HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Managing Conflict and Power Prompt 7

One of my cousins and I have a repeated conflict. Although it does not happen as often as it used to it will come up once in a while. We both grew up very close but always compared to each other so it made us very competitive towards each other. This always ends up in us trying to compete in everything. It comes from grades to just life in general. We can argue about the smallest things like who knows the right facts about some dog breed. It breaks our relationships sometimes but we usually make up the next time we see each other but it will make us ignore each other for the rest of the day. I contribute since it seems like just our thing always being competitive with each other. I am a very competitive person so it just comes to me to fight over the little things with us. There are days where I just do not want to fight so I just let her way or I go “no no no this is not gonna happen again, we’re done good bye”. We can try to collaborate with each other in order to break this habit of arguing with each other. This pattern can definitely change if both of us notice it when it is happening and we can always talk it out and have a conversation about the arguing we do. (We both very much love each other so no need to worry here).


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Managing Conflict and Power (Prompt #5)

The most common power currency that I possess is generally expertise currency. I remember when I was a younger student, perhaps in middle school and people would always think I was the “quiet, smart girl”. Because of this they would ask me for help on problems they could not understand. I suppose I had this power currency for schoolwork and appeared “smart” because I finished my work and turned it in, which does not necessarily make me automatically smart. The other expertise I would have is in relation to art and marketing it online. I have had people commend me or ask me for help with art in the past and presently as well.

I don’t think I have ever really had much of resource currency because my family struggled when I lived with them and we had enough but not a lot. I probably have some objects which could make it into the category for resource currency. Such as my large binder of Pokemon Cards or art supplies. Especially the art supplies I would say. I do not have a lot but when I have extra I try to give them to people who would use them more. I’m not giving up my Pokemon cards though…

I have had social-network currency and am trying to grow my network as well. Because I had a good relationship with a professor they were able to help me get an on campus job because of the work ethic I showed her. This power currency is arguably one of the most important, especially in the field I am in. Networking is the main way people in my field get their career jobs. As your career and success determines part of your happiness and future I would think that it is pretty dang important.

Other than social-network currency, intimacy currency is very important as we humans need that kind of interaction. I do not have that power currency with many people but I do have a very strong intimacy with my partner. Sharing that bond with someone that no one else shares is certainly powerful and it also feels fulfilling.

Resource currency is important because it helps get things done. I do not have a lot of this and sometimes it is hard. Such as not having enough money or food. I think this power currency is best used when people that have it help those who do not.

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Conflict & Power (Prompt #7)


What do you get when you have one overly-sensitive, stubborn younger sister and one sarcastic, older sister who doesn’t have a filter? You get two sisters who fight a lot. I admit I am not the greatest sibling, but I have realized my errors after self-reflecting. Believe me when I say I have profusely apologized, however, my (stubborn) sister will probably never fully forgive me.

My sister and I have always verbally fought with each other for as long as I can remember; we do not really get along. She even admits that we are complete opposites. We really could not be more different. Our vast differences puts us in arguments more times than I can count. In all honesty, it is both our faults. I contribute by sarcasticallly saying something she finds offensive and she contributes by shouting back with a snarky remark. These constant arguments have created a deep rift in our relationship that will take years to mend. 6 months ago, she refused to talk to me whatsoever; but after awhile she has gradually started acknowledging my existence. She felt that separating herself from me would be the best for her, so I gave her the space she needed. Now, she has gradually started talking to me again, but I still feel the lingering distance between us. I hope to repair our relationship no matter how long it takes. I make sure to be extra careful and mindful about what I say to her. Even if it is remotely sarcastic or if it can be slightly taken the wrong way I restrain myself from saying it. She still makes fun of me sometimes to see if I will take the bait, but I bite my tongue.


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Conflict and Power: Prompt 1

To a total stranger, my girlfriend and I may seem like no more than a lovey-dovey pair of people who have been in the honeymoon stage for nearly a year and a half. But the truth is, it’s not all hugs and kisses. In fact, we’ve had our share of relationship conflicts from time to time. These conflicts, however, don’t slowly erode our relationship, but rather, they give us the tools to build a strong foundation based on effective communication.

One conflict that has arose between us is my sense of humor. Unfortunately, I have this tendency to make rude, sarcastic comments in a tone that isn’t easily detectable as a joke. Everything is fine and dandy until she’s the butt of the joke, however. This sometimes leads to insecurity on her part, stubbornness on my part, and a misunderstanding between both of us. It’s here that I must exercise my conflict resolution skills to clear up confusion and make amends.

Most people get caught up in the heat of the moment and try to compete with one another using defensive communication tactics like sudden-death statements, dirty secrets, or explosive outbursts to win the argument. These tactics, however, are very destructive to all relationships, especially close ones. That’s why, when faced with conflict with my girlfriend, I don’t try to “win” the argument or attack her personally. As the book says, “attack problems, not people.”

Instead of firing off destructive messages, I analyze and approach the conflict carefully. Whether I feel she is overreacting or that she has a valid point, I try to collaborate with her, clear up miscommunication, accommodate her if necessary, and apologize for any misunderstanding. One of the most important concepts to consider, however, is to let go of your pride before addressing conflict. Even if you’re certain that the other person is in the wrong, take a second to listen to their point of view—you may even change your mind after the conflict is resolved.