Consensual Families

This past weekend, I was discussing with my parents that I wished for someone to stay home and watch my brother, who has autism, when we go to move me out to my new place of residence. It had been bothering for some time because I have always had a hard time speaking my opinion on subjects with my parents…and just for this reason. My parents had encouraged me to speak my mind about how I thought we should do it. I felt that my mother could stay home with my brother and my dad could come with me to help me get stuff into the house, being that my mom for the most part would not have been able to help much anyway, or not as much as my dad at least. However, when I stated my opinion, I was immediately faced with opposition. My mom insisted that her and my brother go as well, disregarding my opinion. My mother and I got into a little conflict, then I was later on confronted by my father. He told me that I need to just let go of the idea and let my mother and brother come, regardless if it wasn’t the best situation. He explained that I need to do this so there is not tension and it is an “enjoyable experience for everyone”, which I don’t think it will be if they were to come. I realized after reading this chapter that my family is a consensual family, one that is characterized by high levels of conformity and conversation orientation (McCornack 336). My parents expected me to speak my mind, but afterwards regardless of how I felt, they wanted me to do just as they wished. My dad exhibiting that I need to just let my mother and brother come to make sure there are no issues shows that he wishes to keep unity with this obedience.This past weekend, I was discussing with my parents that I wished for someone to stay home and watch my brother, who has autism, when we go to move me out to my new place of residence. It had been bothering for some time because I have always had a hard time speaking my opinion on subjects with my parents…and just for this reason. My parents had encouraged me to speak my mind about how I thought we should do it. I felt that my mother could stay home with my brother and my dad could come with me to help me get stuff into the house, being that my mom for the most part would not have been able to help much anyway, or not as much as my dad at least. However, when I stated my opinion, I was immediately faced with opposition. My mom insisted that her and my brother go as well, disregarding my opinion. My mother and I got into a little conflict, then I was later on confronted by my father. He told me that I need to just let go of the idea and let my mother and brother come, regardless if it wasn’t the best situation. He explained that I need to do this so there is not tension and it is an “enjoyable experience for everyone”, which I don’t think it will be if they were to come. I realized after reading this chapter that my family is a consensual family, one that is characterized by high levels of conformity and conversation orientation (McCornack 336). My parents expected me to speak my mind, but afterwards regardless of how I felt, they wanted me to do just as they wished. My dad exhibiting that I need to just let my mother and brother come to make sure there are no issues shows that he wishes to keep unity with this obedience.

This image reminds me of a consensual family because the child seems to be confronted about a situation where he is being forced to adhere to their rules and opinions. 

References:

McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

Agentic Friendships

At the past university I attended, in my biology class I had a group of friendships that I only noticed real interaction with during the class period and when we had big assignments due. We never really talked outside of class other than the occasional “hello” if we saw each other while walking around on campus. During class period, we were friendly with each other and never had any conflicts, but it was almost mechanical. We would show up to class, whip out our laptops and resources, hunker down together, and do the work. When class concluded, we all packed up, said our goodbyes, and went our separate ways. After reading chapter 12, I realized now that we had an agentic friendship, a friendship in which the parties are primarily focused on helping each other achieve a practical goal (McCornack 360). In our case, a good grade in the class. In our friendship, our main objective was to work together to achieve our goal of getting a good grade in the class. None of us had really known more about each other than our names and the grade we were in. We never really interacted outside of the classroom unless we really needed to come together to finish something. However, even at that, most of the time we would try to get the work done ourselves, so we didn’t have to do this. I argue that we all only really valued our time together if it was for the purpose of getting assignments and labs done, not if we are available and have no other priorities at the moment like the textbook states. When the class concluded at the end of the semester, we all gave our farewells and the friendly “I’ll see you later, man!”, however, we all really knew this was the last time we would interact with each other (for the most part).

Image result for students working together in the classroom

This picture reminds me of an agentic friendship because the students are just working together to achieve a common goal, they do not seem to have any strong emotions towards each other. 

References:

McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

Accommodating

Looking at apartments and places to live is never easy, especially when the participants are college students who are going to have to share a space, figure out how to pay for it, and may have different needs or wants. As I was discussing with my future roommates and looking at places to live next year, I noticed that we were all abandoning our own goals and acquiesces to consider the desires of others in the group. We were all practicing accommodation. As a way of handling conflict, we abandoned our own personal goals to take in the consideration of others and brainstormed ideas that will work for the whole group (McCornack 263). As we brainstormed, we all considered how many rooms and baths we wanted, how rent would be divided, how far away from campus we wished to be, and also talked about how we are all paying for food, furniture, etc. Instead of one of us wanting one thing and sticking to it, for example, if someone wanted to be right next to campus rather than a few miles away, we all discussed our viewpoints and decided a middle ground and the most feasible arrangements. We were able to get a great idea of what we all wished to have in our future living quarters and what price worked for us. It made me wonder, how were we able to work so well together, when I knew that this situation would have brought up many issues with others. From our textbook, I learned that the reason it worked so well was because of how strong our relationship was with each other. We had all known each other since 1stgrade, and we knew each other well, so it made it easier to discuss and decide big decisions like this. This situation showed me that accommodation is a very viable tool in conflicts and discussions.

Image result for accommodation communication

This picture reminded me of accommodation because you are sharing the things that are off importance in a conflict or discussion with each other, rather than having the conflict be one sided and dominated by one person’s interest. 

References:

McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

Willers, JR. “Communication Accommodation Theory.” Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FANH7SiQvgk

Cooperative Principle, or the Lack of.

This past weekend, my friends and I met up to hangout out in our friend’s basement like we always use to do. After catching up quickly with each other, we started to discuss current things, good or bad, going on in our lives. Everybody had been going about discussing their dilemmas, discussing with each other problems and solutions, giving advice or support if needed, except one of my friends sat their quietly, just listening to everybody, almost as if he was waiting for something, or the right time to bring something up. Being polite and being not to bothered by the situation I was going to discuss, far less severe than some of my friends, I waited until they were all done. When it was my turn, I spoke up discussing how I have been quite stressed recently due to the fact that I am taking 17 credit hours at Germanna during a 10-week session., in hopes to get to the college I am transferring too faster. I had also begun to discuss how I was jealous of them for not having to take classes this summer, and how they don’t have to worry about many deadlines, assignments, or grades – if any at all. I was opening up to them, explaining that I wish I had had the great first year experience at my previous school, where I could happily return in the fall – but that was not the case. As my friends began to reassure me, discussing how everything will be okay and that I have everything under control and that I will be happier when I get to my future school, my friend that was quietly sitting there suddenly burst. “ALL RIGHT GUYS, IM SORRY, BUT THIS CAN NOT WAIT” he blurted out. As I sat there confused, giving my friend a glance of confusion just as he did the same towards me, my friend went on to explain how he had gotten these new rims for his car, and he was just so excited for him, that he could not wait any longer to tell us (as if he didn’t have any time before). Instead of responding with support like we had all given each other, he proceeded to go on to brag about his new rims. This reminded me of the opposite of the cooperative principle, the idea that we should make our verbal messages as informative, honest, relevant, and clear (McCornack 205). My friend had completely ignored this principle and went on to interrupt me about his purchase, totally contrasting my other friends who listened and supported me to make me feel better. 

Image result for cooperative principle

This picture reminded me of the proper way that the cooperative principle works, where the person that you are communicating with works with you and supports you to help solve your problem.

References:

Harding, Tim. “The Gricean Maxims.” The Logical Place, WordPress. https://yandoo.wordpress.com/tag/cooperative-principle/

McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

Outgroupers.

The other day, as I was hanging out with some of my friends that I had played lacrosse with and against in high school and my first year in college, I recommended that we invite our friend Tim along. However, when I presented this idea, my friends seemed very opposed to the idea. Tim was not an athlete in high school, let alone college, but he was a really good friend of ours. My friends went on to explain that for the day, we should only be hanging out with people who played sports, because “we could relate to each other better.” This was a huge surprise to me, being that Tim had always been a close friend of ours that we normally involved in group activities. Somehow, now that we had all gone on to different schools and participated in different activities at school, there was a division amongst us. I was very confused and perplexed by the situation, and could not wrap my head around why we couldn’t just invite Tim. Tim was just like us, he was the same age, grew up in the same area we did, went to local schools, and shared many other interest with us. I thought to myself, did something happen between them? Did something change with Tim’s personality that caused him to be seen different than us? However, just because he was not an athlete, my friends insisted that he shouldn’t come. I realize now that Tim had become an “outgrouper”, someone who was considered fundamentally different from us because of their interest, affiliations, or backgrounds (McCornack 79). Just because Tim hadn’t played a sport throughout high school or college, he was not in our ingroup anymore. So, since he was not in my friends ingroup anymore, they felt that they didn’t need to give him attention or time anymore, or at least as much. 

For me, it was a learning experience to not treat people differently because of the way they go about their daily life. People should be judged on their own morals and values, rather than their interest and background.

Image result for outgroup vs ingroup

This pictures reminds me of how creating outgroups, separating oneself from somebody who actually isn’t as different as they may seem, can really hurt someones feelings.

References:

McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

“In-group/Out-group.” University of Texas, Ethics Unwrapped. https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/glossary/in-groupout-group