HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives


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Life as a Salesman(Prompt #2)

As a teenager and young adult I have had the pleasure to work for a multitude of companies in mostly retail. Although each company had its own products whether that be a movie theater of a clothing store, I found the job I was most good at was working as a salesman as a supplement shop called GNC. At this store each salesman had to become familiar with most of the products so that we could inform the customers efficiently on their purchases and become better at pitching our sales. This being the case, the  emphasis very much dominated the atmosphere of the store as we were celebrated each time we convinced a customer to expand their purchase or try out a new product. This was very fun although there were times where added stress was present if we failed to meet the quota for the day. There was a competitive atmosphere in the store as a whole and as a new employee it was as tradition that I had to earn my keep by displaying my competency. My first sale on protein powder was celebrated by my fellow employees and marked my first real contribution to the company. From there I learned more skills that I needed for the job and with time became proficient at a variety of tasks. These are some of the aspects that display tradition in my respective workplace.


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Unfriended

In regards to the action of “unfriending” someone on social media I think there is a variety of reasons that could lead someone to taking this course of action. Given that multiple social media platforms utilize video and live feeds I think a major reason to unfriend someone could be the excessive display of unsettling or inappropriate  behavior such as the constant display of drug use or alcohol that could make someone feel uncomfortable. Along these same lines, erratic or excessive means of text feeds known now as twitter ranting can be annoying and can also contribute largely to a series of unfriended social media users. Although these issues are true, there is a more common reason for unfriending which is often that someone has ended a romantic relationship with someone and simply does not want to be associated with them in any regard. Because most social media is used to display the highlights of our lives, jealousy contributes largely to the bitter aftermath of these romantic relationships as people will post themselves with a new partner in an attempt to make an ex angry which will often result in unfriending. These are a few reasons that could contribute to the act of unfriending someone on social media.


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Family Story

A family story that is often told in my family is essentially the story of how my grandpa immigrated to the U.S from Mexico. In my family my mom is fully Mexican and my dad is white, and I find that my mom often takes great pride in her heritage. Given this, she often stresses just how lucky we are to be born in the U.S, given how many opportunities and freedoms we have and often take for granted. She tells us often of how my grandpa immigrated from Mexico as an educated man in environmental science, and how he used his business and language skills to establish himself in the states as a business professional. From here he cultivated a life for himself and his family as he got married and raised my mom in a loving household. She tells my brother and I this story on occasion, and given that he passed away about 4 years ago I think that by telling us this story it helps her to keep his memory alive and to relive the loving times she had with him. Additionally, it allows for our family to maintain a sense of identity as we remember  where we came from from this story, and humility as well as motivation can be derived from this tale.


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Bowl of Soup(Prompt 1)

Regarding the concept of love, many believe that passion provides the necessary “fire” so to speak to fuel and cultivate a relationship that thrives and lasts. The crucial aspect of passion is that it somewhat serves as a motivator for each individual in a relationship to give their best efforts to bring forth excitement, energy, and positivity to the relationship which are all crucial elements for a healthy and well balanced relationship. Many people compare marriage to a bowl of soup in the sense that as the relationships endure for years, the “broth” of the soup loses its heat and the soup becomes bland and tasteless. I think passion is a necessary component of love that is vital to reenergizing a relationship through the years and providing fuel for the “soup,” as it can spark memories or feelings of the initial honeymoon stages of love(like putting it in the microwave). An interesting exception to this rule may be in some cases an arranged marriage in some eastern cultures that believe that these types of relationships are like bowls of soup that heat over time as the passion and love for a person grows from being almost complete strangers at the onset of the marriage. These concepts aside, passion remains to be vitally important to the cultivation of all healthy romantic relationships.


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Curfew

 

During the summer of my senior in high school I can vividly recall sitting at home watching T.V with my family, and suddenly I received a text from one of my friends inviting me to go out into the city for a few hours. Even though I was nearing college, I still had a strict curfew, and my feelings of frustration had been building up for a while as I often would have to leave functions early, or not go out at all so I could abide by it. However, on this occasion I felt an unusual amount of disappointment as my parents both told me I needed to stay home that night. It was Friday, and as an almost 18 year old I felt that because I was going to be leaving anyways in a few months for college I should have the right to start going out when I wanted. Inevitably, an argument flared up as a  result of my persistence, and months of frustration that was bottled for so long was let out as I vented to my parents regarding their overprotective rules. The argument went on for sometime, however I soon became aware of the fact that my parents were dreading my leave to college, and this was their way of wanting to spend more time with me. If I remember correctly, my mom stated something regarding how it was immensely hard for her to see me as an adult, as she’s always known me as her little boy ever since she became a stay at home mom. After hearing this, I felt immense guilt, and I apologized for lashing out. It was soon afterward that I was surprised by the fact that they decided to drop my curfew so that I could experience some sense of independence before college. If I hadn’t responded to my parents in this way and provoked an argument, I may have spent the rest of summer wishing I could have spent more time with friends, and I possibly could have missed out on some of the best experiences I’ve had. This simply depicts how this example of conflict promoted emotional growth and understanding, and how it strengthened the relationship between my parents and I as a result of a new insight. Additionally, I made a conscious effort to be present when I was at home, and to make quality time for my family on a weekly basis.


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The Inner Circle(Proxemics topic)

In regards to my own proxemics I find that my means of managing my personal space varies largely upon my comfortability with others. In regards to intimate space I find that friends and family including the occasional significant other, are prime examples of people who I would let in close proximity. Usually this coincides with casual hugs, handshakes, or other gestures that assign feelings of comfort and affection towards these people. My mom, dad, and brother would be specific people who I would certainly include in regards to the concept of intimate space. Personal space would include these people, however this would most likely include extended friend groups and teammates. Specifically this would entail largely sports related friend groups who are often in close proximity through physical contact in the gym or other areas. Social space would be even more inclusive, and would apply largely to classmates or acquaintances typically around school or in extended social groups at gatherings where large crowds are present amongst those who I am familiar with. It is at this level of proxemics that the level of exclusiveness decreases drastically, and to a large extent borders the realm of public space, where my concept of proxemics would include essentially all others who are around me through my day. This would include students walking around school, retail clerks, teachers, an others. In conclusion, I think it is very interesting how our level of proximity to others can lead us to draw conclusions on the relationships, and rather the level of intimacy present.


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More Than Words…

8. Language as most people know is more than a set of written or verbal means of communication. Each dialect holds a unique history of culture, development, and emotion that represents the identity of a society through the use of idioms, inflections, and accents that have variation amongst one another. Cultures develop through the cultivation of language as it provides the basis for economy, religion, social encounters, and other means of expansion, however when language is lost, these societal developments begin to collapse as the common bridge linking them together begins of fall apart. With the destruction of a language, a culture begins to forget the historical significance of early development, and the history of one’s culture can begin to be forgotten as a result. Rooted in the very basis of these cultures, language possesses immense power, which explains why historians of today take much pride the recovery of lost sand script dialects or even the Rosetta Stone. As an English speaker, I do not find myself bearing the stress of language preservation as English is one of the most widely used languages in the world, however historically for example during America’s colonization, Native Americans would be a prime example of people who would see great stress amongst the foresight of cultural assimilation. This being as once they began to adopt English as their language, their own customs, religions, and societal history would be lost along with their language as future generations began to assimilate into the colonial society.