Part IV: Interpersonal Communications SP-181

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In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)

Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.

Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion

Nonverbal Communication (Ch. 7)

Terms:
chronemics
haptics
kinesics
microexpression
paralanguage
proxemics

Goal:
List and offer examples of five different types of nonverbal messages in a specific situation.

Question:
Gender has a strong influence on nonverbal communication. Explain the differences between men and women in this area. Include your personal experiences in your discussion.


What an amazing topic! When I was pregnant with my son, my mother told me she wasn’t going to buy into the belief, “Boys are just different.” Her Ph.D. in anthropology taught her not to support for gender stereotypes. Understand my mother has a younger sister, a daughter, and a granddaughter, no boys. My best friend has three boys and the cousins I grew up with were boys. My father helped to raise a total of 15 children. (His sister had 9 children, he had 4, I have 2.) Let me just say my mother had a rude awakening. I raised my children with gender neutral concepts such as toys and color do not have gender. I never told them they can be anything they want when they grow up because no one can! A colorblind person can never be a TSA Agent because they can’t read the x-ray scanners. My daughter could never be a USN SEAL not just because she would suck at it, but the Navy doesn’t allow females in that career field. Life has limitations. Some are fair, most are not. My son and daughter are only 17 months apart. One day they were standing in front of the TV watching The Kraft Brothers. All of a sudden my son cranked back his right arm, then slapped his sister’s back. She immediately hit the floor crying. I hollered at my son, “Ronan! Why did you hit your sister?” He shook his head signalling he didn’t hit her. I pointed to her writhing on the floor. He legit jumped back in shock then proceeded to ask what was wrong and why she was crying. Ronan literally had no idea he hit his sister. (My kids adore each other, they’ve never fought verbally or physically.) Essentially boys do not know much of anything. Girls know too much of everything. (I do not support the following behaviors.) A boy may pick on a classmate, but when you ask him why he honestly has no idea. Ask a middle school girl why she shoved someone into a locker and she will give the exact time and day of the discretion she is avenging. Girls are methodical and mean in middle school, while the boys literally stink.  Although these behaviors are stereotypical the difference in non-verbal communication between men and women is there. When someone is upset an average woman may try to console them with a hug or hand on the shoulder. A man on the other hand will most likely have his hands in his pockets hoping his friend isn’t expecting a hug. Women are know to sigh as a means of non-verbal communication. Men tend to mimic Helen Keller and are shocked when their partner is pissed off.  I will say, women, similar to their middle school counterparts, tend to be more vengeful than men when it comes to personal relationships. Think about the stories of crazy breakups. He did something, so she slept with his coworker and threw his clothes out of their 19th floor balcony. Men tend to compete non-verbally with coworkers and close friends, not lovers. I think the moral of the story is, stay single, get dogs, keep all your own money.


Interpersonal Communication and Social Media (Ch 2)

Terms:

disinhibition
hyperpersonal communication
leanness / richness

Goal:

Comment on how gender and age affect the use of mediated channels, and adapt your use of channels to best fit the given recipient.

Question:

Explain several ways that mass media and technology contribute to the shaping of our self-concept.


A couple of years ago an article came out claiming a large percentage of the population does not have an inner voice. I was stunned. What the hell do people do all day?  My first memory of self talk goes back to being an infant. I remember looking at my parents and wondering what was wrong with them. My self-talk only grew from there and eventually I developed a resting bitch face to go along with it. I am an only child, I always had a dialogue of self-talk going on. I think of it as a simple voice or voices in my mind. The book explains that after an event occurs, the thought (self-talk) and emotion are to follow. Metaphysically and psychologically I could get into this, but I will stick to simple personal experiences. Growing up my mother always told me she loved me. She would yell, scream, and cry then end with, “But I love you. I want you  to know that.” I hated it, I still do. Growing up my mom wasn’t told she was loved by her own mother (borderline schizophrenic narcissist). Therefore she grew up thinking she was unloved and she felt unlovable. This event created the thoughts and emotions which led my mom to her actions when I was younger. Personally I overthink. One time my boss called me and asked me to come in early. I said no problem. Then my partner for the night messaged asking why she was asking to come in at my regular in time. Well naturally I was going to be fired right? I was freaking out for over 5 hours. My partner and my co-worker both told me I was overreacting. I had to keep my cool while helping that same co-worker shop for a wedding dress. The whole day was awful. I arrived early to work and found my manager. She looked at me perplexed then said, “Oh, I messed up I need you to come in early another day to blah blah blah. Sorry.” WTAF? I spent the whole day in my mind with my thoughts. Granted I have anxiety and my brain chemistry is a bit off. However one common event can cause my thoughts and emotions to run wild.  Perhaps my favorite example would be a third person story I heard at Denny’s one night. Thursday night, party night friend smoking on the front lawn waiting for his friend to come outside. Mom opens the window and yells, “NO FAGS ON THE LAWN.” The gay smoker was greatly offended and did not realize the type of family his friend had. He immediately withdrew socially for the evening. Finally the friend with the fag hating mom got him to open up. The gay smoker told the story and explained how he was hurt and offended by the prejudice remarks. Trying not to laugh the concerned friend explained,”My mom is from Ireland. They call cigarettes fags there. She didn’t want you smoking on the lawn because she just had it serviced.” Everyday we experience events which lead to thoughts (self-talk), and feelings. Some of these self-thoughts are self destructive others manifest miracles. The Golden Rule applied to everyone, including ourselves. Many people need to be kind to themselves. I am working on it myself. 

Part III: Interpersonal Communications SP-181

Skip Recap

In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)

Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.

Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion

Communication and Identity (Ch 3)

Terms:

cognitive conservatism
Johari Window
reflected appraisal
reference groups and social comparison

Goal:

Explain how self-fulfilling prophecies shape the self-concept and influence communication.

Question:

Explain the concept of reflected appraisal. Choose two people in your life who have contributed to how you view yourself and how their communication contributed to who you are today.


Reflected appraisal is the process in which a person’s self perception is influenced by other people. This is a common psychology term. It has also cost me quite a bit of coin in therapy over the last twenty plus years. I have a whole catalog of examples from my mother. I will start with negative and try to find something positive. My mother is quite insecure because her mother was an abusive narcissist. She won some tying award in the 1970s. It was a contest or something in Chicago. This in addition to the fact she learned to type on a “real typewriter” allows he to consider herself the authority on typing. Since elementary school she has told me I am a terrible “typist.” I grew up thinking I suck at typing. It didn’t matter that my WPM was tested at 65 with 99% accuracy. Or that I could 10-key faster in 4 hours than three night auditors in 8 hours. I knew I couldn’t type. Did my mother having actual typing classes? Yes. Did I ever have a typing class? No, I was self taught. Did not matter I sucked at it. A few months ago, my daughter was impressed by my typing speed. I began to tell her I wasn’t any good at it, but then I decided to change the story. I thanked her for noticing and told her, “Grandma thinks I suck at it.” She replied with, “Grandma sucks.” Who am I to argue? The positive reflected appraisal came from my daughter. I was explaining to her about the changes in the relationship with the man we thought would be her step father by now. Before I could get into my well rehearsed speech about love, adulting, and how it is not her fault, she cut me off to speak her mind. She then proceeded to tell me that I am the best mama ever. I won’t go into the details because I will start crying. Since then I stop almost everyday to recognize how lucky my kids are to have me as a mother. I am fortunate to have wonderful kids, but they didn’t come that way. It takes time, patience, and understanding plus I highly recommend Jewish preschool. Although we can become products of our environment, we can chose to change.


Interpersonal Communication and Social Media (Ch 2)

Terms:

disinhibition
hyperpersonal communication
leanness / richness

Goal:

Comment on how gender and age affect the use of mediated channels, and adapt your use of channels to best fit the given recipient.

Question:

Explain several ways that mass media and technology contribute to the shaping of our self-concept.


Media and technology have been contributing to the human self-concept for hundreds of years. The Gutenberg Press drastically changed Christianity. Before Bibles were painstakingly handwritten by priests. This allowed for a high percentage of error. Then William Tyndale translated the Bible into common tongue and it was able to be mass produced for the first time in its existence. This caused people to change their understanding of God and their personal relationship to God was redefined as well. After watching the original Time Machine, I remember my mother talking about how future archaeologists would probably think Americans worshiped televisions. Looking at the ruins of a house from 1988 would show an alter in almost every room of the house with television remnants. Clearly Ancient Americans valued this object, and worshiped it in their daily lives. The recent changes in media and technology did not create the connection to self-conception. I am certain children in the late 1800s wanted toys out of the Montgomery Ward Catalog so they could impress their friends. Our relationship to technology is one reason there are so many different models of everything. Bill next store has the 1923 Model T, but I went out and bought the brand new 1927 Model A. Both vehicles performed the same function, they took Bill and his neighbor from one place to another. Why the need for another model? Self-conception. I want newer, fancier, better. It’s like children’s toys COLLECT ALL 3! The only differences between Teggasaur, Tegga-T, and Tegga-2 are how their index fingers are crooked slightly different. Damn straight we parents fall for this nonsense just to shut our kids up. As amazing as technology and instant media are, they do have negatives. Plenty of people live outside their means to “keep up with the Joneses.” People torture themselves to fit into the modern idea of pretty, handsome, sexy, fit. These are just a couple of examples of how people base their self-conceptions on media being streamed into their lives. A more dangerous and recent example is the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol. These insurgents connected and coordinated through modern technologies and media. They had spent months and years believing the false propaganda of extremists. They created their personal identities based on the leaders of these groups. Hopefully one day we can find a balance between the awesome power of media and technology. Less Bladerunner more Star Trek? We will probably end up like Battlestar Galactica (reboot).

*Excellent movie with David Duchovny Keeping Up with the Joneses, go watch it!

Part II: Interpersonal Communications SP-181

Skip Recap

In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)

Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.

Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion

Listening (Ch. 8)

Terms:

attending
paraphrasing / remembering / responding
pseudo-listening
stage-hogging

Goal:

Identify the situations in which you listen mindfully and those when you listen mindlessly and then evaluate the style you use in each situation.

Question:

Give examples of ways in which our growing use of technology affects listening effectiveness.


My daughter is 13, my son is 11 neither of them listen to sh*t. That is not exactly true, my son listens to his friends on Minecraft and Fortnite. My daughter is always chatting with her friends on Discord. Both of them can remember information from mindless YouTubers, but they cannot remember anything important. Our family therapist is having an inner conflict with the use of screen time in her home and society. She recently finished a book discussing the long last effects of prolonged electronic use. I have noticed how my kids cannot retain information. Almost as if that part of the brain has not fully developed.I did have my daughter tested for a number of concerns. Fortunately she does not have a chemical imbalance when it comes to memory. She does need more assistance developing her higher functioning skills. In fact today she has lost her phone privileges during homeschooling time. She missed half of a class because she was chatting on Discord. The class was part one in a seven part series, not to mention being tardy. A couple of months ago my son was struggling with distance learning. We noted he was playing games on his phone during class time. As soon as we took the phone away his classwork improved. Fewer distractions are best for my children. As a parent I am seeing the negative effects of prolonged screen time. I was one of the stricter parents when it came to electronics. My kids never had a screen shoved in their faces when they were in their strollers. I was struggling with the balance of no electronics at home and electronics being used in school, then COVID hit. My children have been doing distance learning for almost a full year. Five days a week on their school issued iPads for 4-5 hours each day. What else could we do?As an adult I have to make a point to not use my phone during Zoom sessions. Difference is I can multitask and am capable of listening to more than one thing at once. I also understand and accept the consequences of my distractions.

Part I: Interpersonal Communications SP-181

In January of this year I decided to return to college for the eighth time? I am still working towards a useless associates degree. I may even graduate next fall semester. My speech class did not transfer and I needed one to fulfill a requirement. Being an experienced facilitator and speaker a speech class sounded dreadful. When the counselor said, “How about Interpersonal Communications?” I thought “Perfect! My previous managers told me to stop making my coworkers cry. I could use some interpersonal direction.” Well, here I am with only a couple weeks left in class and a slew of forum posts on the book chapters I never read. My instructor loved my writings and suggested I compile a book, or be a stand up comedian. As I already have this platform I opted to share those writings here. These are my personal commentaries on questions related to class material. These will be different than my previous blog posts and have minimal editing. I feel it is time to move my writings into a more authentic light. I hope you enjoy my thoughts just as my professor has this semester. (Each chapter focus and question are at the beginning of each post to provide the reader with a bit of background.)

Create safe places for yourself and you don’t have to be liked by everybody and the day you can get that down you know some people like you some people don’t that’s wonderful and the ones who don’t like you that’s great let them find their way.

Peter Woodbury from Edgar Cayce on Empathy, Sensitivity, and Boundaries: From Karma to Compassion

Process of Communication (Ch. 1)

Terms:

cognitive complexity

decode/encode

linear vs. transactional communication models

Goals:

Apply the transactional communication model to a specific situation

Describe how communication principles are evident in a specific situation

Question:

Explain the principle, “communication is irreversible.” Use personal examples to demonstrate how this principle has affected your own life.


The age old saying of, “Didn’t your mother tell you, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” comes to mind. I bet if I looked into this it probably stems from the Golden Rule and has been around in various cultures for centuries. The principle “communication is irreversible” refers to the fact the mind cannot unsee or unhear communication styles. (With the exceptions of brain damage and disease.) A simple example would be my dogs and their leashes. Their leashes hang outside on the back lanai. If someone accidentally touches one they make a sound. It doesn’t matter where my dogs are, once they hear the jingle, jingle they are running towards you full speed expecting a walk. For years my dogs have associated a certain sound with a WALK! They cannot unhear the sound. So one the rare occasion my KC Chiefs lanyard with my jingling keys makes it into the house, my dogs expect a walk. The sound is similar and they do not care if it’s my car keys or their leashes, they are going out. Another, more common example would be the act of repeating a conversation in your head. Ever have an argument with someone where they said something hurtful or you did? Didn’t matter if it was true, it stuck with you or the other person. Communication is irreversible, that is one reason modern parents are so exhausted. Child psychology has introduced us to a whole new world of parenting. In our day, adults didn’t phrase their words softly so as to not scar us for life. We were told to walk it off. As a parent now, I am cognizant of how my children hear my words and interpret my non-verbal communications. When I am having a conversation with one of them, I make an effort to put my phone down or to stop typing. I do my best to give them my full attention. My poor daughter taught me about the use of colloquialisms. When she was 5 years old we were at the aquarium on Maui. It was January and insanely windy. Not even thinking about it I told my daughter to “not blow away.” Apparently I scarred her for life. For years she was terrified the wind would literally blow her away. Although we have discussed this and she is now 13, she is not fond of the wind. It’s just something she can’t unhear.


Perception (Ch. 4)

Terms:

selection / interpretation / negotiation / organization

narrative

perception checking

self-serving bias

Goals:

Explain how influences on perception influence communication in a specific situation.

Enhance your cognitive complexity by applying the “pillow method” to a significant disagreement.

Question:

Choose one of the following social roles—gender, occupational or relational—then explain how this area has influenced your perceptions. Use examples from your own life in your discussion.


Choose one of the following social roles—gender, occupational or relational—then explain how this area has influenced your perceptions. Use examples from your own life in your discussion. Gender roles have been an issue for me since kindergarten. My mother has a Ph.D. and was a US Naval Officer for thirty years. My father was a certified nursing assistant during most of that time. He and I come from a matrilineal Native American tribe 40 miles west of Albuquerque. My adolescent gender roles were completely different than my classmates. One day I came home from kindergarten quite upset. The teaching assistant told me my mother couldn’t be a doctor, she had to be the nurse, and my father had to be the doctor. Needless to say I did not want to be on the receiving end of the phone call my mother made to school. (This was the same T. A. who taught me how to spell my name incorrectly.) Growing up my mother was the responsible breadwinner with a career. My father took care of me during the day, did all the household work (laundry, cooking, cleaning), worked at nights, and had poor spending habits. In addition to this, my mother did not change her last name. I still find it odd when women acquiesce to this sexist custom. Hey, it is a woman’s right to choose, so as long as she chose it then whatever. Let us add some fuel to this fire I call my childhood. Not only are the gender roles opposite in my immediate family, they are different on my father’s side of the family as well. Apparently it was not enough to be the only child of a female Naval Officer, I also had to be a half-breed (half white/half Native) growing up in White America. Yeah me. Pueblos, I am Laguna Pueblo, are a matrilineal tribal societies. This means our heritage is passed down through the mother’s side. Mothers are respected above all else. Her husband leaves his family and moves in with her family. This once applied across tribes as well. My uncle was Acoma Pueblo, when he married my aunt, he left his home, and moved into ours. We also honor the family of the mother. Mother’s brother is the disciplinary of her children, not their father. My father was “Mother’s Brother” and he hated the role, although it still holds much respect for him.  By the time I was an adult, I understood my unique upbringing. It has always been something I embraced as a strong willed independent woman, and now mother. My name includes both of my parent’s last names Callahan and Aragon. My ex-husband took my last name about two years into our marriage and he kept it after we divorced. My children have the two same last names as I do. I still come across people who think this is odd, especially here in Hawaii. Growing up everyone assumed my father was the service member, although he served in Vietnam, he was my mother’s spouse. I have noticed the changes as well. A couple of years ago I was chatting with some young sailors. When I mentioned being a Navy Brat one of them asked if my mother or father had served. I was shocked and very proud. I remember my mother’s first duty station. It did not have a women’s restroom. There was a sign on the men’s door that had to be flipped to “Women’s Head.” Probably why I never wondered what the men’s restroom looked like. I knew before I was three years old. It will be interesting to see how gender roles change with the upcoming generation. My daughter is pan sexual and prefers they/them pronouns. My son found his sister’s skirt quite comfortable yesterday and wore it for hours. I told him he’s Scottish, the Scotts have kilts. Not to mention the ‘ie lavalava he has seen growing up on Oahu. They have seen the first female democratic presidential candidate. They have witnessed the first (biracial) female Vice President of the U.S. My daughter has been impressed with Biden’s diverse Cabinet. Children are growing up with a concept of fluid gender roles. I believe in balance, but it takes three movies, three iffy prequels, and a cartoon to finally produce a new generation of movies and TV shows.