HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

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My best friend and I have this relationship where we see each other a lot and then we don’t for a little while just because we get busy, but we will still keep in contact. Keep in mind this contact is just snapchatting, it’s not like we know what’s going on in each other’s lives and have a conversation every day. One day I was feeling upset because I knew she was always with her boyfriend and ever since I moved away when I come home she only would hang out with me when it’s convenient for her and if it’s convenient for her boyfriend too. I had this problem because she was always with her boyfriend, so it wasn’t a necessity to see him because she always sees him. I felt like her relationship with him was more important than our friendship.

As I was feeling like this I avoided speaking to her about it because I knew we were going to have an argument about it again if I approached her about it. When I saw her, she would say things like she misses me and we need to keep in touch better, eventually bringing up that she never sees me. I would skirt around the problem by just saying a few jokes about it and then moving onto the next topic of conversation. I chose to do this because I didn’t want to fight with her and bring up another conflict due to her prioritizing her boyfriend over her friendships. I don’t like her boyfriend too much so she would have also blamed it on the fact that I don’t like him anymore. I didn’t want her to be in denial about the problem as well, which she would have done. The best choice was to just avoid the problem.

This later resulted in me being really upset with her, but it did allow me to really think about how I was feeling and not lash out at her. Looking back on the situation it was better for me to avoid the situation for a little while, just not as long as I did. I was able to think about what I really wanted to tell her instead of just blurting words out that could have potentially damaged our relationship.


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Personal Idioms

I have many personal idioms. I would say I have the most with those I spend the most time with. Lately, it’s been my friend group. The closer we get the more personal idioms we have. We have lots of inside jokes because of the jokes we make and the outings we go on together. I now live with one of my friends and I find I am closer to her and we have more personal idioms than with the rest of our group. An example of a personal idiom I have would be “hei hei” from the movie Moana. We have a joke about one of our friends because of some of the ideas she has and tries to pitch to us. With my boyfriend, the longer we’ve been together the more nicknames we have for each other and sayings we have that we only get. When we first started dating we had some sayings already such as calling each other best friends until the end. As we progressed in our relationship we bonded more and eventually got a lot of personal idioms between us.

My family and I are really close, but I would say we have the least personal idioms because we more just have stories to tell others about each other instead of inside jokes. The more time we spend with each other the more stories we have. Another factor that would play a part this would be the different generations that we get together with wouldn’t get some of the social media jokes we form because of the difference in age. Overall, I can conclude that the more intimate you are with someone the more personal idioms you have with one another. I noticed that the more comfortable I get with a person or group of people the more I am able to open up and be myself. As result of this, I am able to for these personal idioms with them because of the bond we develop.

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Personal Currency

Throughout my life, personal currency was a type of power I took advantage. My physique, intelligence, charisma, communication skill, and sense of humor (as mentioned in the text) were traits which caught some people’s attention. People considered me as a funny, beautiful, talented, and an articulate person when I grew up influencing them. For example, people were amazed to a ton of interests I was good at. They convinced me to participate in multiple activities involving different talent, such as sports, the arts, and teaching. Some activities like basketball, soccer, and volleyball I participated. However, it was overwhelming when people kept convincing me, which led me to learn the abilities by observing and asking some questions on my own. Another example was when I gave my little cousin a warning on his obsession with healthy foods. He was always bragging and debating in a dramatic manner on which food was healthy and unhealthy. It was rude when he started judging at the dinner table which paused me feeling upset. I said to him, “I understand that you’re trying to learn these things, but I want to let you know something. If you’re going to keep relying on these things, it will take control of you which will give you difficulties keeping track of others and maybe yourself. This over-reliance stuff mostly occurs in politics, religion, electronic devices, cliques, and people’s interests.” Everyone at the table became speechless from my warning which shows how articulate a person can be in this type of currency. My cousin continued debating on food later, but I hope he can take my advice sometime.

Overall, I feel that personal currency is the most important power currency because most people tend to be inspired by the individual’s personal characteristics. It can give appeal to audiences in politics, seminars, comedy, sports, etc. Public events use personal currency to discipline or manipulate the community from the speaker’s talent, which can change or conflict the interpersonal world.

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Avoiding the Conflict

Conflict is an issue that pops up on our everyday lives. It can range from small things like deciding which cereal to eat for breakfast, or too big things like arguing with a friend. However, as human beings, we can handle conflict in different ways. There are individuals who take the accommodation approach by accepting someone’s demands or request, the competition approach by just being arrogant to one’s own desire, and the avoidance approach in which an individual just completely ignores conflict in general. Fortunately, I am one of those individuals who use the avoidance approach when there is conflict. I can remember an instance when the avoidance approach became a serious dispute.

It was about two years ago that this conflict occurred. This conflict was between my cousin and I for a bedroom. In the house that I live in, there are three bedrooms, one was taken by my mother and the other was taken by my grandmother while the last bedroom was intended for me. Unfortunately, at the time my cousin was living with us so I had to share the bedroom with her. At first, we had a symmetrical relationship within the room by giving each other respect and privacy when asked by either one of us. Until about a month later, it became a complementary relationship by her just being unfair and kicking me out of the room without reason. When she did kick me out of the room, I did not confront her instead I just walk away and pretend to ignore the whole conflict. I avoided these conflicts because to my perspective, she was aggressive, and I did not want to have a verbal conflict with her. Every time, that I avoided these conflicts, my mom would question me, but I would just avoid her question. As my cousin kept on kicking me out of the room, my mom would just question me more and I would try my best to not reply or ignore her question. It got to a point that my mom stepped into the conflict in which I did not want her to get involved. She and my cousin got into a big argument that did not end well because it got my cousin kick out of the house. I in some sense, feel a little guilty that my cousin got kicked out because of my own avoidant approach to the conflict. If I could go back to that incident, it could have been handle differently by confronting my cousin by myself without my mother’s involvement. It was my own conflict that I needed to handle and not someone else.

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Managing Conflict and Power

I am a person who does not like to fight or have conflicts with others, so when I face conflicts, I always choose to avoid them as much as I can. when I was younger, I used to be a boy who always liked to argue and complain, also, I always want to win arguments. However, when I turned 13, I had a disagreement and that makes me become a person who wants to avoid conflicts. The disagreement caused a fight in the school, during the fight, I broke my arm. My mom was disappointed in me and upset with my behavior. I was a troublemaker in my middle school, my mom frequently received phone calls and letters from the school. Although I knew that teachers were always complaining about me, I still didn’t take it seriously. Until one day I saw my mom lost the control of her emotion and started to cry in front of me, I realized my mom was suffered from picking up the phones because most of them were from the school. After that day I try to avoid conflicts as much as possible. Even when I dated my girlfriend, I still kept the same strategy, nonetheless, there was a conflict I avoided that hurt my girlfriend so much. At last semester, she was facing a hard time with the housing system. There were many problems with our housing system, and she was one of the victims. She was yelled by one of the staffs without a reason. I was there, yet I did not speak up for her; I was trying to avoid conflicts again. After the conflict, she blamed on my behavior. She was really upset and disappointed in me which reminded me of my mom. After these two conflicts, I learned two different things: Always create a positive atmosphere for communication, not conflict, because conflict won’t solve problems. The second is to not let the person who you care about get hurt.

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Active Listening

Author H. Jackson Brown, Jr. was on to something when they said, “Everyone you meet knows something you don’t know but need to know. Listen and learn from them.” Everyone goes through life differently. But sometimes we share similarities. And sometimes we don’t share anything in common quite yet. Something someone has gone through already may be a good thing to keep in mind in the future, when we go through a similar situation.

Once I met a guy on the bus with his child in his lap. The kid was probably a year-old. The guy had said something and pointed at me. I had my headphones in and didn’t know what he said. Usually people on the bus sketch me out, but something told me this guy had something to say to me. So I asked what he had said. He pointed to my head and began to explain to me what crazy things NASA was up to. I had forgotten my beanie with the NASA logo, and was thrown off with the topic he was discussing. I wasn’t sure what to say so I just listened. He is probably one of the most interesting persons I have ever met.

His child became frustrated with being held for too long and having to listen to his father’s speech of the cosmos. Seeing the kid try to break free from his dad’s arms made me laugh a bit. The guy let his son go and off he went. He tried crawling away but his dad made sure he didn’t go too far. The guy had notice my smile and started talking about fatherhood or just being a parent. You could tell he was a new dad no older than 25.

The guy just started talking about becoming a parent and how it was nothing he expected. He had explained to me that he was clean because of the little guy and was working things out with his girlfriend. He seemed really genuine when he said that. He also said it was better in a weird way. He kept saying he saw a tiny version of himself in the little guy. The kid had gotten hungry and guy opened up a bag of Lays. He told his son not to tell mom or they’d both be in trouble for spoiling dinner. It was honestly the sweetest interaction I have witnessed.

I don’t have a great relationship with my own dad so it was nice to see this interaction between father and son. After listening to the guy’s story, I’ve tried to work on my relationship with my own father. But it also made me think what it would be like to be a parent. Being able to see a little version of myself grow up.

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verbal communication

If half of the 7000 plus languages died out that would affect cultures very highly. Without those languages, anything in those languages that were made would also be extinct. Any stories told from the language that originated in that language would no longer exist. There would be songs written in that language that also would no longer exist. Having a language going extinct would heavily affect culture. It would affect a lot of cultures that were around also. For example if spanish went extinct as a language then no one would listen to spanish music no one do or perform spanish dances. Spanish people are not the only people who dance and listen to spanish music so this would affect anyone who uses this language. A lot things would be lost for any language that went extinct. Any thing in that language would be useless because we would have no one to translate it so no one would know what the story is saying. Any history written in that language would be no use to historians. The only way the language could not be fully extinct if someone studied the language and was able to translate it. I would be very concerned if english was threatened with extinction. I would have to learn a new language so I can communicate with people. That would be more work than what I would want to do. Having to learn a new language because your first language was going extinct would suck. It is scary to think about if english was to go extinct so imagine how the people feel when their language is actually threatened with extinction.