HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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Self Concept

I don’t believe that media influences how we see ourselves very much, not by the kinds of television programs someone watches or the genres of music they listen to at least. Although I do think that people will lean towards looking at things online that confirm what they already believe in, which can further influence them into that line of thinking. Almost all news and social media type sites are biased towards one side or another, so if people continually go to the same places to satisfy their confirmation bias it can lead to media influencing their views. I would label myself as a student and I think that’s a positive thing. It doesn’t affect the way I see myself very much, but when talking to other people outside of school, it is what I consider my current ‘occupation’. I believe it is a positive thing though as continued education, especially in my family, is valued and important. I don’t have much of an online presence at all, so I think if a future employer were to look into my social media they wouldn’t form much of an impression either way, positive or negative. I’m sure they wouldn’t find anything that would cause them to question whether they should hire me, so I wouldn’t change much. Although, I try to always keep that in mind to not put too much out there online or on social media sites. I’ve never had an issue with sharing too much information too soon in a relationship and it’s never been the reason for the end of a relationship. I also don’t usually experience people sharing too much too soon with me, or maybe I just don’t consider it to be too much. I’ve never had much of an issue with being open and talking about most things, even early on in relationships.



Media is a great factor of influence to how we view ourselves physically and mentally. I believe that even unconsciously we try to change something about us to become someone we view and admire from TV or social websites. If someone were to know the type of shows I watch and the music I listen to or even the websites I look at often they’d probably think I have no life. And that is just because I spend so much of my time viewing other people, all celebrities or iconic people. I love watching the typical teenage drama and love stories. But also the mystery and suspense of things captures my deep attention. When watching a show I tend to think as if I were in a certain actors place and what I would do in their situations. The next day I try acting like a character I like most, more adventures and spontaneous. I try to adapt to the surrounding or listen to music that influences my mood. I sometimes listen to music related to the scene of movies i watch or if the actor is a singer i listen to the music they have. All though i know this happens often if someone was to ask me how i describe myself or things i like, they would be able to catch different ideas about me. For example, in the past couple of weeks I went to the store with a very good friend and as we looked at some books she pointed out to me how much i enjoyed mystery things. And honestly I had never payed attention to how intrigued I am with mystery. As i write this blog i realize how things are influencing me, and all the things I tend to do.  Although i did not specifically write about body appearance the media has influenced deeply for wanting the perfect thin body. Media influences everyone.

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Self Concept

I believe that a person could tell a lot about me by the different kinds of medias I use. Television is one of the biggest medias that I use. I typically like to watch stuff like ESPN, Sports Center, MLB Network, and other sports channels. From this understanding, one could presume that i am very athletic and love sports. They would be correct, but if I were to mention that I also enjoyed watching other channels like the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or Cartoon Network, or that i also love to watch comedic shows like New Girl, Friends and How I Met Your Mother, and that the Cooking Channels like Food Network were channels that I also enjoyed to watch, one might not know what to assume about me because i enjoy many different channels and I have a variety of taste when it comes to television. So what i’m trying to say is that, one really couldn’t know who I am, but one could assume that i like many different things including Cartoons and Sports.

I don’t really visit many websites, except gmail, or csumb.edu, but when I would look up something on the internet, it would have to be something related to sneakers. I am a big sneaker-head, and usually I look up release dates, prices, or reviews on shoes, just to try to gain a bigger knowledge of what these sneakers are made of. So I guess from my browser history, one could probably tell that I enjoy shoes very much.

Music is a topic that I have a wide variety of. There are many different genres that i enjoy listening to, as well as genres that i’m always excited to hear more of. The main types of music I listen to would be Rap, Hip-Hop, and R&B, but i also enjoy Latino feel-good music and positive Latino Singers like Enrique Iglesias, Juanes, and, Mana. Also I love Country Music, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, and Kenny Chesney being some of my Favorites. From this knowledge one cant assume what kind of person I am, other than the fact that i have a wide variety of music.

I definitely think that the media influences how we see ourselves. When i look at ESPN, and i see all these great ball players with big muscles, and a tall figure, it implies to me especially that, those are the traits or characteristics that any great baseball player should have. When i go on instagram or a sneaker website, and i see people wearing $1000 Yeezys, or the newest Jordans, it implies that i will never be as good or dress as nice as those people who have those things, and it changes the way i see myself, because i think less of myself because either myself, or my shoes don’t look as nice as theirs. Although Medias dont directly influence the way we perceive ourselves, we, as humans almost do it instinctively, without even knowing.


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Transsexual, transgender, whichever one you choose to use, this is a word which has marred me for a while. It’s this sort of perpetual prefix I have, my main identifier, the thing that never escapes me. I won’t be “Ani the Linguist”, “Ani the Writer”, I will inevitably be relegated to “Ani the Transsexual” or “Ani the Trans Woman” no matter what I do. In some circles, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In my work with other LGBT+ people, this is fine, it brings about a sense of belonging, of understanding. In most all other circles, however, it does quite the opposite, separating me from others. I was at a little kickback a week or two ago, and I found myself dead silent while everybody around me was talking about their experiences on Tinder and the like when I thought to myself, “I’m really different from these people and no matter how much I wish it was so, I’m never going to be like these people.” In that whole sphere there are so many extra steps I have to do that others don’t. I have to essentially apologize for the thing I am, I have to deal with fetishists and chasers and trolls, I have to put up with invasive and personal questions about my body and genitalia, I have to prove my womanhood and femininity. It gets really very tiring, to be perfectly honest. But in confessing my trans status (which I always do, as not doing so has led to many of my sisters being murdered in cold blood after some person saw her as an abomination and decided to take matters into their own hands) I have to be partially open about it so that I’m not viewed as hiding it so as to “fool” people, but I can’t talk so much about it so as to be viewed as one of those “angry trannies.” Usually, this culminates in me viewing myself at times as less than, or not as deserving of good things as other people. This word being stuck on me like a tumor makes me see myself as separate from others, as a misplaced cog, as a burden.

Overall, though this is a large part of who I am, I try not to let it define me. Emphasis on the word “try”, because no matter how much I do try, I can’t easily escape that as a word that will be used forever to identify and define me.

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Too much too soon?

Having layers when disclosing information is a good habit to protect ourselves from strangers. As the relationship gets closer, it is like what Shrek said, we will start to disclose information ourselves more and more.

I’m not the type of person who will disclose too much if I am not really close with the person that I am talking to. However, I can talk about anything and everything with people for hours, and normally it is with people who are older than me, without disclosing too much information. It is not that I don’t trust them, it is because I always take the chance to listen to people who are older than me as they are most likely more knowledgeable than me, so I will be able to learn more from them, instead of wasting time telling them about myself. Well, if they really ask, then I will tell, still not too much. It is a habit.

Things that I consider as “too much too soon” are things that are not related to the conversation, and someone brings it up all in a sudden, out of nowhere. Let’s say we are in a conversation about sports, but all in a sudden, the other person brings up about his or her own political views about Donald Trump. I will be like “Wow, I didn’t know Donald Trump can run that fast!” in my mind. Yet, if anyone is really disclosing too much too soon, I would not put the person into an awkward situation, or stop them from disclosing too much. I would still sit there quietly and listen to what they say. There must be something for me to learn, or at least know more about them.

Anyway, we have freedom of speech. As long as the words are not hurting and the speaker is feeling fine to say it, I do not mind anyone to disclose whatever they want.

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Giving Away To Much?

Talking about the social penetration theory, and knowing that there are many layers of the self that we share and disclose to others. With some people we share a lot of information or give it away freely, but for many others we keep it inside and don’t share something with them unless they are giving some type of information in return. For example, asking someone their favorite color, they respond with “Blue” and then, they can ask the same question and start to generate a conversation of giving and taking. With this form of communication many people keep information about themselves private, or at least unknown to the person they are currently talking too.

“Too much too soon” has never really been a problem for me in relationships that I have had for a long time, but new ones are a whole different story. With old relationships I can give any information away about myself and feel completely comfortable. On the other hand in new relationships I am very cautious at what I say and tell people about myself. “Too much too soon”, has never terminated a relationship of mine. If something I say comes out of my mouth than it is what it is. I never put myself into compromising situations on purpose to where I spill out information.

In the case of dealing with a friend or date who has shared too much early in a relationship, I think that I would handle it fairly well. If someone says something about themselves because they wanted to share it even though it might be too much at the time, they obviously wanted you to know that about them. I have no problem in knowing “too much too soon”. If the topic was a little out of place I would question where the information was coming from. Topics that I consider to be “too much too soon” would be, talking about sexual activities, knowing too much about where one lives or how often they walk or drive to school, or even personal family matters.

Everyone in the world has their own way of talking to other people and telling them information about themselves. Some people are Chatty Cathy’s and can talk forever about anything, while some people would rather veer off to the left and go around certain topics or information. To all their own and any form of communication is great.


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Never a Social Expectation

I have had many labels throughout my childhood some were negative as stereotype threats, but some were positive as hard worker or passionate, but there was one label that did affect me very young they would call me an unrealistic dreamer.

At first I, couldn’t understand why my classmates or friends wouldn’t join or support my actions or ideas as taking risk in having adventures or creating new experiences. For sure most of the time risks were involved in the situation, but it wasn’t something dangerous or impossible to achieve. I thought for some time that my wild spirit of exploration and learning new knowledge was the cause of it, at the end it was.

The reason why people in society labeled me as a unrealistic dreamer was because I was a female, I come from a minority group, and I belonged in the lower class of the society standards. Coming from the origins of Latin America and European made society and my community to judge and have fewer expectations for me in my education or my dream of pursuing a higher education for myself and my community. The second it was because I was a woman, I always volunteered and got internship opportunities around the city to work in courts, translation, hospitals or community events this helped me to become a leader and take charge of many clubs and events. The problem as that if I wanted to represent or to take charge many would say I couldn’t handle the job or take charge of a project because I didn’t have the “traits” or “qualifications” like men to take the responsibilities to take charge. The final one is being part of the minority group. Being part of a minority groups means having to deal with stereotype threats every day in society, and sadly many start believing it.

Overall from these experiences what really made the label “unrealistic dreamer” was that for me it translated to UNIQE. It explained everything I wasn’t a social outcast I was just unique and different than the rest of society. That motivated me every day to always try something new and to never stop being a dreamer and a risk taker to help, inspire, and motivate others to believe in themselves and persue their own dreams and goals.