HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Workplace Relationships

I love the Office. It is my favorite show and its main and primary focus on the relationships between people that work within a paper company branch called Dunder Mifflin Scranton. It is glorious clash of all the things that we learned in interpersonal communication and I have learned so much from it. I do not work and I actually do not have a desire to work because I do not need to. I won’t explain why, but a job for me at this point in my life is not necessary. Most of what I learned about what a work environment is like is from my parents, from stores that I often buy stuff from, and from my friends who have jobs of their own. Everyone’s experiences are different because every work environment is different because not everyone is the same and the people that you work with truly determine how much you will enjoy having your job. In the Office, most of the people do not get along with each other but at other times. However, they are one of the most successful branches in the company because of the types of relationships that they have with each other. I think that when I have a job, I definitely would not want to work in a place like the Office, but I would want to work someone with the same types of people where I can have fun with them and know that I can count on them to be my friends.

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Friends Prompt #2

When it comes to friendship, there are those who are only meant to last for a season and those that will be there forever. Most of them will come and go and only a few will stay. In that way I do think that relationships between friends are less stable than a relationship you have with family members. This may stem from the fact that with family you are born and raised with them and society is focused on being close with your family. I also think that it is much easier to get into a fight with a friend and call it quits than it is to do so with a brother. I believe this because it has happened to me multiple times. Unfortunately, over the years I have lost many  friends because certain things happened and we were unable to work it out. That also plays into conflict management. When conflict arises between friends it is much easier to break the friendship off in cases of severe conflict. In family, it is much harder to do that because you are more likely to have a deeper connection with them than a friend. In a romantic relationship I believe these are even more unstable than friendships and family relationships because in this type of commitment things are largely driven by emotions rather than familiarity. When conflicts arise in romantic relationships it can go from little problems to large in the blink of an eye because emotions can get out of hand.

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Romantic Partners Prompt #1

In relationships passion is important but is not above love in terms of what is necessary for a relationship to work. Couples can stay together forever when love is involved. If passion fades in a relationship, which does not necessarily mean in terms of sexual relations but just in the general gist of being passionate for each other. Love is basically the glue that will hold you together. I know many people who have been together for at least 50 years and still love each other like it was only yesterday that they were married. However, their passion is not as strong as it was 50 years ago because that is a long time to be married to someone and feel the same you felt about them in terms of passion. That does not mean that a relationship should end just because the passion dies. Some people would decide to call it quits then because they think that passion is the key to a successful relationship . Personally, I have never been in a relationship so I could never truly give a 100% true statement based on experience since I do not have it. I firmly believe though that love is the key to a long lasting relationship and truly determines the end result of a marriage.

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Family Members #2

Family is the most important thing that you can have in your life. They are the people who will support you and will help you in your times of need. This is not necessarily the people that you grow up with and can include others like friends and pets.

I love my family more than anything, so obviously I feel very close to them. I also feel close to my friends as well. I think that friendships next to family are the most important thing in your life. I feel equally close to my friends and my family, however priority will always be given to my immediate family because that is part of who I am. There are certain family members that I feel more comfortable sharing personal information with depending on the situation based on experiences that happened in my life. Yes, some of my family member do elicit negative feelings, but I am not as close to them as my other family members. Balancing feelings for family members is so difficult. You have to know who you can trust and separate all sorts of different experiences that you have had with them in order to discover which feelings are more appropriate and which ones are not deserved at least in capacity.

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Conflict and Power Prompt #1

Usually conflict is something that people will try to avoid. Sometimes it is a good thing to have conflict in our lives because it teaches us so many valuable lessons that we will use throughout our lives. I personally do shy away from conflict, but I also do not run away from it. Most of the time I will do my best to find a resolution to a certain conflict I have with someone because it unsettles me and it leaves me feeling like something is not right. This is not the case with every conflict I have faced, sometimes it better to just walk away and cease communication with that person because it is within both of your best interests.

One particular conflict I had with someone began confusingly. A few years ago, me and this one guy, who I will call identification purposes, were not getting along. We went to the same church and we were a part of the same band. I had already known Bob for a couple years before that, but we rarely talked. Between us there was always a feeling of friction and a tense atmosphere for purposes beyond my own understanding. Over the years we had little incidents where he would call me names and then I would retaliate, but after these exchanges I always left feeling like I was less than I actually was. Recently, our conflict finally reached a tipping point and we had a big explosion of feelings reaching a high and we stopped talking for a couple of months. I was angry and never wanted to see Bob again. However, my father who has been a good counsel for me was able to sort through my own feelings and find a way for forgiveness. I then reached out to Bob a couple of months later and told him that I was sorry for whatever it was that I did and that I wanted us to be friends and he also apologized and ever since then we have been great friends. I used this as example that conflict can actually improve a relationship and is not always something to avoid.

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Nonverbal Communication Prompt #3

Touching is a touchy subject (hahahaha terrible pun)! In all seriousness though, touching in the 21st century is a complex situation. I personally am comfortable with touching (appropriately). Out of all the things that I can say, the most important thing to remember is that touching should be appropriate. Meaning depending on who you are with you should know where your boundaries are.

I often use touching throughout my day. I mostly just give out a handshake and a bro hug and hug here and there depending on the person. I do not think that if I used more touching throughout my day that it would help my communication skills because I rely more on verbal communication that non verbal. Understanding the purpose of touch is also another important concept to learn. There are many functions to touch. To reinforce a greeting, or a feeling of attraction, or just friendliness. You want to be able to know when to use these types of touches in an appropriate setting. Usually, a touch that reaffirms a greeting is best used in a professional setting. A handshake is the most common type of greeting in a profession setting. Between friends, depending on the level of friendship that you have with them you can either hug or do a combination of a handshake and a hug or something completely different that you are comfortable with. Touches of attraction, such as kissed or a fondle is most important between people who have a mutual attraction to each other. You should never approach someone that you don’t know and try this type of touch.

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Verbal Communication Prompt #1

I am by no means ashamed of who I am today. I love the person that I have become and maybe that sounds conceded, but in this day and age being able to be happy with yourself is so hard to do. I personally would not consider changing my given legal name. I am completely happy with it. I find the act of changing your given legal name strange because it was the name that you were born with and it is the name that people have called you since you were born. I know that there are some incidences in which a person would want to change their name, but I myself have never been put into a position to want to do that. When it comes to language, I just like the idea that people know my name and that is good enough for me. If I ever married, would I change my name to my spouse’s last name or consider a hyphenation added to mine? I personally do not think so just because I am so used to the concept of a woman changing her last name to her spouses. However, that does not mean I believe that the woman I marry would be required to change her last name. If she is willing to do that I would be happy, but I would also be happy with a hyphenation or if she did not change it at all. I am not a picky person like that. Only when it comes to food.

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Active Listening Prompt #10

Life is full of experience. People live life. The more of life you live, the more experience you will gain. No one is born with all of the knowledge that they have today. It is all learned and gained from experiences that they have. This is why it is important to meet as many people as possible in your lifetime. It is almost a guaranteed fact that someone you meet has some kind of experience and knowledge that you don’t.

I remember wanting to be a veterinarian when I was a child. I grew up and all through my kindergarten years to the beginning of my high schools years that dream thrived within me. However, I had no idea that it would be so hard. It is true when people say that you should listen to your elders. Not just out of respect, but for your own good. I was a good student in middle school, almost averaging a 4.0 in 8th grade. However, I remember one specific incident where one of my teachers told me one day that high school would be so much harder than middle school. Of course, being the know it all teenager I was I took their words for granted. When I started high school and I took my first biology class which would be necessary for me to become a vet, I started to realize that my teacher’s words were correct. I could not keep up with the high demand of attention and memorization that was required for the class. I passed it but at the end of that semester I no longer wanted to be a vet. This is why it is so important to listen to those who have lived through something that you will eventually face in your own life.

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Emotions Prompt #4

In the 21st century, the golden age of technology, a good amount of communication occurs within the internet. Email, texts, social media, etc. Various ways of connecting to people across the nations, but one of the biggest challenges that this generation faces is conveying emotions through texts. With the rise of emoticons, or emojis, people are able to add meaning to a text by selecting an emoji that closely resembles the way you feel when you sent the text.

Personally, I use emojis in almost every text that I send to my friends. I often use a laughing face, or a crying face, or a flushed face. I use these because most of the times I find things funny or so funny that it makes me cry, or I am just embarrassed or flustered from what someone sent me. I think for the most emojis are a positive reinforcement to a text. A text without emojis is much more serious and often is used between people that are not so familiar with each other or for example if a girl is angry at her boyfriend she would not use an emoji. However, there are ways that you could use an emoji offensively. The right combination of emojis (because there is one for like everything lol) can become offensive in meaning, but most of the time they are used positively.

Depending on who you are texting, emojis can be a good thing or they can take away from your intellectual appeal. If you are emailing a professor, it is probably best not to use an emoji because emails are more of a professional platform and would make you seem lazy. Emojis are more for use between friends or people that you are familiar with and not appropriate most of the time in a professional setting. There are always exceptions, so always be aware of who it is you are communication and use common sense.



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Perceiving Others Prompt #2

I remember times as a child that I would be mad at my siblings for always picking on me. Being the youngest of three 4 children was not easy to handle. Especially when it came to playing video games with my brother. I am a very competitive person and in my childhood I was the same. I hated to lose. I still hate to lose. However, there was one incidence that I can remember clearly where I misinterpreted an action from my brother stemming from my perception of his character.

In this particular event, me and my brother had just finished a game of Marvel vs Capcom. It is a fighting game that includes character from both the Marvel superhero universe and the Capcom branded superheroes. I had actually won the previous game so I was very excited to play again. Unfortunately, my brother said that he had to go. I was confused and angry that he was leaving when I wanted to continue to play. I actually hit him, not that hard, but I was unhappy. What I did not know was that he had to go to work and my interpretation of the incident led to me feeling hurt even though that was not his intention.  In past event, my brother would rage quit, meaning that when he was losing or he lost he would quit playing out of anger and frustration. This was common for both of us. Knowing that he often does that, I assumed that it was the same in this case and that was wrong of me to do so. I should have waited until I had all of the information and then I would have been able to interpret it correctly. I did not do that and it led to my mom selling our playstation at a garage sale.