Communication

     I have always made the extra effort to express my ideas and opinions as clearly as
I possibly can; idealistically hoping that most people can understand and
embrace them. However, I have just realized, after reading Chapter 6-8 of my
Looking In Looking Out textbook, that I have yet to develop my full potential as
a communicator. Before completing this reading assignment, I did not fully
understand a few critical communication concepts and principles, such as the
ambiguities of non-verbal human behavior, kinesics, proxemics and the process of
self-disclosure, among others.

But, most likely, from now on, I will be able to engage in different types of conversations that
can be more rewarding for my interlocutors and myself. As the years have gone by, I have been noticing that I
increasingly listen more carefully not only to what people say and how they say
it, but also, to what people do not say, knowingly or not. May be I have been
growing older and/or have been learning from my personal experiences. Since,
there have been occasions in which my limited ability to read the non-verbal
content of what people were "telling" me, did not allow me to achieve what I
had initially intended. For instance, a few years ago, when I was beginning to
sale life insurance on a part time basis, I lost numerous sales because I could
not always discern what the client’s non-verbal behavior was signaling or
showing me throughout the sale’s presentation. In time, by trial and error, I
learned to perceive and react more appropriately, to what my prospective clients
were communicating non-verbally. However, If I had understood, at that time,
what I understand now about the subtleties of kinesics and proxemics, I probably
would have been a more effective and prosperous salesman. Likewise, the process
and management of self-disclosure explained in the textbook has taught a great
deal not only about the subject matter, but also, most importantly, about
myself. Since I was a child, I have been considered a rather extroverted
individual who exercises a high level of self-disclosure with most people.

Generally, my experience sharing personal and sometimes intimate information
with my relatives and my friends has been rewarding, because they have always
seen me as someone who is honest, reliable and trustworthy. Notwithstanding, I
have been in relationships in which I have disclosed too much information about
myself, perhaps too soon, and its results have been detrimental and/or
counterproductive. Now, I realize that in those instances I did not follow the
appropriate guidelines to choose the adequate level of self-disclosure, as
explained in chapter 8 of the textbook. In second thoughts... I have just
decided no to resale my Looking In Looking out textbook. I am sure that I will
need to refer back to it many times in the future.