“Interplay”, Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships- 9, Communication in Close Relationships- 10

Chapter 9, Relational Maintenance

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I find it difficult to maintain friendships even with like minded people. I don’t like communicating over the internet and I rarely like going out or having face to face interactions. These things make me uncomfortable. With my closest friends, I am the biggest fan and meanest critic. I tend to go to the extremes. I think maybe the reason I still have friends is because I am honest and trustworthy and my friends know I will not criticise them unless I genuinely feel that they are messing up. I often wish I was better at maintenance. This is definitely an area I hope to improve on in the near future.

  • Forgiving Transgressions

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I recently learnt that I have trouble forgiving. This is because I have trust issues. If someone does something to hurt me, even if they genuinely mean it when they apologise, we are not likely to ever be as close as we were before. I strongly believe in forgive and forget but I think God is the only one who has the luxury of forgetting. My version of forgiveness looks like this, “me ceasing to care”. Depending on what you may have done I can either, stop being friends with you all together and we maintain a polite relationship, casual “hellos and goodbyes” or I will pretend like nothing ever happened until I am in a situation when I feel that you could betray my trust again. In which case I take that power out of your hands. We maintain our normal friendship but you are never again in a position close enough to betray me. I forgive but I never forget. I think it would be foolish and that we would be doomed to repeat past mistakes, if we thought forgetting about the situations where we were betrayed was a good idea. I am definitely not perfect and sometimes I do wonder if my method of protecting myself is too strict but I realise it is not, so I will not apologise for it. The things that I think are inappropriate in a friendship, apparently many people are completely clueless on. Common decency and consideration should be a given in any relationship. If you wouldn’t like it to happen to you, do not do it to anyone else.

Chapter 10, Manage the Connection-Autonomy Dialectic

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I think its all about independence and gaining a sense of self outside of the family or people you grew up with. Figuring out if the feelings you have about certain topics or people are really your own or that of those most influential around you. That phase of life when you are trying to get to know yourself and figure everything out can take a long time to get through, if you are unable to gain the necessary amount of distance you need. I think it is important for families to be aware of this phase of life and be self-aware so they do not overwhelm each other. If anything be helpful allow each other to grow in a way that may contradict who you are. It is never helpful or productive to repress personal thoughts. They eventually become problematic. Obviously, you never want to share just anything with anyone and you certainly do not want to be offensive but it is important to find a safe space to express your feelings. To lay your mind out on the floor and make connections. This helps you understand who you are at your core because as you grow and experience life, your views change. For better or worse and it is important to acknowledge those changes. To choose to change back or move forward based on who you want to be as a person. This is why I believe that everyone should go to therapy. It is such an important tool. The advantages of having someone who is required to be unbiased but always on your side to be a sounding board are endless.

  • Strive for Closeness While Respecting Boundaries

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The best thing to do is to not invade a persons personal space. Have conversations, observe what they like and dislike. Be there when needed but give them room enough to need or want you around. Listen to understand, not to respond. Spend time with each other without your devices. If it is something that makes you uncomfortable, unless told otherwise assume it makes others uncomfortable as well and do not pry. Personally, I understand the need to want to share everything with someone but It is also important to keep things to yourself. I think it is more important to become as close as possible to yourself and to not open up in such a way that will bring you unnecessary hurt. Self-sufficiency is extremely important. You need boundaries for everyone else but you are you and that is the only person you can be and so breaking down the boundaries you have with yourself is most important and setting reasonable boundaries between yourself and others in useful for protecting all involved. Not everything is meant to be shared, no matter how close you are with a person and that is ok. The only one who needs to know everything about you, is you! Once you are fully aware of yourself and have built that close connection with yourself , it will help you maintain and build close and healthy relationships with others that include the necessary boundaries.

 

  1. What types of friendships are presented in most TV episodes? Long term friends
  2. Do you or your friends sometimes find yourself comparing your relationships to the ones you see on television? Sometimes but I think I do that more than any of my friends.
  3. Is there anything useful about observing friendships on television? I suppose if you are watching a show that involves a healthy friendship it gives you something to compare your friendship with, to see if you are in a healthy one but it is also wise to acknowledge the fact that the relationship on screen, while it does portray real friendship scenarios, that you are different people and things may not turn out the way you expect it.
  4. What would you say that you have learned about friendships from television? That it doesn’t require a compromise of your personality to fit anyone else’s.
  1. How accurate were Turkle’s observations regarding the impact of social media on relationships? She hit the nail on the head.
  2. To what extent are these observations true from your experience? Do you agree that all of the texts, or SIPs, do not add up to a real
    conversation? How can we use technology to improve our lives and relationships?
    I think a conversation includes face to face interaction. I think that when we use technology to communicate it doesn’t completely fill the need for interaction. There is always a space that didn’t get filled and I think most people can feel that especially when it’s a relationship that has significant value to them. I think technology helps us stay organised, send and receive information quickly and maintain relationships. However, it is meant to help us along, not live our lives for us. When organising anything, even when emails and calls are made, there are still things that are missed unless they are done in person. Technology cannot do everything and we should not want it to. Especially when it comes to relationships, we should use it for maintenance not as the main connection to our friends and family. Relationships are deeper and more significant when there is more face to face interaction. Not over the phone or through a screen but directly within physical reach of each other. The fact is when people spend their time connecting through devices, they become desensitised to one another. It makes it easier to be selfish and to not care about other people. The more advanced technology becomes is the more self absorbed our society becomes as well and I think many people are realising this and are actively trying to improve that. Not by spending less time with their technology but by spending more time with people in person without their devices.
  3. Given that this TED talk was filmed in 2012, does it still hold true today, more or less? It is even more true now than ever and I think it will continue to be true as long as technology keeps advancing and people keep responding to it the way they have been.

     

    Can Men & Women Just Be Friends?– Science of Love Video: https://youtu.be/XsFJFfegkj4Yes but it takes a certain level of maturity and self-awareness.

    1.What experiences do you have with cross-sex friendships? I have had good and complicated cross-sex friendships with the same male friends. All the male friends that I have had in the past have at some point tried to move pass the friend-zone.

    2.What problems can arise in cross-sex friendships? What challenges can arise with being in the “friend zone” (or being in a “desires romance” or “rejects romance” friendship)? I think it is best to be friends with people you are not physically attracted to. At the same time, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you won’t have a complicated relationship because if you are not the kind of person that focuses on looks, the fact that you are friends means you already are attracted to this person based on their personality and that can be an even bigger problem than physical attraction. The awkwardness of making your feelings known and then getting rejected or becoming romantic with a friend and then not knowing how to go back to just being friends after can be a real problem. I think there is the need to over compensate for the state of vulnerability you put yourself in, by moving into a place where they know how you feel about them whether or not they feel the same and I think the over compensation is what makes it hard to go back to the way things were before.

    3. Have you considered what you and your friend’s needs are in the friendship? How can you effectively communicate your needs? I often ask my friends what they need so that I can avoid being over bearing in a situation. I have a “fix it” personality and so sometimes I get a little controlling in an effort to help a friend when they just need me to “sit and listen” without offering input. Which I find very irritating because I just want to fix the problem. I have no problem listening as long as I know at the end we will have solved the problem. In general, I have friends for different parts of my personality, so I think I definitely get what I need from the relationship and I do my best to give them what they need from it as well.

     

  1. What were some of the family narratives mentioned (perhaps not overtly) in the article on the boomerang generation that you read? Did they come into conflict with the child moving back in with his/her parents? No, most parents were happy to welcome their kids back home.
  2. What are some potential benefits of the impact of being part of the boomerang generation? Some potential drawbacks? Are they evenly balanced? More parents found that they have a better connection with their children since they moved back home than before. Their children are more responsible. Probably because they are now starting to see things from their parents perspective and so now they have more of an appreciation for everything they have done for them having to now grow up an see it for themselves. Becoming more mature and responsible has helped.
  3. How do the people who wrote, or who were mentioned in the articles, manage this new wrinkle in the connection-autonomy dialectic? The boomerang generation tend to be young people with goals and dreams who responsibly have a job and pay their own bills but prefer living with their parents instead of on their own. They maintain their independence by being responsible and not burdening their parents. They have lives separate and a part from their parents as though they lived on their own.
  4. Using the guidelines in “Effective Communication in Families” what advice would you give to members of a family experiencing the boomerang effect? Respect each other’s time and space. Everyone in the household is now an adult and should be treated with the respect that follows in terms of making their own decisions and how and who they spend their time with. There should be rules that everyone has to follow in order to maintain peaceful and harmonious living.

 

Commitment: decision to maintain Relationship

1. Love is a welcomed boredom…

  • Aristotle: “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies”
  • Plato: “Love is a serious mental disease”

 

What is your Love Language? An assessment to determine the love language that you respond best to.Quality time.
http://www.5lovelanguages.com/assessments/love/

QUESTION: Can couples have a happy relationship if they have different love languages? Yes, they just need to be mindful of the others love language in the way they treat each other to ensure that both are benefiting from the relationship.

Quiz: What’s Your Intimacy IQ? A test to explore your knowledge of the concept of intimacy. I got the one about whether or not sex gets better, wrong.
http://www.consum-mate.com/quiz01.htm

Couples Communication Quiz: a quiz designed to help those involved in a romantic relationship find the difference between their partners typical communication behavior and the desired behaviour.Overall score 4
http://www.marriagefamily.com/couplesquiz.htm

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“Interplay”, Listening: Receiving and Responding- 7, Emotions- 8.

Chapter 7, Understanding

I have known my mother all my life, but it seems that sometimes we often don’t understand each other. Until we have concluded a long, unnecessary debate of which we then come to the conclusion that we were in agreement all along. This can be very frustrating at times. I’ll say something and based on her response I can tell she completely missed my point. I then rephrase my thoughts and often still find that there is  miscommunication or misinterpretation somewhere. To remedy this, before attempting to rephrase again, I ask my mother, “What exactly did you hear me say?, “What is your opinion on the matter?” I have come to a few conclusions of my relationship with my mother. I understand her vocabulary more times than she understands mine, what I may  be emphasising in a situation may not necessarily be the part that she understands to be relevant. We agree on most issues but it appears we are on different pages and often end up missing the mark in understanding each other.

 

  • Advising

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I am that friend. The friend you find when you have problems and you need them fixed immediately. I can’t remember how I became this friend. I have a hard time advising. Not because I am not good at it but because I can’t tell when a person is here for advice or here to be listened to. People, even those I do not know very well or at all come to me for advice. I assume that I simply have the face of an understanding person who wants to help. Personally, I don’t talk about my problems for being listened to sake. If I am talking to you about a problem I am having, it means that I don’t know how to fix it myself and I need a different perspective or a suggestion. This makes it a bit difficult for me to understand people who just want to vent. “Ok, you just want to vent? But you have a problem, why don’t you want me to help you fix it? Why are you here? Do you like being miserable or complaining just for complaining sake? What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you want to be happy? Do you already have a solution? Then why are you still complaining, if you are able to fix it?” The vast majority of my friends come to me when they need advice. My best friend however, doesn’t! She comes only to complain and most times she has no intention of fixing the problem by herself or with anyone else’s help. She often says to me, “When it really starts bothering me, then I’ll fix it.” This makes absolutely no sense to me. My response to her is usually, “It is really bothering you, otherwise you wouldn’t be complaining!” This drives me insane. My method of advice usually consists of telling someone what I would do, emphasising that this method is all about me and then I say “Do what is best for you, do what you think is right or what will make you happy?”. I think these statements and questions, open the door for the person to see how they really feel about what is going on and releases the person they came to for advice from any responsibility.

 

Chapter 8, Thoughts cause feelings

While this is true, if a person has a template to react a specific way to a certain situation, their reaction is automatic and hard to control or change. It’s like breathing or blinking. You don’t think about it, it simply happens. If you are in the midst of a thought, yes, there is time to prevent the feeling from being manifested by that thought. If this is not something you wilfully think about, you have to now actively think about it when the emotion has already been initiated. This is a much larger struggle because what you are trying to do in this particular situation is talking yourself out of an emotion that you have deemed a legitimate response to the situation. You now have to come up with a reason it is invalid and reconstruct a belief system you may have had most of your life, to change the emotional response. In doing so you could unearth many other things that may or may not be at the core of your personality. While I agree with the fact that thoughts cause feelings, sometimes it seems that the feelings create the thought because of how quickly it all happens. Many people would much rather go with the emotion because of the work behind changing the thought. The feeling is valid and people don’t usually want to change because it takes work, time and energy and we’re always running behind on something else.

 

  • Social media

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Personally, I think that its complicated to express emotions online or in person. Online, you may not seem excited enough. If you use emojis, you may seem too excited, sarcastic or immature. In person, if you are too excited, you seem weird and it could get awkward, especially if the other person interprets your response as sarcasm because you’re trying not to seem over the top. No matter the emotion or setting, it is difficult, emotions are tricky to convey in all situations. we are judged for having and for not having them. Depending on the recipients interpretation, you win or lose. However, if you are authentic in what you feel, making room for appropriate behaviour when necessary and calmly explaining if there happens to be a misunderstanding, I think the odds are in your favour. The thing is, when we don’t express ourselves the way we want when we want to, as long as our emotions are appropriate in that setting, we regret not letting them out. In other less appropriate settings, we are happy to cover them up. At the end of the day, allowing yourself to feel the way you feel is healthy.

 

  1. No, I do not agree that emotions are contagious. I often see a person in a bad or good  mood and I observe other people interacting with this individual. What I have noticed is that people move away or toward situations or people who make them comfortable or uncomfortable in order to preserve the mood they are already in. Another person’s mood isn’t actually contagious. Its more about whether the people around them are vulnerable or not.
  2. No, I have not experienced a time when someone else’s mood has rubbed off on me. I maintain whatever mood I am in, good or bad.
  3. I think it depends on the person. If an employee is not open to the suggestions or methods a person is using, it is very unlikely that their mood will help in a positive way with the team dynamic. Also, all a team member needs is the desire to do their job well, not necessarily a positive attitude. Their desire and willingness to accomplish their task is most likely enough to help them work well with their fellow employees, at least in many cases.
  4. I often say to myself, things like, “I won’t be here forever”, “he or she is probably having a bad day”. In general, I tend to care very little about emotions that hinder my progress unless it is very serious. However, these are not problems I have had many of because most people tend to keep their moods to themselves, unless it is a happy mood or very professional and work orientated.

 

“Interplay”, Language -5, Nonverbal Communication -6

Chapter 5, Sexist and Racism

When I was little I asked my mom “why do we use the word man for so many things?”. She told me, “The word man is universal and it refers to both male and female”. I thought this made sense.

I believe that the problem with sexism is only partly in the language. The bigger problem is the way people think. In somethings, as explained by the book “Interplay”, there are hundreds of words for a promiscuous women and only a few for a man of the same nature. Yes, there is definitely a double standard. There should be a fair amount of shame for both parties to share.

Just because we say “working mother” doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also say “working father”. Single dads exist too and even if this isn’t a single parent situation, parents work! Therefore, this should not be an issue.  Unmarried fathers are just as common and just as important as unmarried mothers. I think that sexism on a whole is meant to shame and belittle people. We should change that because sexism is just as unfair to men as it is to women. It sticks women into a corner, telling them “you can only do these kinds of things and be this way because you are a woman”. It tells men the very same things but in the reverse. What we can do as women, men are made to feel ashamed about and what men are allowed to do as men, women are made to feel ashamed about as well. In essence we are all being robbed by sexism. Its more about the mindset and less about the language. Words are labels and labels don’t have to define who you are or what you’re capable of. Its like the name you were given at birth. Yes, it is your name but it tells me nothing about you as an individual.

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I think with racism the problem lies with people labelling themselves as colours at different ends of the spectrum, it’s as though we were set up to be against each other from the start. I have never met either a black, white, yellow or red person. These colours do not exist in people. I have met brown and beige people. These colours are very close to each other because they are essentially the same, with a little more or less pigment here and there. The next problem is that people attribute skin colour to beauty. I don’t know how to fix that but it definitely has to stop. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and because there is no one individual doing all the beholding, then there is no standard of beauty. People are different. They have different shapes, sizes, complexions and interests. There are no individuals who are more or less beautiful than any other. For each person you find attractive or unattractive, there are a thousand others that disagree with you and a thousand more that agree with you. We look at animals and we can accept that while they may have differences they also have similarities. Their similarities are more than their differences and they are able to procreate. This is a determining factor in whether or not you belong to the same group. Animals of differing species cannot procreate. We accept that animals with particular feature are of the same species. Why do we still have a race issue, when we are all one species? We have so much more in common.

 

  • Non-gender Influences on Language Use

In different situations in life we behave more or less like ourselves. A person may become more assertive if they are in a position of power or less assertive if they have no major responsibilities. This is dependent on the way you were raised, your personality and how you communicate and has nothing to do with gender unless, you were brainwashed into believing “because i’m this gender I must behave this way!” This is wrong. Language is more about your personality, your feelings, current environment and how you were raised. It often changes from situation to situation but tends to do so without compromising your personal values, in most cases. A person might curse and speak loudly because that’s who they are at their core and they are comfortable this way. Another person might do the very opposite. It has more to do with personality and surroundings than anything else.

 

Chapter 6, Touch

I think touch is a strange thing but relevant. In regard to babies, I understand their need to be touched. They spent 9 months in the womb, quite comfortable. Always close to the sound of their mother’s beating heart and always within range of her voice. They have never been alone. Their need for touch seems perfectly normal.

Adults on the other hand, we are long past the days of the womb, why do we still need touch? I have a friend that needs physical contact regularly or she becomes very grumpy and eventually suffers from symptoms of depression and anxiety. Personally, I think she needs to get over that because having such a great need for interaction with others could eventually become a real problem in her life. If she could manage one or two hugs daily from her mother, she would be fine but she needs it from friends as well and right now she doesn’t have many where she lives. On the other hand, I can go a long time without physical interaction with others. To be frank, physical contact makes me feel a little unsettled, I have to be extraordinarily comfortable with you for it to happen deliberately. In reading the different scenarios in the text “Interplay”, I was very uncomfortable with all the physical interaction mentioned. You don’t need to touch a customer while serving them, you are strangers. On the other hand, on a football team, assuming you like and are friends with all your teammates, the occasional touch is fine.

 

  • Non-verbal Mistakes

Too much or not enough eye contact – I think that an employer may feel that either you are not a genuine person, that you’re trying to challenge their authority or simply shy . There is a fine line between too much and not enough eye contact. Personally, I have a hard time with this one because I am very good at keeping I contact but my eyes shift, usually when I have to respond or if it feels disingenuous. My eyes do a lot of rapid movement when I am sharing an experience or giving an explanation to something. I do not know how to control it because it comes with nerves. My eyes will always tell a different story despite my mood. If I’m speaking, i’m probably a little nervous. Either they stare too much or shift too quickly. They move at the speed of thought.

Lack of Facial expression –  My facial expressions are very deliberate and if my brain doesn’t think I need to appear pleasant it won’t let me. I have a very stern look  and only express as much emotion as needed. If I am in a comfortable situation it is still highly unlikely that my expression will change unless I desire it. However, in most cases, if I try to create expressions that are not there, they will appear disingenuous and defeat their purpose all together, so my facial expressions only appear as prompted.

I think a reasonable employer, expects a candidate to be nervous or uncomfortable in an interview setting. I also think that depending on the job you are interviewing for, some of these “non-verbal mistakes” aren’t that important. If they were, many of us would remain unemployed. However, it all depends on the employer and the position. You have to appear, sound and actually be qualified for the position. If you are able to avoid these “non-verbal mistakes” that’s a plus.

In addition, I think employers expect to see a reasonable amount of nervous behaviour and most of what is on this list, are nervous ticks. Clearing your throat is something that many people do quite often even big confident CEOs, public speakers, presidents etc. All things in moderation. Once you seem like a well put together person with no red flags, you are usually fine, from what I have observed.

 

How I used the last 24hrs.

  • Went to class at 10.30am – 1.45pm yesterday
  • Picked up lunch, went home watched The View, sent emails etc. until 3.50pm
  • Started assignments
  • Took a nap 1h 30mins
  • Woke up continued on assignments till after 1am
  • Got ready for bed, slept for 5hrs 30mins
  • Went to class 8.30am – this morning
  • Met with a Professor 9.50am
  • Worked on assignments 10.30 – 11.30am
  • Had lunch at 12pm and started watching The View
  • Went to class at 12.30
  • Finished watching The View 1.45pm
  • Finished Assignments 2.30pm

Interpersonal Communication and the Self- 3, Perceiving Others- 4.

Chapter 3, The Self-Concept Resists Change

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People change no matter how they try to avoid it. Whether or not they let themselves acknowledge it is another story. A friend once complained to me about a religion class he was taking. He said, that he had no problem with the SDA belief system. In fact it actually made sense to him but the reason he hates having to take the classes was because he grew up with an entirely different religious background and they clashed. He expressed that after living one way his entire life he just could not be bothered with going back through his entire belief system and having a different approach to God. He found it frustrating because with every class session he attended he had more questions and he didn’t want to because this was uprooting his foundation, of which he felt he had no time for and he had already passed that stage of his life. I found this funny and interesting but it is very true, we avoid those things that will urge us to change how we think and feel about ourselves.

  • The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Communication

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I have had self-fulfilling prophecies but to be honest none of them ever “came true” because I decided to follow through. For me it is more like saying something out loud and then never thinking about it again and then one day, usually years later it happens. Never because I actively worked towards it. I always thought it would be nice to come to Andrews University. Didn’t actually intend to nor did I think I would. I thought I would have finished University in Jamaica before I came to America. I took a break at one point fully intending to go back but then I ended up here. I never thought about it or realised I was here until I got here.

When I was 7, I realised that there were other countries in the world with people who spoke different languages. I remember the day I heard French for the first time. At first, I was so confused and I thought the man was speaking “gibberish” and I asked him, “why are you speaking gibberish? That’s not proper English. Speak English like a normal person!”. My mother almost died from embarrassment but I wasn’t trying to be rude. I just thought he was trying to be funny and I was frustrated because I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Although, I don’t know why I cared, because he wasn’t actually speaking to me when I interrupted him. The gentleman laughed and told me, “It’s French, I speak many languages, English is only one of them”. And it isn’t that I didn’t know other languages existed, it’s that I never heard them before. I thought to myself, it would be so much fun/cool to go to France and meet native French speakers and learn all about their culture. But at no point in time did I think I’d ever go. It was just a thought that soon gathered dust in the back of my mind because I never thought about it again, because I never thought it possible. One day, out of the blue, an opportunity presented itself and I took it. That’s pretty much how most of my self-fulfilling prophecies happen. Just a thought gathering dust, until it miraculously comes to fruition.

 

Chapter 4, We Make Snap Judgements

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Though I understand that rushing to a snap judgement is bad, I often find things like stereotypes funny. As a Jamaican people always say things to me like “Irie, Ye man!” or “Do you like Bob Marley?” They do this the moment they find out I am Jamaican and the question that usually follows is “Have you ever smoked weed/marijuana?” To me this is not offensive. I think it’s only negative if the receivers personal perception of it is negative or if the person who jumps to a stereotypical assumption is not open to actually learning who you are as an individual. Otherwise, it’s very funny and a little stupid to watch people try to fit in with you over something you never do, say or are even remotely interested in. It’s amazing how interested people get when they realise you are of a different cultural background. I’m guilt of that but I don’t believe I’ve ever asked a question based on a stereotype, at least not to someone I just met but you will definitely see my eyes light up if you tell me you grew up in a country I am unfamiliar with.

  • Empathy Defined

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One thing that could fix the world is, if more people could empathise. Clearly this is my personal belief. I spend a lot of time observing people and myself. How I react and why I react to certain things, people and situations the way I do. I am very self-aware and because of my self-awareness I try to work on the things that may not be a reflection of a great personality. This is not easy. Because in general I care about understanding others. I sought to understand myself as well because I realised it the key to understanding others. Society is severely deficient of empathy. We’re really selfish people but it’s not the “right kind of selfish”. If we were the “right kind of selfish”, we would empathise more because we would realise it makes the world a better place for us. We’d be more willing to help others heal beyond their problems because it makes our lives better. But people are lazy to take care of themselves, so the majority of humanity will stay stuck being the wrong kind of selfish, thinking they are looking out for themselves when they really are not. By helping others, you help yourself. By hurting others, you hurt yourself. Become self-aware, so you can become people aware. Be the “right kind of selfish!”.

 

 

Interpersonal Process – 1 & Culture and Interpersonal Communication – 2.

Chapter 1. Communication Misconceptions!

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I am currently working on an Art project for the end of the semester. In this Art project I will be mimicking the Artist Frida Khalo’s technique, but making the work personal. This for me will be very tricky because if I fail to communicate well, it could upset many people or give others the opposite idea of the message I wish to convey. Assuming I do my job well in communicating my personalised version of her painting, who is to say that those who see it will receive the message the way I would like them to? Effective communication is important and something that resonated with me while reading chapter 1, was the idea that communicating well doesn’t necessarily solve a problem.

 

  • You may understand someone’s point of view but not agree with them.
  • You may like someone’s idea as it relates to them and their problems but not necessarily apply it to your life even if your problems are the same or similar.
  • You may agree with someone’s reason for doing something but be offended by the way they chose to do it.

Effective communication, though I believe it fixes more problems than not, people are different, from the backgrounds that they grew up with to their age at any given point in time. Their accumulation of knowledge based on life experience and how they were raised. It all affects the way they communicate or interpret things. The most important thing about communicating effectively, is that all parties involved are open to listening as effectively.

Social Media and Relational Quality

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Personally, I wonder how many social media channels does any-one individual need? I have had a number of them and in no case have I seen it improve any of my relationships. The only thing it has managed to do, is make it more convenient to communicate with a friend wherever they happen to be in the world. That’s definitely useful but I also believe it is the death of real personal interaction. I know people who are constantly checking for updates, no matter who they are with or what they are doing. To be completely honest, it is irritating but I am never going to be the one to ask you to put your phone. You should know, when that is or isn’t appropriate. More times than not I make up an excuse to leave and be anywhere else. Whatever happened to enjoying the moment with your friends and family, as it is happening? There is nothing wrong with taking a photo or snapchatting but for the love of “interpersonal relationship preservation” there is absolutely no reason to be on social media every single second. Actually live the life you have in realtime and get from behind the lens… Life is so much more beautiful when there isn’t an extra lens between you and your immediate reality!

Chapter 2. Power Distance!

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Born and raised in Jamaica, I honestly didn’t realise the “Power Distance”. I would joke, make fun of and have in-depth discussions with my elders all the time. I only ever thought it was respectful to use their given titles because they were older but at no point in time did it ever hinder what I would say or the way I would say it. If you were wrong, you were simply just wrong and I was unaffected by whatever title or post you had and that never seemed to be a problem to those who knew me. However, moving to America, personality-wise, the way I interacted with my elders did not change, until I was told to call them by their first names. This made me very uncomfortable and hypersensitive. I began to alter my speech pattern to make up for using their first names, which I found disrespectful, though I had been given permission to do so. I made up for that “disrespect” by being less direct in how I spoke.

Uncertainty Avoidance

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This to me is quite funny because while I like knowing what is happening, when and where, I am never that person who asks an excess of questions. I am comfortable with gradual change as long as I know it is coming. I’ll never be that person in the plane seat next to you that wants your entire life store. I only need to perceive that you are a relatively decent human being. For example: If I get up to go to the restroom, none of my things will be missing when I get back, or if I fall asleep you won’t wake me unnecessarily. Some people will wake you when the food tray goes by, others will not. Either way they are being decent in my opinion. I only need to know enough about you and my surroundings to keep myself and family safe. Everything else is just being nosy.

 

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