HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives


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Panch & Liz vs. Mazamitla

Being Mexican automatically means that you will belong to a large family. That being said, I belong to a large family. Most of my uncles and cousins live in Mexico so i don’t get to see them often. However, there are some family members here in the United States. I have an aunt, an uncle, and two cousins. Liz and Panch are like my brother and sister.  I have basically grown up with them around all the time. There is nothing i wouldn’t do for them.

I feel closer to my family only because they see me about twenty-four hours of the day. They see me through my good times and my bad times. They’ve seen all my flaws and still love me regardless. they are people that i will always share a special bond with.

Sometimes when i go to Mexico, i tend to talk a lot about my relationship with Liz and Panch that my other cousins get jealous. They always say comments about how the relationship and they always try to think of ways in which they are better than them. In the end, whatever they say doesn’t matter because my opinion of them is never changing.

Since almost my entire family has grown up together, I feel as if they are more likely to gossip. They are more judgmental because they have good and bad examples within them. I cannot go to them with personal information because they are more likely to judge me and spread the news around just because that is what they have done their whole life. Liz ,Panch and my brothers are more likely to have a serious conversation with me and genuinely listen and offer advice with whatever i have going on in my life.

I tend to think more positively towards the family members that i grew up with as opposed to the ones who aren’t really anything but family. In other words, they’re only family because we share relatives. The difference between my cousins in Mazamitla and the ones in the U.S is that i share a bond on the emotional level with Liz and Panch as opposed to the other ones.


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Conflict with a Brother

My brother processes things a lot slower than other people. He listens but can’t manage to take into affect what is happening. For this reason, we clash heads the majority of the time. We love each other but sometimes he abuses his power.

Carlos is four years older than me. For this reason, he thinks he can manipulate me into doing anything for him and most of the time, it works in his favor. For example, he likes to guilt me into going to the store with him and buying him snacks or some useless shit he does not need at all. As of today, he has about five Bluetooth speakers which i have helped pay for and don’t get to use at all.

But the real issue that causes conflict between the both of us is when we get angry with each other and we begin to call each other names. I am more of a hot head compared to him so i’ll admit that i am usually the first to snap. I don’t mean to, but i typically get so angry that i just burst out in frustration. But he is no saint either. I tend to be a really guilty person and i feel bad for hurting someone’s feelings so i stop but he keeps going each time the insult getting worse and worse. Top hear my family call me these names is one thing but Carlos is more than a brother to me, he is practically my best friend, and to hear these names coming from his mouth is extremely hurtful.

I feel like this has affected our relationship majorly because every time we get better, his voice still lingers in my head. It’s like i will never get over what he said to me. Maybe it’s the same vice-versa. After we fight, we avoid each other in anyway possible. We are heated and don’t want to be reminded of the reason why. After a few days we begin talking to each other again never really apologizing to each other so the conflict never really goes away.

A way in which we could possibly change our communication is by having a sit down and talking about our feelings. We could also end the conflict by apologizing and by owning up to what we have said.


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My Mother’s Voice

I love my mom. I would do anything for her. But sometimes, I can’t stand her. I don’t ever want to feel this way but it just happens. My mother has a voice that is unbearable to me. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t happen all the time. It mostly happens when I am already previously upset because earlier in the day something happened.

My mom has a very high pitched voice. She also has the tendency to yell as she is speaking. She does not do it on purpose either, it just happens naturally to her.

I remember one day I was previously annoyed with one of my friends. She had promised to do something by that day but didn’t do what she was supposed to do. This annoyed me very much. My mom came into my room and began asking me a million questions. They were questions like “What happened with your friend?” “What are you doing?” and so on and so forth. The fact that i was already annoyed and having to hear her high pitched voice over an over again made me so angry. I flipped out. I had snapped. I didn’t mean to but I yelled at her to the point where she had tears in her eyes.  After she walked away, i felt extremely guilty and full of regret for reacting so negatively towards her.

I feel like it is wrong to judge someone based off of their voice. Every time i talk to my mom, i always tell myself to calm down and to not react the way that i am going to react, but it never works. My mom is not a super annoying person at all. But because her voice is high pitched, i often get annoyed.

I want to say that people have judged me previously just by listening to the sound of my voice. i would hate that to be the truth just because i have seen my mom’s facial expression once i have snapped on her because i thought her voice was annoying.


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What’s wrong with my name?

Would I ever change my name?  If you were to ask me that now, I would say no. If you were to ask me in my middle school and high school years, I would definitely want to change my name. There is nothing wrong with the name Maria. I always viewed my name in a negative manner because it is a typical Mexican woman name.  My mother is named Maria, my sister is also named Maria, and about all of my aunts are named Maria. There is nothing unique about my name at all. But, I have grown to love my name. If I were to get married I would want to change my name but keep it as well. I would hyphenate. It took me a long time to appreciate and love my name that I don’t think I could part with it ever. I always believed that if I were to ever get married, I would immediately ditch my name and become a new person. In a way, I feel as if my name is a part of me and is a part of my identity.


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“That’s Stupid”

I am the youngest child in my family. I grew up in a household with only men and I feel as if my gender has a lot to do with the fact that I am unheard in my family. Growing up, I always did what my brothers were doing. Whether we were playing with each other or I was alone, I always did what I thought they liked. My brothers were always the ones who determined where we were going to go that day and what we were going to do there. It always came down to them.

One day, I wanted to do something that I liked that was something that my brothers hated. I wanted to go to Santa Anita Park and watch the horse races with my entire family. My parents agreed to let me plan a whole weekend for us together. Friday night we were to have dinner at King Taco but my brothers wanted Burger King. Saturday morning we were to go to the Arboretum and then we would head to Santa Anita Park. My brothers hated the entire day because they hate the Arboretum and they didn’t want to watch horses race. They wanted to go to the drag races and then go to the movies and watch a movie similar to the concept of Jackass.

After having the conversation with my family and being shot down by my brothers, I felt like actual shit. These were things that I felt were fun and entertaining and being told otherwise made me feel as if i wasn’t fun and entertaining. I was in a foul mood and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Constantly being told “No.” “That’s stupid.” “Boring.” was a lot to take in. To me, it was unfair because I always did and watched everything they wanted to do. Never once did I not do it. If I were to say no, I would immediately feel bad and give in to my emotions and try to satisfy my older brothers.

I believe that negative feedback can be helpful,but I also believe that negative feedback is not always taken lightly. In other words, I believe that almost everyone that receives negative feedback and says that they are okay afterwards, is lying. To me, there is no way that someone can think so highly and great about an idea they have and being shot down afterwards not affect them. To me, it isn’t personal but it does affect you in some sort of way.


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My friend

since I arrived to CSUMB, I have had one friend who I can count on for everything. I met her the first day of school and we have been inseparable since. At first it took a while for me to loosen up and get to show her my true self. I have to say that the state of emotional sharing that we have, is very therapeutic for me and for her as well. If I am upset or angry over a certain issue, I can always talk to her and vice versa.

For example, an issue that I have been having recently involves a bunch of my stuff being misplaced or missing by my suite mates. Through her I am able to share my emotions with and I am also able to clear my head in order to think clearly. I feel as if our friendship has grown exceptionally because of the level of comfort that I have in being able to share my emotions with her.


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Bickering Friends

Last year, during finals week, I went into the library with two of my close friends. We had decided to go into the biggest classrooms to watch a movie at 11:00 pm. The movie that we had been watching had been addressing a lot of  issues which were homosexuality, sexism, racism, and many more.

One of my friends had recently came into the United States a couple of years ago from Africa. His religion had a lot to do with how he felt about the topic that is homosexuality. He is of the Christian religion and I am Catholic but I don’t always believe in the same things. When it comes down to homosexuality, it really hits at home for me because my best friend for life is transgender and my brother is gay.

One thing led to another and we got into a heated argument over the topic. I was seriously upset and I began to shout and point my fingers at him. I felt like he was attacking the people who matter the most to me and I couldn’t allow him to speak so disgustingly over my best friend and brother.

When I first met him, I thought he was a chill open minded guy but the way he spoke about the subject upset me. We ended up talking about our opinions after we had a few days to cool down and we listened to what the other had to say.