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Interpersonal Comm Paper

Interpersonal Comm Paper

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Published by Charlotte Davis

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Published by: Charlotte Davis on Sep 30, 2012
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Charlotte DavisNovember 13, 2011Interpersonal Comm.DunnFrom Another Standpoint I. Part one: Response to ReadingsAt the start of our class on interpersonal communication we discussed how meaningis created through communication with others. How we perceive others is important tohow we communicate with them and learning how to perceive people in a way that makescommunication better is a valuable skill. In chapter four, Alder et al. discusses the processof perception and how it effects communication.As someone who comes from a large family with many varying personalities andstrong opinions I was very interested in the idea of punctuation. The chapter definespunctuation as the determination of causes and effects in a series of interactions (Alder, p.112). In plainer words, this means that in every communication action both people assesshow and why the communication is happening in the way that it is in different ways.Understanding this pattern makes sense of so many ongoing conflicts that I have with mysisters, brother, and parents. It is hard to for me to see these instances through their point of view is difficult for me, but it is still better than not knowing at all. Looking at certaincommunication transactions through the lens of differing punctuation can assist in findingthe root of the problem instead of just squabbling over who is punctuating the system moreaccurately.
Out of all the aspects of the reading, the notion that reality is constructed throughfirst and second order realities rings the most true to me. I think that this is one of the most difficult parts of interpersonal communication. You can say anything to someone andassume that your meaning has been very clear, when in fact they have perceived the realityof the situation in a completely different way. This difference in the two realities can gounspoken for sometime, maybe forever, but it also can come up later or immediately andcause interpersonal communication. This aspect makes sense to me because I have been onboth sides of the situation, as everyone. Sometimes I honestly think what I have said wasvery clear and could only be taken one way, when in fact that was not the case. I have alsoexperience frustration when my second order reality of what was said to me seems unfairor mean and the other person seems to not notice. Learning that this is a normal part of communication that just requires us to be sensitive to both realities was very redeeming.Another aspect of the reading that stood out to me as important and completelyunderstandable is the tendency to assume others are like us. I will admit that I am a victimof this tendency. I am not really offended by much. I have grown up in a very liberalhousehold where all ideas were to be heard and given re
spect, so I really don’t get to up inarms when people’s personal or societal opinions differ from mine. I know that others get 
offended more easily than me, but I often forget this during conversation because I assumethat they wont mind my opinions because I never mind theirs. This is not a goodassumption. I have offended good friends and people I barely know with my openness oncertain topics, which is never my intention, but I have the tendency to assume they are likeme. Knowing that this is a common tendency has made me more aware of my perceptionsand I feel that I have become better at not stepping on others toes.
Throughout the chapter I did not find anything that did not make sense to me. If anything there were aspects of perceiving others that had never occurred to me, that werebrought to my attention in the readings. I think that the most surprising thing to me was inthe section about social influences as seen through the lens of occupational roles. TheStanford prison guard experiment was shocking to me (Alder, p. 120). The fact that thesestudents were so affected by a role that was not even truly their role in society is veryimpressive and in this case frightening, but in other ways it makes sense. To many men andwomen their occupation is a huge part of their identity, so it seems plausible that thiswould greatly determine their perception of their surroundings. For example my mother isa veterinarian and she is constantly thinking about the welfare of animals in any situationwhether it be a do left in a car at Wal-Mart on a hot day or a stray animal who looks sickly,she is ever attentive to the needs of the animals around her.
I enjoyed reading chapter four of Adler et al.’s text because it made sense of some of 
my communication with others. I consider myself a good communicator, but in reading thischapter my awareness has been heightened to how I could better my communication witheveryone I encounter. It occurred to me that there are so many ways for you to perceiveothers and for others to perceive you. It also made me consider what tendencies I normallyjump to when I communicate with others and how I can make myself aware of my ownthinking in order to perceive people more accurately. The reading mostly got me thinkingabout my communication with certain members of my family, especially along the lines of how we may punctuate certain events differently.Out of all the factors discussed in the reading there are three that I believe affect how I perceive others most. First, the tendency that others are like me is a major part of my

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