that they give to others. Personal space is another bubble I don’t let strangers invite themselves in to. Personal space is space that I usually only allow my family and close friends into, which is 18 inches to 4 ft. This is an appropriate distance to where you can communicate freely with those close to you, and will allow enough distance to make others feel comfortable as well. Social space is reserved for my acquaintances and friends with whom I am not as close with, yet I am still not willing to let most strangers into this space because they haven’t gained my trust yet. Four to twelve feet is a good distance to be able to communicate with others, but is enough to where no one is invading your personal space. My public space is reserved for strangers. If someone is twelve or more feet away from me, it is safe to assume that this person isn’t someone I know, nor someone I associate with. Proxemics varies from person to person, but I believe that it is a good to know and understand others’ boundaries and space.

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Non-Verbal Communication Prompt#6

Generally speaking, I never really had problems with other people being within a certain proximity of me. Of course, it completely depends on the situation at hand. For example, in a crowded line, there’s not really much the other people can do to make room for you, so I feel that it’s a lot more understandable for them to be close to me, despite me not knowing them. On the other end of the spectrum, there was the time I was in the school bathroom in high school, and my teacher walked in and chose the urinal closest to mine. It felt really awkward because there was no one else in the bathroom besides us, so he could have used one much further away. In fact, there is an unwritten and unspoken list of rules to abide by in the men’s bathroom. It is a sacred code that must not be broken. My teacher had unknowingly broken several of these rules.

All joking aside, it really did feel like a violation of privacy. As for someone like my best friend, continuing a conversation with him in the bathroom isn’t much of a big deal. For my closer friends, we usually group up, so it’s not unusual for them to be in my personal/social space. I’m perfectly fine with anyone being in my personal space, so long as they have business with me. If they’re there for no reason at all, then it can be a bit creepy, and I’d probably label them a stalker if they followed me without talking to me. As far as intimate space goes, that’s pretty much specifically for a girlfriend (assuming I had one), or close family members. My social space isn’t really “reserved” for anyone in particular. I can’t really tell myself to be irritated that someone is invading my “social space”. Even if they’re not interacting with me particularly, they probably have their reasons for being there, doing work or something. I’m not a territorial person, except for when I’m in my car because people getting close to my car when I’m driving is a hazard. Like if I’m trying to back out of a space and someone is chatting on their phone, less than a foot from my car. That only bugs me because I’m moving 3,300lbs of steel, and I don’t want to hit anyone with it. Other than that, the only space I consider to be “reserved” is probably intimate space.

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Nonverbal Communication Prompt 6

As a person that’s not the biggest fan of having a lot of people around me, my proxemics are very limited. I’ve always kind of been introverted, thought I never mind being with other people I am used to only hanging out with a few people at a time. Intimate space would probably only extend to a significant other. Intimacy implies deep love and contact, and I am not exactly the biggest fan of contact beyond handshakes or an occasional hug. Though if its just a hug or something than that would extends to close friends and family as well, since hugs are kind of whatever to me. As for personal space, that would be pretty much any of my friends, though if there are a lot people I am friends with around I tend to act a bit more awkward and uncomfortable since I am not really used to having a lot of people around at a time. The farther the space goes out to me, the more comfortable and less awkward I can be, so when it comes to social space and public space I don’t particularly care who is around. If someone looks kind of suspicious or if it were a criminal or something though I probably would not feel very comfortable if they were in my social space. Probably not even within 100 feet. Though I suppose that’s just me being paranoid. I think the fact that I spent a lot of time by myself in my room since I was all playing games or watching anime in there kind of changed my proxemics. I used to be more open and less caring about that sort of stuff when I was a kid, but ever since high school I started caring a lot more about my personal space and what not. It probably didn’t help that all throughout middle school I was at a small school, so that probably slowly started getting me used to not being around a lot of people.

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Blog #6: Nonverbal Communication


There are many relationships that nonverbal communication is very necessary. The main relationship that I use nonverbal communication is when I have a boyfriend. Nonverbal communication is important in this type of relationship because all communication is a huge key in a healthy relationship. Eye contact is always important in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship because looking into their eyes shows that all your attention is on them and it shows them that they are being listened to. Managing conversation in this type of relationship is also very important because without that, you would never be able to have a real conversation with your significant other. There are many different components of nonverbal communication that makes it all very important to have in this relationship and any other relationship.

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Nonverbal​ Communication Prompt 4

One of the nonverbal gender differences research findings that I most identify with is; “Women are better than men at both sending and receiving nonverbal messages.” I think this finding is correct because I have noticed how a woman can communicate with another woman just with signals when it is necessary. This research finding helped me understand my nonverbal behavior because based on my own experiences interacting with men and women it matches with the result.  I can say that I usually use nonverbal communication with close friends, but this mostly only happens with another woman. I do not think I have experience receiving and sending a nonverbal communication with men. Probably one of the reasons why this happens is because women among them can have more trust and create a closer relationship and on the contrary, I believe that men do not make the same close relationships with other male friends. For example, with my mom or one of my closest friends we can be around more people and only with eye contact we can send each other nonverbal messages or like with my mother when I am close to her, and she wants to tell me something she squeezes my hand. This probably sounds weird and I do not know if someone else has experienced this but with my mom squeezing my hand I can tell what she is trying to say to me, and it’s the same thing if I want to tell her something.