Monday, November 29, 2010

Blog #2

Concept 1. Kitchen-sinking

  • Kitchen sinking is considered to be the middle stages in an unproductive conflict communication. The definition given in the book is as follows, "everything except the kitchen sink is thrown into the argument" (p.237). 
    • When in conflict, people in relationships whether intimate or just friendships have a tendency to read off a "laundry list" of complaints for the sake of argument when the issue at hand has nothing to do with any of the previous complaints. Kitchen sinking occurs when there is more than a couple of concerns that have been held back for some time. When a conflict does arise, all those concerns are brought up in the conflict. Kitchen sinking is also a way to divert the discussion in order to derail the arguments in one's favor. 
  • My Situation:
    • There was a time when I was in a friendship and my friend and I got in an argument. The argument was about how his friend was late to pick us up for the movies. I got upset with him because I told him to tell his friend what time the movies started and now we would be late and miss the movie. He tried to calm me down. I interrupted him telling him about all the times he is always late to functions and how he is unreliable. Then I start naming all the times he annoyed me when we were out in public.
    • The argument went absolutely nowhere and we never went to the movies. I listed all the unnecessary things that he used to do that I never liked. Instead of trying to call his friend and see where he was, my friend and I got in a heated discussion about everything that had NOTHING to do with the situation at hand. 
-This clip below is from the movie "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" written and directed by Tyler Perry. The scene shown is when the grandaughter explaining to her grandmother that her and her husband are getting a divorce and how she doesn't think she is getting any assests. The grandmother starts listing off a "laundry list" that hardly pertains to the situation at hand.

Concept 2. Diverse Communication Styles
  • Diverse communication styles is a concept that can put pressure on relationships. If relationships are wideley diverse, there can be many misunderstandings. Many of these misunderstandings can be can be misinterpreted from being of different cultures. Misunderstandings can also be derived from different social groups in the United States. However, the mere differences between cultues and social groups is not necessairly the problem. The problem stems from how we "interpret and judge others' communication which can be the root of tension and hurt" (265).
    • Diverse communication styles are very common in diverse areas such as in schools, in the job environments, and other social places. When friendships are formed specifically different cultures form, there are many misunderstandings. It is an insult to not accept a gift from those of Asian cultures. However, some Americans might not feel the same or even have knowledge of this and will deny the gift. Tension might arise when the Asian friend and American friend stop communicating and would never know why.
  • My Situation:
    • I used the example above because I encountered something like this previously before. I had a friend from China that offered me food and little gifts. I used to say no often because I didn't want her to feel as if I was always taking her food and things. However, I did not know it was an insult to refuse her gifts. She stopped offering me things and stopped talking to me. I couldn't understand why. I took it very personal. One day, I asked her finally why she didn't like me anymore and she told me that it is natural in her culture to offer things and it is an insult to refuse them. Ever since then our friendship has grown and I now accept everything she offers in respect for her.
-This is another clip from the movie "Fool's Rush In". This clip is a trailer about two different cultures that fall in love with another and try to adjust to each other's traditional ways and understandings of life. The film is a perfect portrayal of diverse communication styles.

Concept 3. Adapt Communication to Maintain Long-Distance Relationships 
  •   Adapting Communication to maintain long-distance relationships is one of the guidelines for communicating in romantic relationships. There are some problems that are accompanied by being in a long distance relationship. One is the lack of daily sharing of small events, and time together. However, if there is a routine for daily communication in some form that is set in place in relationships and it is strictly followed, it helps the relationship maintain it's substance even without   face-to-face conversations (293). 
    • Everyone at one time has had a long distance relationship. It is difficult without a doubt to maintain and keep a strong relationship with an individual especially if the couple are in different states. Despite all the difficulties, there are ways to keep a healthy relationship with distance in between. With the technology that is provided now and days there are many ways to keep in contact whether phone, various outlets on the internet and hand written letters. 
  • My situation:
    • I was in a long distance relationship that failed miserably because the lack of our communication with one another. I lived in California and my significant other had just moved to Ohio. Completely on the other side of the spectrum. We both had to respect the time difference between him. I couldn't call him at ten o'clock at night or even after that because he was well asleep and he couldn't call me too early in the morning because I was also asleep. We started off well, calling each other at least once a day for brief moments at a time. Then we made our conversations longer only calling three times a week. Gradually it became once a week to once a month. I got irritated immediately. We ended it after a year and a half. We are still good friends. We understood that we both had busy schedules and a long distance relationship would not have been the best thing for us. 
Wood, J. (2007). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    Blog Assignment 1

    Concept 1. Attachment Styles: Secure, Fearful, Dismissive, Anxious

    • Secure-When the caregiver responds in a consistently attentive and loving way to the child. In response, the child develops a positive sense of self-woth ("I am lovable") and a positive view of others ("People are loving and can be trusted") (47).
           To my understanding, children display secure behavior later on in life in and outside of relationships if during childhood they were given security by their caregivers. As a child, the main influences they have are their parents/gaurdians. If the parents/guardians are giving constant love, affection and secuirty towards their children, the chances of that child later on displaying such love and affection is very high. Children are more confident and secure with themselves if put in the secure style environment.
    • Fearful-When the caregiver in the first bond is unavailable or communicates in negative, rejectng, or even abusive ways to the child. Children who are treated this way often infer that they are unworthy of love and that others are not loving (47-48).
           Like earlier stated, children's main influences are their parents/guardians. If treated in a negative manner such as abuse or lack of love and support, the only true result that comes out of this is a child feeling unworthy and non trusting to others. A child might never trust anyone in any relationship in fear of recieving the same type of abuse they experienced as a child. There is no confience or positive feedback that resides in the child that fits in the fearful category.
    • Dismissive-Caregivers who are disinterested in, rejecting of, or unavailable to children. Yet people who develop this style do not accept the caregiver's view of them as unlovable. Instead, they typically dismiss others as unworthy. Consequently, children develop a positive view of themselves and a low regard for others and relationships (48).
           The dismissive attatchment style actually spins the whole schemata. Rather than personally feeling rejected or unworthy, children actually see others as this. They see relationships as undesirable because they think highly of themselves and lowly of others.
    • Anxious/Ambivalent-Inconsistent treatment from the caregiver. Sometimes the caregiver is loveing and attentive; at other times, the caregiver is indifferent or rejecting. The caregiver is also unpredictable. Naturally, this unpredictability can cause anxiety for the child who depends on the caregiver (48).
            The book explains in Chapter 2 that the anxious or ambivalent attatchment style is actually the most complex. There is no consistent behavior regarding the parent. At one moment the parent can shower the child with love and the next moment after the parent can be chastising the child. This inconsistent behavior can put a child on edge or cause anxiety awaiting for the next unpredictable attitude of their parents.

    Here is a link to the Trailer of "Precious" based off the novel "Push" written by Sapphire. In the trailer, many of the attachment styles can be distinguished and identifiable.

    Concept 2. Cognitive Schemata: Prototype, Personal Construct, Stereotype, Scripts         
    • Prototype-The most representative example of a category (70).
           I have someone special in my life that I view as a true friend. This person has seen me through some hard times regarding school and family issues. This person never let me go astray. They always had my back making sure I took care of myself first. This is what I define as a true friend. Should someone else exemplify these same attributes, I would put them in the same prototype as "true friend."

    • Personal Construct-A bipolar, mental yardstick we use to measure people and situations (71).
           Personal construct actually limits the way people perceive others. There is just a two way street and there is nothing in between. Either there is an individual that is attractive or not attractive, smart or not smart. There is no middle ground. Although we can make more detailed assessments about others using personal constructs, it still limits our perceptions because there will always be something about an individual that is not covered by personal constructs.
    • Stereotypes-A predictive generalization about individuals and situations based on the category in which we place them (71). 
            Stereotypes grow from within. They are internally made from previous experiences. For example, if I was at a grocery store and an elderly person who works at the cash register was very rude to me, I could make the stereotype that all elderly people who work at cash registers are rude. That would be a hasty generalization. That elderly person could have had a bad day and just took their frustrations out on the wrong person. Not all elderly people are rude. 
    • Scripts-A guide to action in particular situations (73).
            Scripts are behaviors that are expected of us. There is a certain script that I use to talk with my professor that I don't use with my parents or peers. I don't use the same script when talking to my parents vs. my peers. In regards to my peers my script is more informal and with my parents, my script is more formal showing respect.

    Concept 3. Listening Process: Being Mindful, Physically Receiving Messages, Selecting and Organizing Information, Interpreting Communication, Responding, Remembering
    • Mindfulness-being fully present in the moment (147).
            In the listening process, one of the most important things to be cautious of is being mindful. The book points out that while listening you must actually be paying attention. The mind should not wander else where. When someone is speaking to me, I should not be day dreaming about what I'm going to eat for lunch. Same goes for when in the classroom and the Professor is lecturing, I should not be wondering what I plan on doing during my break period.  In doing so, there is more to learn because the speaker would be more willing to elaborate or go into depth of the subject.
    • Physically Receiving Messages-hearing or physically receiving messages (148). 
            Hearing is another important aspect in the listening process. It's the physiological process in which we hear not only the person speaking to us but also the surrounding sounds. The book calls receiving messages as a "prerequisite." Hearing is all about the sounds or other methods depending on someone's abilities. Without this process there is no way of receiving a message. Men and women differ also when it comes to hearing. Women are more in tunned to details and the surrounding sounds, while men only focus on the end result. 
    • Selecting and Organizing Material-We selectively attend to only some messages and elements of our environments. What we attend to depends on many factors, including our interests, cognitive structure and expectations (149). 
              A known saying that involves the listening process is called selective listening. The word itself is quite explanatory. Selective listening involves selecting what you want to hear and retain and organize the information afterward. 
    • Interpreting Communication-The most important principle for effective interpretation is the be person centered. To be centered on the particular individual to whom you are listening, you engage in a dual perspective so that you interpret others on their terms (149).
             By no means, while listening to others are we obligated to agree or share the same point of view. The whole process of interpreting what the speaker is saying is to come to an understanding. When interpreting, there isn't a need for critical thinking. The whole point is to understand where the speaker is coming from. When the speaker is talking there shouldn't be any forcing opinions after the fact. 
            If someone came up to me and told me that they were going to quit their job in order to focus more on school, I wouldn't immediately tell them they are being illogical to even think that. Instead I would say, "Why do you think you have to do that?" This question encourages a dialogue and the speaker will probably go into depth on their decision to quit their job. The whole point is not to make them agree with what YOU think is right in the situation but to understand why they chose to do whatever they plan on doing. 
    • Responding-Communicating attention and interest (150).
             Responding to the speaker is another effective way of listening. These attributes can be eye contact, non verbal gestures such as nodding, questions and comments that might sum up what the speaker said. All these signify to the speaker that you were actually listening which can open the door and encourages more dialogue. 
    • Remembering-The process of retaining what you have heard (150).
             The book states to be a great listener remembering the most important content of the conversation is better than trying to remember every single detail. You can let the speaker know that you are listening by summarizing what they said after they said it. You can also ask them a question regarding what they previously said so they can fully elaborate showing that you were not only listening but also interested in the topic and want to know more. 

    Here is a link from of Beyonce singing "Listen" which was showcased in Dreamgirls. There are also lyrics attached to the video. The song goes through the whole process of listening.

    Wood, J. (2007). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.