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Interpersonal Communication Class a Success!

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When I started this class, I was extremely excited and looking forward to learning more about Interpersonal Communication. It is a subject that has intrigued me for many years. Who does not want to learn the best ways to communicate? It seems like it should be simple, but it is not, interpersonal communication is complex and varies between relationships. There were three lessons that really hit a chord with me, the first one is the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Communication, the second is Using I Language and the third is Conflict Styles. There are many more, but I will focus on these three lessons in this essay. 

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A self-fulfilling prophecy is when you expect something to go one way and it does because you behave your way into the believed outcome. This is very personal to me; I am always preaching do not say something that is negative because you are bringing it to yourself. According to our textbook (Adler et al), it is a circular process and there are four stages. The stages are holding an expectation, behaving in accordance with the expectation, the expectation happens, and reinforces the original expectation. You act your way towards what you want in your lifetime. I have used this in a positive way in my own life, this class has reinforced for me that I am on the right path in my own thoughts. Many years ago, I read the book Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, it gave me affirmation that my thoughts were clear. Understanding myself has made me a better communicator. 

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Communication is as old as humankind; Aristotle was the first author to analyze persuasive communication. That brings me to the second lesson that spoke to me personally, it was the lesson on persuasion in where you use ethos (credibility), pathos (emotional appeals), and logos (reasoned argument), to get support for your point of view. I usually keep my opinions to myself but now I feel more equipped to handle situations. After learning the proper use of persuasive communication, The I, you, and me language was also a real revelation for me. The impact of each word we speak or even think should be given thought and changed if needed. I language takes responsibility, You language expresses a judgment, and the Me language implies that the issue is the responsibility of the speaker and the receiver of the message. I will be able to express my opinions more constructively. Being able to resolve conflict is certainly a big lesson to learn. I had always thought compromise was the way to go but after taking this class I realize that collaboration is a win-win for everyone, including me. It is a situation where there is not a loser only winners 

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Toxic Conflict: and the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (Gottman 1994), is a lesson that I will take with me as a reminder of the toxic ways of handling relationships and not to react these ways in my own relationships. The four horsemen are Criticism, when you are attacking a person’s behavior Defensiveness when you go on the defense to protect yourself, Contempt is where you belittle or demean the other person or call them names. The last one is Stonewalling which is when a person walks away, refuses to talk, or will sit in silence. I always try to look inside myself and try to identify these types of issues. Now I seem to be trying to identify all my relational situations. What I have learned is conflict is fine if it is handled in constructive, not destructive ways. 

Overall, my time spent in interpersonal communication class has been well spent. There were many days I did not think I would be able to grasp all the various aspects of the class. It has been by far the most difficult of all my classes this semester. I learned so much from taking this class it made me think more about what I say and do and what others say and do. Nonverbal communication is happening all the time whether you realize it or not. I thank you for all your help during the class it made a world of difference to me and the work I turned in. This is a class everyone should take then maybe we could all communicate more reasonably. I am a dreamer. 

Citations:

Adler, Ronald, Lawrence Rosenfeld, and Russell Proctor. Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication. 14th ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Print.

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