Knowledge is Power

I know I talk about this a lot, but I am a very shy person. I always have been. I think I became quite shy around the time I was bullied as a kid. Despite being bullied, I still can find the motivation to communicate with others when it is necessary. Motivation is an individual component of intercultural communication competence, the desire to make a commitment in relationships, to learn about the self and others, and to remain flexible (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 480, 2018). It is important to be motivated.

For instance, we need to be committed to the people we talk to. Those relationships are important, and they deserve us to be there for them. I believe that if we are in a relationship, we need to be all in. We cannot be half in a relationship. People are not door mats, they do not deserve to walked all over. I can speak from experience from people wanting trying to come and go as they please in my life. I learned to not accept it.

Not only do we need to be motivated, we need to learn about ourselves and others. Learning about each other helps us to understand each other. Most importantly, I think it is important to understand ourselves. Understanding ourselves allows us to be better communicators. Self knowledge gives us just that. Self-knowledge is the quality of knowing how one is perceived as a communicator as well as one’s strengths and weaknesses (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 483, 2018).

I think understanding how we are being perceived helps to improve our communication. I think that everyone can stand to make improvements. No one is perfect, there are people who are in their late careers are constantly learning ways and techniques to improve. We have the ability to learn whether we have a good tone of voice, whether we are informative, do we ramble, the list can go on. I think knowledge is important.

There is something always to be learned when it comes to communication. We can learn more about the people we are speaking with. Knowledge is the quality of knowing about oneself, others, and various aspects of communication (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 483, 2018). I think knowing we are communicating with allows us to be more aware on how we communicate. We are able to leave prejudices and stereotypes out of the conversation while we communicate. These things are important this day in age. I know for one if I know I am going to be communicating with a certain group of people, I like to do my research so I know who I am talking to. I do not want to offend anyone, but learning up on their culture I can insure the conversation goes smoothly.

 

References

Martin, J. A., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Rain doesn’t last forever

intercultural-conflict

I have always been a very shy and quiet person. Conflict makes being shy and quiet harder. Conflict is the interference between two or more interdependent individuals or groups of people who perceive incompatible goals, values, or expectations in attaining all odds (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 444, 2018). How we respond to conflict is what matters.

As I grew up and I started to see I was way to shy I started to handle situations better. I understand now that most of my conflict is cognitive conflict. Cognitive conflict  describes a situation in which two or more people become aware that their processes or perceptions are incongruent (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 449, 2018). I find it interesting that when we are younger, we really do not pay attention to our conflict. We just have it and most times we struggle with knowing how to deal with it.

I find that I am an emotional person. I have always been emotional, I wear my heart on my sleeve and that will probably never change. What I come to notice is that I start with my emotions. By being more expressive, I have a more dynamic style of dealing with conflict. A dynamic style uses an indirect style of communicating along with a more emotionally intense expressiveness (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 453, 2018). Once I have a chance to calm down, I fully understand that situation. Once I have understood the situation I am able to sit down and talk out the situation. I really like to talk the situation out, so that I can learn from it and grow.

I don’t really think that someone just has one type of style with dealing with conflict. I think sometimes it depends on who we are in conflict with and what the situation is. Different situations affect us differently. I know that I am more emotional with people I know, than with people I do not know. For Instance, if I am in conflict with co-workers, I use more a discussion style. Discussion style is combines the direct and emotional restrained approaches (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 453, 2018). Different situations and conflict cause for different styles to eliminating conflict. I remain more calm and composed when in the workplace. While my job is important to me, I am not as emotional about it. I tend to check my emotions at the door and stay composed. I like to be as professional as possible.

 

References

Martin, J. A., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Opposites Attract

In high school, everyone falls into lust. I think one of the hardest things as a teenager is the ability to try and be in relationships. Every girl wants their first boyfriend, their first date, and their first kiss. Girls grow up learning about fairy tales as Cinderella explains to us. It’s not all glass slippers and carriages.

Paula Abdul tells us that “Opposites attract”. That is exactly what intercultural relationships are relationships formed between individuals from different cultures (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 397, 2018). In high school I think females want to be liked so much that they lose sight of who they really are. There is a lot of pressure when it comes to relationships that you may see individuals who very little in common, but are from different cultures. High school puts pressure on kids as it is with school work, they add pressure by the need to have dates to attend school dances.

One thing I think is interesting is that we may be in different cultures, but we may be with someone who is similar to us. I myself am in a intercultural relationship. I was raised in the Catholic Church, my boyfriend of eight years was raised in a Pennecostal Church. The unique thing putting religion aside, we are quite similar. We have a love for very similar things.

The similarity principle is a principle of relational attraction suggesting that individuals tend to be attracted to people they perceive to be similar to themselves (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 405, 2018). I have always heard a saying that girls tend to be with someone similar to their fathers. I absolutely think this is true. I myself am with someone who is quite similar to my dad. We may have grown up in different communities, very different actually. We have a lot in common whether it would be racing, sports, and even the same taste in foods. All of which I have in common with my dad. We have bonded and created routines with each other over our favorite things. My dad is my favorite person in the whole word, it just seems so fitting that I would indeed end up with someone who is similar to him.

I now make memories with my boyfriend of those same things. I love talking to my dad about my adventures in the motorhome. I get to experience so many cool places and things. I love being able to share similar interests with my boyfriend. I think that it keeps us connected in the end.

 

References

Martin, J. A., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

May the Fourth be With you

star wars

I can remember years ago being what felt like the only person to have never seen a movie from the series Star Wars. People would call you un-American. I generally just brushed it off . A couple years ago I decided to check out these movies and see what they were about. Little did I know I would fall in love with one of the greatest series to hit the theaters.

I can honestly say that I became a fan of this popular movie series. I anxiously await that next movie to arrive. Right now we are all awaiting the newest movie to hit theaters this December. It will be the final movie of this original series. The one thing about Star Wars is the what is now labeled as Star Wars day. May 4th is considered Star wars day and is a huge day in poplar culture. Popular culture is referring to those cultural products that most share and know about, including television, music, videos, and popular magazines (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 365, 2018).

A day where people capture the essence of the day. Fans of the show dress up as their favorite characters. Individuals may even go as far as having, “May the Fourth be With You” parties to bring together individuals who have the same love for the series. Movies theaters are now starting to take part and allowing access to the certain movies around this time every year. Communities are have started having festivals to bring people together.

Culture Industries are industries that produce and sell popular culture as commodities (Martin & Nakayama, pg. 366, 2018). It was not until about five or six years ago that Star Wars was owned by The Disney Corporation. Disney is the number one corporation within cultural industries. They have bought multiple companies such as Lucasfilms that produced Star Wars. Disney has furthered Star Wars and has helped it increase sales each and every year a movie is produced. They release memorabilia that kids just constantly want to increase their collections of toys. They even have created video games allowing kids who are playing video games to play on their consoles.

Star Wars is well known with most people. Individuals may not have seen each and every movie, or seen a couple of them. It is definitely one series that has made a lot of money to Lucas Films and now The Disney Corporation. The product sells and it started years ago and even some parents have seen the original.

References

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Eyes Wide Open

Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation and discomfort due to the lack of familiar cues in the environment (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 340). I think we all come across culture shock at some point in our life. Whether we are traveling across the world, or people from other countries are coming to the United States. I think regardless we experience a sense of disorientation or discomfort.

I had a friend who married an American and moved here from Australia. I remember her expressing the huge culture shock she dealt with. When she came to America, she expressed that things were just different. A lot had to deal with the food. Here in America we call ketchup, ketchup. In Australia they call ketchup tomato sauce.

Her husband told me a story about when he went to visit her. He told me about his love for krispy kreme donuts. The one thing about it, donuts is they are considered a dessert. When he woke up one morning to get donuts, they weren’t even opened. The stores do not open until five in the evening.

My friend really had an adjustment period. Adjustment is the third phase and is where migrants learn the rules and customs of the new cultural context (Marking & Nakayama, 2018, p. 342). I know she had a hard time being here in America. It was hard to get use to our customs. The way we drive was hard to get use to. They drive on the left side of the road, we drive on the right. Getting use to our food, driving, and even just our holidays is hard. She became overwhelmed and uncomfortable. She eventually was able to push through it, and lives a happy comfortable life here in the United States.

References

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Expressions are loud

One thing I do not think that people truly realize is how loud our expressions are. As a more animated communicator I for one am very expressive when it comes to my nonverbal communication. Relational messages are the message we communicate about how we feel about one another (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 278). Not only are we communicating verbally, we communicate nonverbally. I have a lot of facial expressions. A lot of times the people I am communicating with think that I am mad because my nonverbal behavior shows me as angry when I don’t realize that I am.

When I communicate with someone I am close with, I use my nonverbal communication to express that. I may give them a hug. If I am talking directly with them, I may lean in closer towards them. This showing that I care about the other person. Some people I feel are withdrawn towards me. I find that sometimes people have a tendency to create more distance between me and look away from me.

I find that by having a different expression on my face than what I actually feel is in the realm of deception. Deception is the act of making someone believe what is not true (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 278). When I am speaking to others and I do not make eye contact, I give them the sense that I do not mean what I am saying. Not only being deceptive, I am also being rude to the receiver.

References

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

The Other Side of the Pond

When I graduated high school in 2006, I had the opportunity to travel overseas with my Spanish class. This was one a highlight of taking a foreign language in high school, the class trips. I traveled to England, France, Spain and Portugal. Just being in another country is a huge difference. You don’t realize how far away from home you are until you get there.

Communication style is the metamessage that contextualizes how listeners are expected to accept and interpret messages (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 232). I think that we all typically use verbal and nonverbal communication as we try to express what we want. I think for countries across the world, the easiest way to break a language barrier is to use nonverbal communication to full explain things. I remember in France they would point to what they thought we were saying to clarify, or even to explain what it is we were trying to understand.

One of the coolest things you come to learn is how many people are bilingual. Bilingual is the ability to speak two languages fluently or at least competently (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 250). I really noticed this in high traffic areas. It was not noticed as much in smaller cities. In Paris, France I found that they spoke some English. This allowing Americans to be able to comprehend and understand. I found the exact same in Madrid, Spain.

"Our nanny claims to speak five languages but we've been unable to verify it."

I think it is important to help the language barriers. Frustrations arise and escalate easily when people are not able to understand each other. I think communication no matter where we are is important to every day life. I think even in America we should want people to other languages to help tourists from other countries as they visit.

 

References

Cullum, L. (n.d.). Bilingual Cartoons. Retrieved October 26, 2019, from https://www.cartooncollections.com/directory/keyword/bilingual.

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

 

 

Who am I?

This summer I was given a promotion to help manage an outdoor pool. Pool being minimal, it was more like a miniature water park. We have a lot of camps come in through our facility. One of the camps that comes in is our link program for parents who work full time but their children are enrolled in our city schools. As I walk around the pool deck, I noticed a child whom I knew previously.

Back a few years ago I worked in a Montessori daycare. I worked with all age groups. There was a little girl who at that point identified as a girl. Identity is the concept of who we are (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 168). While she identified as a girl, she always hung out with the boys. She wanted to play sports and hang around in the mud.

Fast forward to now, the child now identifies as a boy. Gender identity is defined as the identification with the cultural norms of masculinity and femininity (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 184). Now this child and her parents do not have a problem with not identifying based on the cultural norms. The child is now what we consider transgender. Transgender is the identification with a gender that does not match one’s biological gender (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 186).

transgender

I see the child from time to time at my mom’s work. I see that the child uses the bathroom inside the office because they are not accepted. I see that the child has very little friends sitting with them at the lunch table. All of which affects the way they communicate with others. When we are not valued or appreciated, we typically end up becoming isolated and withdrawn. The children now need to address the child with different pronouns causing confusion between each other. The transgender child may be offended if called by the wrong pronoun.

References

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2018). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Four Scores and Seven Years Ago…

In the school year of 2001-2002 I was in the eight grade. Eight grade was a year of American history. One of the things we did learn about was political histories. Political histories are defined as written histories that focus on political events (Martin & Nakayama, 2013, p. 125). If my American history textbook doesn’t explain this, I don’t know what else does. We even experienced events that would become political histories such as the attacks on The World Trade Centers on September 11, 2011. It was not considered a political history at the time, but it is now. We as America lived through that day that would be labeled as a political history.

In spring 2002 I had the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. for my eight grade class trip. I was very nervous about going. I never did well when being separated from my parents. I really had a hard time with separation anxiety. Our trip last about 5 days. When we started we would go the Gettysburg, PA to the see The Battlefield of Gettysburg. That was a really cool thing to see. Washington, D.C. the best part of the entire trip and the most educational.

Before going on the trip, the eight grade classes learn a lot about national histories. National histories(Martin & Nakayama, 2013, p. 127) are defined as a body of knowledge based on pasts events that influences a country’s development. My history teacher made us memorize the preamble to The Constitution and recite it in front of the class. Along with memorizing and reciting that, we also had to do the same for The Gettysburg Address. One of my favorite parts of my trip was being able to see monuments for some of the most influential presidents we had for our country. I remember turning my back to the Lincoln Memorial and reciting the Gettysburg address.

gettysburgs address

References

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2013). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Chinese New Year

A few years ago I had to ability to take a communication across cultures class. It was one of my most interesting classes I have taken throughout my college career. It is understood that culture is learned patterns of behavior and attitudes shared by a group of people (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 84). As part of our class we had an assignment where we would have to communicate with a group of students from China. Our professor gave us a packet full of questions we could use to ask the students from China. We had the opportunity to be able to come up with our own questions to ask them as well.

It was hard to find time to communicate with the other students due to the time difference and how busy our schedules were. The main purpose of this assignment was to dive farther into cultural values. Cultural values is defined as the worldview of a cultural group and its set of deeply held beliefs (Martin & Nakayama, 2018, p. 95). China celebrates  the Chinese New Year also known as Spring Festival in January. Just like Christmas for Western countries, it is a time to be with family. Families will decorate about a half month before the actual holiday. Decorations are everything red such as red lanterns, making home the main focus of the festival.

On New Years Eve the family gets together for a family reunion. The reunion is then celebrated with a meal of meat, vegetables, seafood, and dumplings. Children are given money in red envelopes from the time they are born until they are teenagers. I learned that the red envelopes are meant to dispell evil spirits. Most importantly I learned that the beliefs are shared by the people of China.

CNY

References

Martin, J. N., & Nakayama, T. K. (2019). Intercultural Communication in Contexts (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.