HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Friends- Prompt #3

I think you can have several different types of friends. Some examples are your class friends, close friends, and work friends. Your class friends are probably the people you see every other day. I know that in my case I don’t really know much about their personal lives. For example, I have a friend that has sat next to me since the first day of classes. The only things I know about her are her name, the city that she lives in, and where she works. I don’t know anything about her family or other personal information.  We usually only talk about things that are related to the class. I don’t think it’s because she doesn’t trust me, but because I never see her out of class. Since we aren’t that close I don’t think either one of us is comfortable telling each other our personal information. My close friends consist of people who I probably see every single day and have known for a while. These are the people that I share my deepest secrets with. We tell each other absolutely everything. Last semester I became really close with all my roommates. I had one roommate that would walk around with no pants on because she wasn’t shy at all. We were in a room full of just girls, so nobody really cared. With my work friends I was also very open. All of the people there were girls my age, so it was easy to get along. These girls pretty much ended up being like my close friends. We had a group chat with everyone and we all knew each other’s business. Not all work friends are like this though. I think that at work you don’t get to socialize as much, therefore your coworkers probably don’t know much about you besides the basic stuff. You also need to keep things on a professional level, so you probably act more calm and not crazy like you would with your close friends. A lot of people act a certain way around certain people. I know I’m more quiet and conservative around class friends, but I can be open and loud with my close friends and work friends.



Romantic Partners-Prompt #5

I’ve only dated outside of my own ethnic group once. Last semester I lived on campus in North Quad. Pinnacles Suites has mostly international students, so I met people from all across the world. My neighbors directly in front of me were from Mexico, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. One of my neighbors that lived on the side of me was from Los Angeles and he is African. We met the first day of classes and we sort of clicked right away. That night we flirted a lot and soon enough we started talking. Since he was my neighbor I saw him every single day. He became really close friends with my roommates, so he was in our suite almost all the time. After a few weeks I told my mom that I was talking to him. As soon as I told her he was African she made a weird face. I come from a Mexican family and we don’t usually date African guys. It’s not necessarily because we’re racist, but because we mostly date within our own ethnic group. My mom didn’t really care as long as I was happy. My grandma on the other hand did not approve at all. As soon as I told her she said I needed to stop dating him. Back when she was my age it was very rare to see a Mexican woman with an African man. Ever since I was little she always told me that she would love for me to marry an American guy. She really wants to have great grandchildren with blue or green eyes. The rest of my family is the same exact way. I think it’s because they’re really old school. Although my family does not approve of my decisions, I will date whoever makes me happy. As a matter of fact, I have never been interested in men within my ethnic group. I have always liked American or African guys.

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Prompt #3

I think there is a lot of deceptive communication in online environments. Especially in this time because we mainly communicate online now. For some people it’s a lot harder to communicate in person. Even in college, if you want to speak to a professor you will most likely email them first before actually talking to them face to face. There is a show on MTV that came out in 2012 and it’s called Catfish. It is about people who meet online and have been talking for months or even years. The co hosts show different stories of different people. What happens is that they take you to meet the online person in real life. The show is called Catfish because the majority of the time the person you thought you were meeting isn’t actually who you were talking to the entire time. Usually it’s someone less attractive than the picture of who you thought it was or someone way older. There have been some instances where it was actually someone of your same gender pretending to be the opposite gender. I remember in high school we watched an episode of the show in my English class. On this particular episode the person was deceived by a close friend. The friend was getting back at him for something bad that he had done to him. Although the endings of this show are usually bad, there are some happy endings. Luckily, this type of situation has never personally happened to me or anyone I know. I do meet a lot of new people online, so I’m always a little worried this could happen to me. The majority of the people I meet either go to the same school as me or are from around the area. I noticed that in the show the relationships that were being formed were always long distance. I think this kind of deceptive communication could have severe consequences because you never know what could happen. Not only are you hurting the person by lying, but you don’t know how they’ll react when they find out the truth.


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Active Listening Prompt #2

I consider my best friend Natalie to be an effective listener. She has several qualities that make her an effective listener. First, is that she always keeps eye contact with me while I am speaking. I could be telling her a long and boring story and she will stay focused on me the entire time. I know some people that get distracted and look at other stuff while I’m speaking. It makes me feel like I’m being annoying and that they don’t care about what I’m saying. Second, is that she will ask questions while I’m telling a story or even after I’m done talking. This shows that she was paying attention because she’s asking for clarifying details or even giving me advice on what to do. In the chapter this was referred to as giving feedback and responding. When you have no comment to what someone says and you were making a bit of eye contact, it seems like you were only pseudo-listening. You were acting like you were paying attention, but in reality you weren’t. Third, is that she gives really good advice. I can rely on her to always help me when I need her and to never judge my actions. I always go to her when I feel stressed because of school or when I’m having a problem with a guy. If I’m feeling sad she always knows how to cheer me up. Fourth, is that she is really good at keeping secrets. Now a days, it is really hard to find people you can trust. Not once has she ever let me down. She is a really understanding and caring person. I think someone who is an effective listener has to have all of these qualities. Unfortunately, not every person has the ability to be an effective listener.

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Emotions Prompt #11

I hate to admit this, but I’ve used suppression several times in different situations. A recent situation involves a guy that I developed feelings for. We met last semester in the lobby of our building and it turned out he was my neighbor on the third floor. The first day we met he came to my suite and he hung out with all of my roommates and I. We all became close friends in a matter of days. There were several times when just us two hung out. We would go grocery shopping together or just hang out in his room and talk. I could tell he was a gentleman because when we went out he would pay for my stuff. Sometimes I would pay for everything because I think friendships should be fair and not one-sided. Since he lived next door I would see him every single day. Within a matter of months I realized that I was starting to catch feelings for him. I didn’t want to ruin our friendship, so I kept it to myself so he wouldn’t find out. We continued to hangout as friends and the feelings just kept getting stronger and stronger. Eventually he was able to figure out what was going on. He confronted me about it and explained that I was a good person, but he wasn’t looking for anything serious. At this point I didn’t know if I could still be friends with him, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to avoid him because he lived next door. I was extremely upset about the situation and I regretted not telling him the truth. If I would’ve told him how I felt since the beginning I wouldn’t have gotten my own hopes up and then gotten hurt at the end. I think suppression is not a good emotion management strategy. You should be honest about your feelings because in the end it could cause you less pain.

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Perceiving Others- Prompt 1

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.