november 26 2008

essay for my human relations class on what i have learned in the class
Psy-120 Human Relations
Cheryl Edely-Worford
CVCC Fall Semester
Final Paper/ Essay

Throughout my life, I have had difficulties with effective communication and interpersonal relationships. My ineffective ways of communicating have caused a great many difficulties in relations with others and myself. Relationships throughout my life have been for the most part chaotic and unhealthy. Because of my ineffective ways of relating to others I have lead life feeling misunderstood, lonely, hated, uncared about, and as if I didn’t belong. I was unable to hear criticism and have always felt I was no good and could not get anywhere in life. I have never believed I could accomplish anything including going to a college and taking a college course. I have always allowed my fear and anxiety about failing get in the way of my hopes and dreams for my life and myself.
By participating in the human relations class through Central Virginia Community College, I am learning to be more open when communicating in the relationships I currently have. I have also been able to see where I am making mistakes in my communication efforts and more able to recognize when I am using closed communication instead of open communication. I am more able to adjust my closedness in my communication and change it to be more open. I am learning to express myself in a less grandiose way than I have throughout my life.
I have been able to be more effective in my communications and have learned about actively listening more effectively. I learned about my listening skills. Even though I have always believed that I was a good listener, I realized that many of my listening skills were not very effective. I realized that this was something I needed to work on and continue to work on. I have a better understanding on why my listening skills need improvement and how to implement new things to help me listen actively and much more effectively than I have done in the past. Through the human relations class I gained insight into where I need to improve in order for me to become a more active listener and better communicator.
I have been able to see things from a better perspective. I am better able to recognize that my perceptions of things are not always how they are. I have also realized that my understanding and perception of what others say to me is not always actually what they are saying or what they are meaning for me to perceive. I am realizing that sometimes I perceive others words and actions in a negative light, instead of what they have intended to do, say, or mean.
I gained perspective into my personality type. I am an INFP (introvert, intuitive, feeler, and perceiver). I have an understanding a bit more of where I get my thinking. I gained some knowledge into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and ways to achieve the self-actualization that I have been constantly in search of since I was very young. I have realized that things do not happen over night and it will take time for me to achieve and accomplish self-actualization. This class has helped me pinpoint how my negative self talk and my lack of self-efficacy has made me who I was before taking this course. It has helped me to see that changing my negativity about the world and myself helps me to feel more optimistic about reaching my goals in life and becoming a better person.
I learned that life is not all black and white and that there are some different levels of gray mixed in. I have learned through chapter 4 that achieving happiness has more to it than I once believed before taking this course. I have to create my own happiness instead of sitting around believing that happiness will come to me. I now realize happiness is something I need to work for to achieve. I have had to find hobbies and things that I like to do just to do for myself rather than expecting these things to come to me.
I learned about self-fulfilling prophecies and how it affects the things in my life currently and how to change them to positive self-fulfilling prophecies. I have learned that I need to change my thoughts in order not to fall into negative self-fulfilling prophecies. My whole life I have heard many negative messages and have lived them out. I repeated these negative messages to myself on a daily basis for many years and had lived them out. I had never had any confidence in myself. I never believed I could accomplish or achieve anything. I continued to live out this self-fulfilling prophecy. Now since getting a better understanding of where I got these messages, I realize what they have done to me. I am now able to see how destructive to my life and myself my negative self-fulfilling prophecies have been.
This class has given me a small sense of acceptance. I have also gained a small bit of motivation, which I lack on a regular basis. It has helped me for the most part to stay focused and committed to improving myself. This class helped me recognize that I had positive aspects of myself that I did not see. It has also helped me see many of my strengths and not look at all my failures. I had never been able to accept myself and believe there was anything good about myself. Now I am able to see that there are some good things about me that have been there all along but I was blinded to them. I had tunnel vision and could not see behind my negative aspects and feelings of myself. It has helped me feel better about myself as a person of society and not feel so alone in a world full of people. It has taught me about why I feel so alone even when I am amongst other people.
Human relations class has helped me to try to identify my values and morals. I have a better understanding of where my views have come from and where they can go. I have learned more about where I get my messages from and how I relate them into my life currently. It also has helped me to pinpoint the things about myself that I do not like. It is helping me to view these things differently than I had before taking this course. I know have a better understanding of what I want to do with my life and how I can create the life I want. I have gained some self-confidence and now believe that there is a possibility for me to change. I do not have to be who I am or was for the rest of my life. I have learned some more about who I would like to be and how to begin to move in the direction of becoming that person.
Although I had been exposed to a lot of the material in this course previously through the mental health system and another psychology course I had taken over the summer, I now have a better understanding of the things I was not sure of or not fully recognizing as necessary ways of relating to others or myself in life. I had been through many groups from the time I was in grade school and many therapeutic treatments and have never really had a complete understanding of these many issues that we discussed throughout this course. Although I had been exposed specifically to DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) which included a module on interpersonal effectiveness and dealt with a lot of communication issues and tending to relationships, my understanding of the different ways of communicating and how it affects us all in life had never been as complete as it is now that I’ve taken this human relations course.

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