HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Non-Verbal Communication Prompt#6

Generally speaking, I never really had problems with other people being within a certain proximity of me. Of course, it completely depends on the situation at hand. For example, in a crowded line, there’s not really much the other people can do to make room for you, so I feel that it’s a lot more understandable for them to be close to me, despite me not knowing them. On the other end of the spectrum, there was the time I was in the school bathroom in high school, and my teacher walked in and chose the urinal closest to mine. It felt really awkward because there was no one else in the bathroom besides us, so he could have used one much further away. In fact, there is an unwritten and unspoken list of rules to abide by in the men’s bathroom. It is a sacred code that must not be broken. My teacher had unknowingly broken several of these rules.

All joking aside, it really did feel like a violation of privacy. As for someone like my best friend, continuing a conversation with him in the bathroom isn’t much of a big deal. For my closer friends, we usually group up, so it’s not unusual for them to be in my personal/social space. I’m perfectly fine with anyone being in my personal space, so long as they have business with me. If they’re there for no reason at all, then it can be a bit creepy, and I’d probably label them a stalker if they followed me without talking to me. As far as intimate space goes, that’s pretty much specifically for a girlfriend (assuming I had one), or close family members. My social space isn’t really “reserved” for anyone in particular. I can’t really tell myself to be irritated that someone is invading my “social space”. Even if they’re not interacting with me particularly, they probably have their reasons for being there, doing work or something. I’m not a territorial person, except for when I’m in my car because people getting close to my car when I’m driving is a hazard. Like if I’m trying to back out of a space and someone is chatting on their phone, less than a foot from my car. That only bugs me because I’m moving 3,300lbs of steel, and I don’t want to hit anyone with it. Other than that, the only space I consider to be “reserved” is probably intimate space.

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NonVerbal Communication Prompt 1

An example of the relationships in my life will be my best friends in this context. I believe eye contact is important to us only when we are having serious conversations or having conversations we are very in tune to like when we are eating dinner and sitting across the table from one another. When we are talking to each other we are usually on the move, in the car, or maybe watching TV so no eye contact can be made. When eye contact is possible it is usually there. Usually when something is wrong or we are trying to avoid a conversation that is when we break eye contact and try to avoid the other person. Our relationships are normally fine without eye contact it is only when there is a serious conversation and we want to avoid talking. We usually understand each other pretty well since we are all in tune with each other (which is a blessing since we can understand when we want to avoid something). The conversations we have can be held without holding eye contact, it is kind of like multitasking? Overall, eye contact can be present or not, our relationship will most likely stay the same.

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Nonverbal Communication

I took the quiz on page 227 but I already knew I am very strongly a M-Time person. I am one of those people who has 10 alarms on their phone for reminders to go to class, eat, take medication, wake up, etc. It is difficult to manage everything based on my (very poor) short term memory so alarms definitely help. I am almost always on time or early to events such as work, job, or commitments. The only time I am late is once in a blue moon when something out of the ordinary happened. I pride myself on being punctual and I think it is a good skill to practice. I try to respect people’s time because I know a lot of college students have a lot of things to do and not much time, and who may be also working and have a ton of other commitments. Other people’s time is just as important of course, but I try and be more sensitive to those who also have a busy schedule and many different commitments.

Constant scheduling keeps me alive with everything I have going on; job, school, homework, artwork, my business, social life, etc… but that does not mean I enjoy it in the slightest If anything the constant reminder I have something to do makes me even more anxious rather than someone else planning what is going to happen and I can just come along without worrying about messing up or missing a commitment. When people do not respect my time or are late it frustrates me because I do not feel as respected or that they value my time or understand my time is important to me, since I do not have much of it to spare.

Sometimes being a M-Time person can make me be inflexible or seem rigid and anxious. It is hard to be flexible with so much to do and planning so much does make me anxious but I do not enjoy to be or do those things. I am working on being more in the present and enjoying what I have, taking life step by step. I am also trying to be more flexible if things do not go the way I planned or if plans were canceled. These goals are definitely more difficult during the school year but I think I have made decent improvement so that’s something at least.


Nonverbal Communication: Prompt 5

For better or worse, some people have a voice that stands out from the rest of the crowd. It can be soft and angelic, it can be clear and confident, or it can be loud and obnoxious. More often than not, however, the loud and/or obnoxious voices stand out the most (at least from my experience).

Say what you’d like about me, but I seem to enjoy complaining more than I’d like to admit at times (my girlfriend calls me a grumpy old man). I guess it’s much easier to point out the negatives in our lives than it is to appreciate all the positives. Don’t get me wrong though, I can still appreciate the beauty in life. If I overhear my girlfriend singing, for example, I’ll tell her how beautiful her voice is. On the other hand, if I hear someone with a loud, nasally voice obnoxiously voicing their opinion in class, I’m likely to share that unfortunate experience with a friend later on.

Now I know what you’re thinking already: “You shouldn’t be making fun of people’s voices; it’s rude! How would you like it if someone make fun of yours?” For one, I obviously wouldn’t appreciate it if someone did that, especially considering I’m not very fond of my voice myself. But for better or worse, it’s mine and I can’t do much to please everyone. Keeping that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone at some point in my life despised my voice with a burning passion. They have every right to do so if they feel the need, but that doesn’t necessarily justify it.

Let’s not lie to ourselves—we all make quick judgements about people, be it subtly or not. But making these judgements, especially based on something as simple as their voice, is not very ethical. I know for a fact that I’ve formed some harsh judgments about people in my head due to me finding their voice annoying. But after actively listening to what the person has to say on a matter, I realize that my initial judgement was completely wrong. Experiences like this further prove the age-old idea that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

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Nonverbal Communication (Prompt #3)

I touch people often.

Just kidding! That sounds really freaking creepy, but then again the prompt question kind of sounds creepy so bear with me. Anyways, I am not a touchy feely person in general. I have a personal bubble that I like to stay in, so I assume everyone I don’t particularly know prefers it that way too. Don’t get me wrong, I love hugs (especially my boyfriend’s bear hugs). However, I will only initiate a hug if I know the person is a hugger. I knew someone who would straight up say “bring it in. I am hugger” whenever he would meet someone new. Good for this person; it shows that they don’t mind hugs at all and having their personal bubble invaded. I am also completely fine with social-polite touch. For example, I will shake someone’s hand if they offer a handshake. One of the reasons why I am not very touchy is because some people might misinterpret it as being flirty which could seem like I am leading them on. They might also think I am a total creep if I out right give them a hug when first meeting. It is better to be on the safe side. However, if I became more touchy I could also be perceived as a warmer, friendlier person. It all depends on who I am with and how well I know the person. Understanding the functions of touch can help me determine when to be more touchy and when to be less touchy. It can repel or attract people. It can be inappropriate or appropriate. I would never invade my boss’s personal bubble nor the stranger on the street. But if you are my homegirl/homeboy, you better believe it when I say my hugs can kill.