HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives


  1. Who are some examples of your communal and agentic friends? How do you communicate differently with the two types of friends? Use examples to illustrate your responses. (Based on the Self-Reflection question on p. 358.)
  2. The textbook states that friendships are less stable, more likely to change, and easier to break off than family or romantic relationships. Do you agree? Why or why not?
  3. Think of your network of friends. What conversational topics are “off limits” with some friends but acceptable for discussion with other friends? How do these different communication boundaries help or hinder the quality of these friendships?
  4. Make a list of your valued social identities, and provide examples of how your friends support those identities. Do you have any valued social identities that your friends do not support? If so, how do you manage that? (Based on the Self-Reflection question on
    p. 363.)
  5. Complete the Self-Quiz “What Kind of Friend Are You?” on page 363. What is your reaction to your score? What actions could you take to foster even greater closeness and trustworthiness with your friends?
  6. Complete the Self-Quiz “Friendship Distance-Durability” on page 375. Do you agree with the results? Can you think of friendships that have and have not survived geographic separation? What factors allowed you to maintain the long-distance friendships?
  7. In 2009, the New Oxford American Dictionary declared unfriend as the “word of the year.” What behaviors or actions would cause you to unfriend someone? If you performed these same behaviors or actions, would one of your friends unfriend you?
  8. Assume you are an advice columnist for your college newspaper. One of your readers needs tips on how to manage a “friends-with-benefits” relationship. What would you tell them?