In chapter Exhaling: Expressing and Disclosing, Stewart (2012) highlight the benefits of openness that are also described as self-disclosure. I have come to know that my incapability to sometimes exercise openness may have come from the fear of not being understood in a conversation which I most of the time ends badly. To be open-minded with another person in a conversation, one needs to be knowledgeable of whom they are, accepting oneself and also accepting the risk to have confidence that others have acknowledged you.
Sometimes I find myself scared of speaking out various opinions due to fear of blame and also avoidance of being rejected by my peers. However, when one fails to exude confidence, one becomes intimidated by the fear of rejection and it can sometimes lead to a lack of trust of people with thoughts which is a setback to building interpersonal relationships. I have tried to accommodate others in my deep thoughts, but sometimes it is not an easy task.
This course has made me acknowledge how language can influence interpersonal interactions and how interpersonal interactions can control or limit language utilization in various contexts. Moreover, I have learned the various communicative challenges one can encounter as when in a diverse group. Burley-Allen (1995) offers good speaking skills rules which guide a conversation in which one is advised not to interrupt, ask or change the subject of conversation unless it is changed in a homogenous way. I have learned to become a compassionate speaker over the past few years.
During my communications with others, I tend to withhold vital information after speaking little of the same. Initially, I thought it was a way in which I make others engage in thought as I speak. However, I realized the fear of rejection mostly compels it. Stewart (2012) delves into some of the active self-disclosure features. The one that captured my attention was in the early aspects of a relationship; openness has to be reciprocated. In times with my peers, there have been situations where comprehensive communication is needed but I end up not performing as expected. Regardless, I always want others to understand my state an empathize with me even without conveying my situation. Emphatically, it is connected with my fear of being ridiculed or misunderstood. However, with this kind of shut down communicative approach, it is impossible to enhance interpersonal correspondence relations. Stewart (2012) critically explains that healthy attitudes and connections are made on openness. It sometimes affects my spiritual nourishment and I have always sought God in prayers to help me connect with my peers and also to understand more of how to live a Godly lifestyle.
As I continue to improve my personal interpersonal relations at home, I habitually get emotional when listening to others talk. I know I should take care of my emotions because sometimes they cloud my judgment. I focus on what I say and what others say to become an active listener. Listening can prove to be quite challenging but very gratifying (Burley-Allen, 1995). I will incline myself to the message from Proverbs 2:2 to gain wisdom using my ears and utilize it through understanding.
Burley-Allen, M. (1995). Listening: The forgotten skill: A self-teaching guide (2nd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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