HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives


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Friends come/go, family stays

 

I agree with this 100%. I feel like as you grow up, you begin to realize that not every person is worth your time. Also, you may feel like people do not care about you as much as you think. Your family will always love you no matter what goes on in your life. I have always believed in the saying “Friends come an go, but family never leaves”. Growing up, even until this year of college (second year) I have gone/going through loosing friendships.

I feel like breaking off friendships is easier than branching away from family because, family is always going to be there no matter how much you try and leave them out. Your family always wants the best for you. Your family wants you to be happy and successful. Friends can be jealous and start drama with you because they are jealous of the things you are doing or feel insecure about you. Friends are easier to break away from because you can cut them out of your life and move on. In some cases it may be harder to do because you care about that friend, but at the end of the day you need to do what is best for yourself. If a friendship is toxic to your everyday life then it is probably best to slowly branch away. Friendships are a little different than family because you are not emotionally involved with that person (friendship), whereas a family member, for example, a sibling has a lot more control over you than someone you met in class or someone who lives on your floor.

Friendships change over time. It could be in a good or bad way. I myself, have seen friendships fade while growing up especially because people are only out there for themselves. Some friendships fade because one of the partners gets taken advantage of, dropped as a friend, talking behind their back, being complete opposites, or spending too much time together. Friendships can change in a good way too, it does not always have to be negative. I have experienced both. Some friendships grow because you are at the same point in your life, care about one another, and want the best for that friend. To me, that would be a nice friendship to have because that person wants to grow with you and wants to watch you succeed, not just a call on the weekend to get drunk together. You can make friends with people at parties, but that does not mean that they actually care about that friendship.


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When to talk

 

Small talk can be arranged in different ways, environments, and by people. An example I can refer to is talking with someone who I met through/during class and someone who I work with. There are times and places when to talk in these environments.

During class, usually, I feel like it tends to be more quiet. Besides stating the obvious of being in a classroom environment, I personally just do not want to waste my time talking in class. I go to class to learn and take in everything I can. I take notes in class and ask questions so I do not want to waste my time talking to whoever is sitting next to me. However, if I am doing a group assignment or project then that is when I usually ask questions or try to get to know that person. If I am in class, I usually expect them to be a Kinesiology major if it is an upper division class. Proceeding to keep a conversation going, I like asking what they want to do with it and why they got to where they are right now. I always tend to ask people how their day is going on a regular basis so I think that is always considered small talk.

When I am at work, it is a little different because I am surrounded by people who I know. There are usually people getting hired every couple of months/semester because people graduate, find new jobs, or get fired for not taking their job seriously. Since I am a sophomore this year, I pretty much know everyone I work with. When I am at work I usually ask how people’s days are going, what classes they are taking, what they are doing for the weekend, how is school going, anything new going on. It is usually pretty broad unless someone likes to go to the gym, then there are more things to talk about/joke with. I only talk to a small portion of people from work who I trust talking about relationships, family, school, and what is planned in the future.

These are both similar because they consist of questions to keep a conversation going, but also it shows that I try and make an effort to someone who tries to do the same with me.


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Family is always there.

 

I have always valued my family over my friends. Growing up my parents were very traditional and did things as a family. Something as little as eating family dinners every night is something I value. Aside from family traditions, I have always just knew that family will always be there for you. Sometimes it feels like even my closest friends are not as reliable as my family. I have an older sister (Kristine) and an older brother (Paul), who I consider to be my best friends.

Certain family members I definitely can feel a sense of wanting to keep certain things  private. I have two older girl cousins who tend to be particularly judgmental. I love them, of course, they are my family — however some things are just better not to be said around them. Since I am the youngest I usually tend to get the short end of the stick, or I do not get taken seriously. At times it is extremely frustrating because as a 19 year old I have my priorities together and I hate how I constantly feel the need to prove to people that I am capable of accomplishing things. Even though it is not always said, it is like I can sense it because of things that have happened in the past. They used to say that I needed to lose weight, and now that I am still active (was going through puberty while getting teased from girls in school and two family members, always played a sport..etc) they say I need to enjoy food/life more.

It is hard because since I go to school far away from home, I always want to visit all of my family when I am in town. As I have grown older, I have slowly learned that I just need to distant myself in some areas away from them. With my brother I feel like I can talk about absolutely everything, my sister is the same concept but I feel like we are not as close as we used to be. My immediate family knows me inside and out even if I do not want to communicate what is on mu mind. Other family members, I like to catch up, but I also know to avoid certain topics. So usually I talk about school, how I am doing up in Monterey, or any fun places I have explored in the area.


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Texting Does Nothing

One time I used technology incorrectly was when I tried to talk to a friend about a conflict. I wanted to make sure she would be around or on campus when I was since I was out and about enjoying my day. However, it felt impossible to find out what time she would be home. So when my friend asked me what I wanted to talk about I just began to text what was on my mind. I do not like texting things that require extreme emotions because people can take that  text into different content from what it actually means. I would rather just talk in person that way the communication is between the two people and nothing gets misinterpreted.

As I began to list some things that have been building up, I got just what I expected back. A text that was defensive, hurtful, and it felt like a slap in my face. I felt that being honest/straight up with one of my closest friends was something I could do. I felt as if I could not actually talk to her about anything. But how could you maintain a friendship and not be able to clear the air? It left me in questions. As soon as heard she was coming to campus I made sure to be home and offered we sit outside with some coffee (this was so we could  be in a relaxed environment) and also as something we would usually do. I did not want to sit at a table and have it feel like a meeting.

The first thing I made sure to do was just make sure that whatever was said over text I did not want her to take out of context or change my words I used. I wanted to make sure the conversation stayed mature and on topic, basically to get to the bottom of it and ask to talk in person only next time something is on our mind or if one of us upsets the other. It seemed to work out and I am glad that I consider myself a patient person.

 

I have learned throughout the years that talking about serious conversations/deep emotions/ fighting/ conflicts are best to just wait and talk to that person face-to-face.


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Hearing your voice.

The one person’s voice who I always react to is my dad’s. Maybe I listen to him the most because he is my dad. However, since my dad is able to have 100% emotional control over me sometimes it affects me. I always want to make my dad proud and never disappointed even though I have disappointed my dad before. To me, my dad is everything. He is my guardian, someone I can talk to (usually), someone who will always care and want the best for me. Recently over this Christmas break, I got a tattoo on the side of my left arm. This tattoo is extremely meaningful to me because it is my dad’s exact rose with his handwriting on my arm saying “Love, Dad” from a birthday card I had. I think it is important to be able to judge someone’s voice because it is what makes you feel comfortable. The tone especially for me is something that I look at. If someone talks to me with a tone usually it sets me off or makes me feel like I am getting sensitive.


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A New Last Name

In the future, I do want to get married and have a family. I would like to raise a family down in San Diego where I am from. I love the area and how family oriented my town is. When the time comes, I will change my name to my spouse’s last name. I find that there is nothing wrong with changing my last name. I feel like I am also old-fashioned/very traditional so this subject does not bother me personally. I would not hyphenate my last name just because I have never pictured or thought about it. I would say that I use “we language” and that this is why it would work. I have talked about marriage before using “we language” (even though marriage is completely out of the picture for right now). Using we language in a relationship I feel like is extremely healthy and I am glad that I use it. I never want to blame or point the finger at my significant other.


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Active Listening

I feel like it is hard to have conversations with people in society today. I can have conversations with numerous amounts of people that I enjoy, but there is one person I can always count on. My boyfriend, Derek is someone I can always count on when I am talking. The way he gives me attention and listens is something I would not trade. I feel like people could be all different kinds of listeners from this chapter. Depending on what kind of mood you are in especially. For the majority of time though, Derek always gives me his full and undivided attention. I know I can always count on him giving me positive feedback such as: head nodding, direct eye contact, and facial expressions. To me, this means a lot because I was raised to give people my attention while someone is speaking you. I would consider Derek being a people-oriented listener. We always appreciate the time we get to talk and cherish the time we are able to have between having a fully loaded schedule. Balancing school, work, the gym, friends, and a relationship is not easy, but we always look forward to having our time to talk and ask how our days are going and how we are feeling. Another thing I admire about his listening is how he never goes on his phone when I am talking to him. Nothing irritates me more if I am trying to have a conversation with someone and they are texting or scrolling on social media, especially if this takes place in a restaurant. I feel like it is hard in today’s society to find people who can actually put their phones down for an hour to enjoy a meal with someone they care about. Sometimes it makes me feel old-fashioned, but it makes me appreciate the way I was raised and how I give people the respect of listening, just as I would like to receive back.