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Looking out, Looking in by Adler and Proctor

Chapter 6: Nonverbal Language May 16, 2013

The two rules that I broke were staring at people in an elevator and sitting too close to a total stranger in a restaurant. Breaking these two nonverbal rules was not an easy task for me because I did this with total strangers. I was nervous while breaking these nonverbal rules because I had no idea how these victims would react. The people in the elevator were all in discomfort as I continued to stare. Some of them went to a point of asking whether I needed any help. I was surprised by their response because I never thought they would be concerned or discomforted with my staring. The stranger in the restaurant looked really irritated and she ended up changing the seat. She made a hissing sound as a sign of irritation as she walked to another seat.

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Nonverbal communication can be influenced by degree of biological sex. It is easy to detect the different stereotype differences in male and female by looking at their nonverbal style of communication. In day to day life, I tend to use less facial expression and touch others less because these nonverbal communications are more often used by female. I do not dress in tight clothes to avoid people mistaking me for a female. I always want other to view me as a person with confident and character. To improve nonverbal communication, I have learnt how to socialize expressing myself without looking ambiguous. It is essential to note that nonverbal communication can be deceptive and frustrating therefore; we should avoid judging others solely by viewing their nonverbal actions.

Chapter 7: Listening Behaviors May 17, 2013

Listening is truly significant, and emphases should be laid on how to improve on this. Many view listening as a very tough feature and thus making them poor listeners. There are a lot of challenges which every person who wants to become a good listener must overcome so as to improve on their listening skills to become good communicators. To become a good listener, I first try to recognize areas that I believe need improvement. I try to look for specific information rather than avoiding it. Ignoring any information that is mentioned by others is a sign of being poor listener. I have a tendency of not interrupting people at school while they speak even if I feel I have a better point than they do. Cutting people short may make them end up treating my idea with disrespect. It is similar to defensive listening where the feedback is reciprocal of what one says. It simply states that one get what you give.

The topic on lack of proper training should be emphasized in order to improve one’s listening skills. Majority of people is willing to become good listeners, but what they lack is proper training and monitoring. Frequently people view listening similar to breathing and see it as something natural. Therefore, they do not see the need to learn the listening skills. Listening is something that one does from childhood. However, listening should be viewed as a skill just like speaking. Majority of people speaks, but only few do it perfectly. It is quite evident that listening is a skill that can be improved by training and following instructions. More time should be spent to teach listening skills just like any other type of communication skill. Through listening more, I have learnt a lot about people, and improved my speaking skills. It shows that talking less and listening more is significant in one’s daily life.

Chapter 8: Relational Dynamics May 18, 2013

The determinant of whether a romantically involved couple will remain friends after a breakup is solely predictable if the couple were friends before becoming romantically involved. Another great determinant of the outcome is ways in which the couple used in order for them to breakup. Frequently, when communication is positive during break up, it is more likely that the parties involved will retain their friendship. However, when the type of communication during breakup is negative, the parties involved are more likely to terminate friendship. The Knapp’s model fails to describe the flow of communication in every relationship. Several studies have shown that many breakups frequently follow a pattern similar to that of Knapp. Most of the breakups happen when we fail to follow the right pattern. Currently am in a stable relationship but I would certainly love to elevate it to the next level. The fear of breaking up is high, and I frequently find myself getting worried over petty issues that I feel might end up ruining what we have build together with my partner. I take my relationship to the next stage I ought to value the anatomy of relationship, connect with my partner, and show commitment.

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Openness versus privacy is a topic of exceptional important when it comes to relationships. It is essential to maintain some space between us and others because every relationship requires some distance for it to grow. There is time for everything and everyone should be aware of this so as to avoid conflicts. Sometimes one feels that he/she requires some space, and during this period there is less physical contact. At times, I go straight to the point and open up to my partner when am not in the mood to get passionate. By being honest, we avoid conflicting and thus, our relationship continues to be stable. Failing to open up and opt to use nonverbal communication like walking way from my partner may end up causing problems that may ruin everything.

Chapter 9: Intimacy May 19, 2013

In a relationship, the main cause of pain and comfort is intimacy and distance between couples. Intimacy is a state of contact, association, close union, or acquaintance. Frequently women are more willing to share their feelings and thoughts in comparison to men. Gender is a vast determinant of the level of intimacy between couples. Majority of people does not feel comfortable sharing their intimate experiences. They view this as private information; therefore, it should only be disclosed to the right party. One factor that seems to influence intimacy is culture. When I disclose my relationship information to a friend, I end up feeling uncomfortable. I become more nervous when it reaches a point to get my friends’ feedback regarding the information that I have just shared. Whatever the comment he/she makes, I cannot judge them because I was the one who opted to share that private information with them.

Reasons for seeking who controls the private information are a significant topic to people in a relationship. Certain people feel that they have more rights to own certain information and believe that disclosing this information will end up making them vulnerable. Therefore, they view controlling this information as a way of protection from being vulnerable. What they seem to forget is that it is impossible to disclose information completely and to keep their matters private and confidential. Sharing private information with multiple people may end up causing issues in a relationship especially if that information compromises another person. After learning all this, I have come to see how valuable it is to keep private information discrete. I always learn to be cautious on what information I share and with who I share that information with. By doing this, I will be evading a lot of problems occur when private information is passed to the wrong party.

Chapter 10: Improving Communication Climate May 20, 2013

Some of communication that we make can create a positive climate, whereas others bring about the negative communication climate. Sometimes, in my relationship, I find myself uttering words that may ruin the relationship between my partner and me. The immense determinant of communication climate is the extent at which different people view themselves as a value in confirming or disconfirming a message. For example, I recently told my partner that I do not care. It brought serious problems to our relationship because it is believed that in order to love, you must learn to care. Therefore, saying that I do not care is a clear indication that the love that I felt is no longer there. If I sat down and choose my words wisely, I would have prevented the conflict that followed. Most of my friends lack patience and frequently they end up uttering disconfirming messages. Taking the time to think will allow one to find the right thing to say thus promoting the use of confirming message that would promote relationships.

It is essential to note that approaching someone with the right confirming words is likely to promote peace between the two parties. The choices of words that we make will either provoke or calm down the person that we are addressing. There are several types of disconfirming messages which include incongruous response, tangential response, ambiguous response, irrelevant response, impervious response, impersonal response, and interrupting response. After its formation, a climate manages to have a life of it own and grows in a self-perpetuating manner. Through this topic, I have learnt the importance of using soft answers when addressing my partner to avoid the wrath and anger. To create a supportive climate one should avoid attacking others and learn to interpret other people’s feelings.

Chapter 11: Managing Interpersonal Conflicts May 21, 2013

Conflicts are inevitable and sometimes my partner, and I fight over needs and demands that we both feel should be met. Though they are not always met, at the end, we come to an agreement with which we are both comfortable. When in a conflict I normally use dialogue technique and give my partner tie to talk. At some point, we come to a compromising agreement, whether we both emerge victorious or we partially lose. By all means, couples should use all styles to manage conflict. Settling of conflict in an amicable way protects a relationship from problems that may end up damaging it. Many factors in life trigger conflict, these factors are scarce resources, interference, incompatible goals, and interdependence. It is essential to note that not all conflicts that are harmful. Conflict is regarded as a factor that might help a couple if managed properly. By accommodating one’s wishes, the conflicts are settled peacefully. When the source of conflict surpasses the relationship, it is of note to fight for what you certainly want. Looking out, Looking in by Adler and Proctor is one book that people in relationships or aspiring to be in a relationship should read for them to maintain and improve their relationship with others.

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