An Introduction to the Interpersonal Communication Goal

In this writing assignment we are to choose a communication goal that we have learned about during the semester in this class. This goal is one that should be breakthrough in our interpersonal communication skills and should also be concrete. We should pick this goal with the thought in mind that we should have an internal commitment towards this goal. There is a goal, that ever since we went over it I thought that I could improve on. This was something that I realized I wasn’t controlling in my communication, so this is the reason for me choosing this particular goal.

This goal of mine is Managing Your Emotions that is part of the Conflict Management Skills. I realize that there are many different steps to this subject/goal, but I think that I could improve probably on all the areas, even if I’m doing well in some areas, there is always room for more development. This would definitely be a breakthrough for me because when I’m communicating and I get in a heated conversation, I tend to get really into it.

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I do realize when this is happening, but I never really knew how to control it. I would try certain things that I thought would help, but they never work. After going over this skill in class and reading about it in the book, I can now approach the problem in a different manner. Hopefully this will solve my communication gap. I’ll basically go over each of the section and describe some things that I could improve, since this is such a broad topic with many steps involved.

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One thing I’ll do in this report (I guess as a little game) is I will give my self a “point” every time I believe that I have the skill at hand and then lose a point every time I think I need improvement on the skill. In the end I’ll see if I have positive points or negative points. In my mind if I have negative points I still need work in the overall Managing Your Emotions skill and vice versa if I have positive (although I know that there is always reasons to perfect the skill no matter how good you are at it. The first step in this process is being aware that you are becoming angry and emotionally volatile. This is probably the first thing I realize, and I do realize this. This part is not the problem for me. When I’m becoming angry or emotionally I will usually tell the person or persons that I am. That I believe is my warning to them, I guess I’m hoping that they will not engage the subject more if I tell them this. The book says that if you don’t realize your angry or your emotions are getting the best of you that you will say things you don’t want to and the person or persons you are talking to will be less likely to reciprocate, which will only escalate the conflict spiral. Like I mentioned before, I do realize that I’m “loosing it” and I usually mention it, so I believe that I have this part down. Another thing I will do is if I feel like I’m getting really angry I will stop the conversation all together. I’ll do this because sometimes when I’m angry I just don’t want to talk at all. This is usuall y affective for me, but probably not for the other since some people will want to talk it out. All in all, I think I have this skill down. (+1) Another skill that ties into the previous skill is that of Understanding why you are becoming angry. The text says there are two main reasons why people get angry.

The first is that you don’t feel like you have been treated fairly and the other is you feel entitled to something that you are being denied. Just thinking of the times that I’ve gotten mad, the majority of the time it’s when somebody won’t listen to what I have to say. So I realize what makes me mad, but when I’m actually angry I don’t realize it until after it’s all said and done. This is definitely an area that I would need improvement on. If I truly understand the problem and why I’m getting angry then I can really start to break down the conflict at hand and try to control it. (-1) The next step takes the problem to the next step. This section is about talking about the conflict by setting a mutually acceptable time and place to discuss the conflict. This I know I don’t do! I don’t know if the conflicts I am part of get to the point where I really have to sit down and talk about it or just don’t even think of this option. I should know about this because this is exactly how my father would approach something. I’m the type of person that I have to resolve the problem when it happens or I’m not going to be satisfied. I don’t know why, I just don’t like leaving the conflict without actually resolving it. If I did say that I would talk about the situation at a later date it would seriously bother me. I do realize now that by me doing this it might increase the level of the conflict, especially if the other person doesn’t want to talk about it or try to resolve it then and there. Just like the last section….this is one I need work and improvement on.

I realize that in times I just need to let the conflict go until all the emotion and anger is blown over and we can talk like “civilized” people. (-1) Well, the next section is basically an extension of the previous skill. This section is planning Your Message when talking about the conflict. As I mentioned before, I don’t like to talk about the problem at a later date so I’ve honestly never done this step. Even when I try to resolve the problem when the conflict is still at hand I still don’t plan a message. Usually I just blurt something out and hope it will help. You and I both know that this doesn’t help! If I’m going to try and discuss the problem at a later date then I’m going to concentrate on this section too, which will only help out. I believe this is a very good step because you have a planned message that you may or may not have said in your mind over and over. This message should have not any attacks on the other person, it should explain how you fell and what you would like done to solve the problem at hand. If the time comes where I do sit down and discuss a conflict, I will definitely use this skill. (-1) This next section is about whether or not you should express your anger during the conversation. The book doesn’t say that you shouldn’t express your anger just you should be careful how you do so. Sometimes if I’m talking about something that I felt really angry about I’ll let my emotions get the best of me. It all depends how the conversation goes, or sometimes I’ll just listen and not say much.

This is definitely a great area to improve on. I think that this step can really make or break the conclusion of a conflict. If you keep your cool rather than lashing out at the person the conflict can be solved in a good manner. There are some points where I do believe that you have to show a little anger just to make the other person realize that you in fact were angry, but it’s definitely not in your best interest to attack that person and put them down. As I mentioned before, I do believe that sometimes I might let my anger get the best of me, but on the other hand I do have a firm grip on it. There is definitely room for improvement in this area, but overall I’m good on this section. (+1) Breathing is the next section, and is very important sometimes when you are angry. The text says that the simplest yet most effective way to avoid overheating is to breathe. This I know I do!! There are times where I do get pretty flustered and I can feel it increasing, and during those times I will step back and take a deep breath. And it actually does help me. Sometimes I will cool me down for a while or maybe just a little while, which in that case I’ll have to take several breaths. I have noticed that sometimes when I breathe it’s a very heavy breath in which the other person can hear.

The book also says if you are going to take a deep breath make it unnoticeable. I know exactly why the book says this! When I do take that heavy breath, the other person will pick up on it and go off on a tangent just because I took that breath. In this section the area where I need to improve is definitely the unnoticeable breath. I just need to keep the heavy breathing to myself so not to interrupt the conversation at hand. (+1) The next section is very important during the conversation and that is Monitor Nonverbal Messages. This section is really about practicing good nonverbal skills. If you practice this and keep up with it you can keep the climate of the relationship at hand so it doesn’t get out of hand. I’m usually pretty good about eye contact with the person. Although nobody has come out and said, “You aren’t giving me full attention and eye contact” so I can only assume from what I feel that I do. This section is pretty tough because times I can be really good at this and at other times I can’t. If I’m really heated up I probably won’t just because I’m angry and I’m not thinking about it. I think that in order for me to get this area down I really need to analyze myself and realize what I’m doing.

Until I do this I’ll never really know what I’m doing in this section, and this section is very important. (-1) Avoiding personal attacks, and emotional overstatement is the next section and a very important one at that. This section can really set the tone of the conflict if done right or not done right. This is probably the most obvious area not to do. Everybody knows that if you attack somebody they are going to give it right back to you and at that point the conflict has reached a new high, a place you don’t want to be at. I will resort not to attack the other person and I’m usually very good at it. If I’m attacked sometimes it’s hard for me not to throw something back at them. I have to bite my tongue sometimes just to keep from doing it, because it’s so easy to say something hurtful at that point. I’m sure most people will feel the same. Most times I will try to be the “bigger person” and not say anything. I’m definitely not saying that I have this area down, because if I step back and think of times where something like this happened, I definitely battled the other person more times than none. There is definite improvement in this area ahead. If the other steps are done correctly than this will be easier to control because the anger level will be lower. (-1) Self-talk is the final step to this process. I know that I do this because every time I want to say this think if what I’m about to say will escalate the conflict or not. I’m pretty self-conscience what I’m about to say or what might happen if a certain thing happens.

I like to be able to draw things out in my head. I do this so in order not to be surprised when certain things happen, which gives me a better grasp on the situation. This is a good step and it definitely helps me out more often than none. (+1) Again, my goal is to improve on managing my emotions better, but in order for me to do so I need to have a better grasp on all the areas that lie within this goal. I have explained a little about how I feel I do on these steps and what I could possibly improve on. I also gave myself a point if I thought I have the step more mastered than not and vice versa if I didn’t. The outcome was (-1). This just lets me know that I need to definitely improve on more areas. Although I may have some areas at hand it takes all the steps working side by side to truly manage your emotions. A step can’t be skipped just because I did well in the step before. In order for me to accomplish this I’m going to definitely be more aware of what I’m doing. I might need to step back from the situation and look at what’s going on and what I’m doing. A good way also for me is for people to point things out that I’m doing which I probably wouldn’t notice.

This would probably be the most effective way, because when we are in conversation there are things that I’ll do but I won’t notice because my focus is other places. This is all very important because I would really like to get this down. I believe that if I practice this and use it I can lower the amount of heated battles and conflicts. Since this is a serious matter to me I don’t just want anybody pointing these things out to me. I’d like somebody that I can trust and that knows me pretty well. I say this because somebody who knows me well will know how I approach things and my characteristics when I do certain things. Some people will do things that may look like it’s something wrong when it’s not because it’s just the way they go about doing it. Reasons like that is why I choose somebody that knows me. The best person I could think of would be my father. He is very good on the nature of interpersonal communication, since he needs to imply this in his line of work. When he would point something out to me I would feel like he’s not pointing out faults but trying to help me achieve this goal. This is something that will probably take time to accomplish; it’s definitely an area for me that can be rushed.

If I rush towards this goal, areas of improvement might get missed. I believe that I can definitely achieve this goal, especially since I’m very serious about doing so. In order for me to look back and see if I’ve improved is to do exactly what I’m doing in this paper with the points. What would do is go through each of the steps and list out, whether it is in my head or written out, things do good and things I need improvement on and give myself a point based on what I list out. The more positive points I get the better I’m doing. And I know that just because I get more positive points it’s not an excuse to stop practicing, I just know that I’m doing better. To basically sum everything up, this goal I have picked is one that I realize that I need improvement and is definitely an internal commitment for me. I feel strongly that if I can accomplish or at least be better at this that my conflicts and heated conversations will diminish. They will not disappear because there is always conflict, but the level of the conflicts won’t be as great and they can most likely be solved more efficiently and easier. Time will tell if I truly achieve this goal, but this is one I’m not going to give up on because I can picture what the outcome would be if I did achieve, and it looks good.

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An Introduction to the Interpersonal Communication Goal. (2022, Sep 17). Retrieved from

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