HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” I think Henry was implying with this quote that if you’re focusing solely on trying to be happy and not paying attention to anything else, it will be unobtainable because you’re focusing on the ‘wrong’ thing. Once you begin focusing your attention on things within your life that make you happy and you enjoy doing, happiness will come naturally. The old adage that prompts us to pursue the ‘American Dream’ is essentially putting forth a mindset that there is a perfect ideal lifestyle out there that will bring happiness. Putting too much emphasis on an unobtainable life-goal will only lead to disappointment in the long run, and enjoying and making the best out of what is currently going on in your life is the only way to truly be happy. This is also part of my theory of why America might not be ranked as the #1 happiest country on the earth. America has it engraved into the mentality of its citizens that there is an American Dream out there, with a perfect happy family, and that is what everyone should be striving for. While other countries are more focused on just improving every aspect they can of the daily lives of all their citizens. Although the idea of the American Dream is most certainly fading nowadays, and the newer generations care less or just don’t believe in what used to be one of the ultimate American ideologies. Also if we’re comparing America to Denmark specifically, I believe that Denmark’s better access to free higher education and universal healthcare contributes to the overall happiness within the country.


Life on a Quote

Every day we face a battle to find true happiness and we do unnecessary things to accomplish what we believe to be the central goal. All through out life we set goals of getting a good job and finishing college with a degree in order to be happy. However, how do we know this will give us true happiness? As a college student, questions always come to mind, like will it be worth it or will i actually be happy in the end? It may just be a faze of stress and anxiety but i’m sure more than one student has thought of it at some point. From a personal view, I have always seen my family and myself trying hard for something that we believe will make us happy. But we never pay close attention to the happiness we create with each other. The quote noted by Henry David Thoreau means to me that as we spend a lot of time thinking about how we will be happy and working for what we want to be happy, we will be loosing the happiness of the moment. For example, it’s summer vacation and the heat is your worst enemy so you decide to buy a pool. So you spend all your summer working and saving money so you can be able to get the best pool in town. But once you get it it’s fall and the weather is colder. Basically, you spent all your summer trying to get that pool and by the time you got it you missed summer and its fun adventures. Instead of forgetting about the pool, going to the beach with friends or having a water balloon fight, you weren’t able to be happy in the moment. I believe the quote is about letting things happen and being happy with them. This way we will be happy our entire life.

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💅🏻💝😍😘😊 😒

When it comes to the emojis I often use, I find that at certain times they say different things about me. For example, as shown in the title, the middle 4 are often used because I’m a very affectionate and loving person. I like to send the heart with a bow on it as opposed to just the normal heart because it shows that the person I’m talking to is a gift. It’s cheesy, of course, but I like it. I use the heart eye one so much simply because I use it to uplift my friends, whenever they post a selfie I’ll often comment something along the lines of “daaaaammmmn 😍 who is she?? 👀💯”. I often prefer to use the blushing emojis over regular smiley faces because those can be interpreted as a symbol of my affection. At the same time, I also very often use emojis like the first and last to convey feelings of sassiness, sarcasm, and cynicism which are very pervasive in my day to day life. Often times they’re used in a joking or complaining manner, like if my friend compliments my appearance or something I can hit them back with a “bitch I know 💅🏻” or if, say, I forgot an umbrella when it’s raining I could say “it’s pouring outside and my dumb ass forgot an umbrella smh 😒”. Sometimes I can even (shortly) communicate entirely in emoji, like if a date went well I could text my friend “🍆✌🏻💣” and she would understand what I meant.

Were I to suddenly lose emojis, however, I don’t think I would be all that much at a loss. Granted, I think they’re really fun and certainly do help me convey points more clearly, but I generally write with great care in my choice of words, I’m more than happy texting with “proper” (read: not colloquial) punctuation and spelling and the like, so that typically also very much helps getting my point across. All in all, emojis are fun and helpful, but by no means a necessity for me.


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Emoticons in Communication

In general, I never use emoticons in an e-mail in order to remain and have a professional image about myself, on the other hand, I did use them frequently in online communication and texting. The many reasons why I use emoticons as my tool in my written communications is because it can clarify my intentions and my emotions in the writing.

As an example, in texting, I would use emoji’s at the end of each sentence or paragraph to interpret my tone of voice to make sure the reader does not interpret a different meaning or tone of voice. For example, if I make an inside joke or a compliment instead sending the text without the proper emoji as the laughing or smiley face, the person can presume that I might be insulting or mocking her. Without using an emoji as a representative of our face or intentions, people can misinterpret things which can cause harm, confusion, or difficulties in the relationship.

In my everyday online communication as facebook, messenger, or other media, it consists of the same concept and using of the emoji. I must use them in order to explain my thoughts and purpose of the message. Using emoticons in online communication and texting is important because we can express what we feel and what mood we are in the moment without making our reader confused or misinterpret our messages or ideas. We can use this tool to express our emotions without using our physical traits to express our thoughts and ideas without being in front of them to able to understand. Its a tool for us to able to communicate clearly and open to others in society.

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Thoughts on Happiness

Henry David Thoreau, a poet, has stated that, “Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” What I believe Thoreau is saying is that if you were to constantly chase happiness, you would never be able to get that happiness. A saying I grew up with is that no one is ever truly happy. For when we accomplish a goal we were after and someone comes up to us asking, “what are you going to do next?” no one replies with answers such as “Oh, nothing I’ve completed all my goals and am now going to stand in front of you eating ice cream.” No one says that, instead we take initiative and begin to concoct new dreams and goals to chase after. In layman’s terms people are never satisfied with what they have and are always chasing after something else. By taking this into account, there are a few who are contempt with what they have. But who are these people and how were they able to achieve such levels of happiness? The people who have achieve this happiness are usually the less fortunate, and most likely to live in a impoverished area. Through the interviews they have given, it can be said it’s because the only thing they truly need was to be with their loved ones. Either than that they were glad to be alive. Meanwhile with higher class individuals the value of objects is seen as more important.
If we were all to slow down and breathed in the air. We would be able to see that we had no need to chase after multiple to dreams in order to be happy. For we already have all that we needed. It should be taken into consideration that all of this is of course my own personal beliefs. What I see as true happiness could and would be different from others perspectives.

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Emoticons do help

Thanks to the advanced technology, emotions are now able to be expressed through text messages, and misunderstandings are more likely to be avoided.

While texting my friends, I will use emoticons once in a while to express my feelings toward something. The one that I use most often when texting with my friends is the one that shows I am laughing hysterically. I used to just type in “hahahahahahahaha” annoyingly long to let my friends know I am laughing, but now it’s just that emoticon.

Another instance that emoticons helped is when I text my girlfriend. When we first got together, we did not use emoticons. We only used words to text and express feelings. I have no idea when, but we started to using the heart and kissing emoticons in every text messages for years, even when we are not trying to say “I love you”, we still use those emoticons. We would stop using those emoticons whenever we were in a fight with each other, but after five minutes we would start to use it again. I guess it is our way of reminding each other of our love. It also makes me happy whenever I see her text messages because they will always be the most colorful ones when there are other notifications.

Now, all the text messages and love emoticons are more important to us as we are in a long distance relationship, with 15 hours of time difference. Of course, being loyal to each other having trust are essential for any relationships, but I believe the emoticons do help us to feel connected, and expressed our love to each other.