Write a 3 pages paper on body image and identity. Another important issue that factors in good interpersonal communication is self-awareness, which is, how well the person knows their own self. The statement that she makes about herself, “If only I weren’t so fat, I could find clothes to fit me as normal people do”, shows how she considers herself abnormal. Her experiences as an overweight child and the messages that she has received from society have affected her temperament and have made her a shy person further deterring her from building good interpersonal skills.
Reece seems to also have a hidden fear of facing and expressing her feelings, this fear makes her shut out her friends during the ‘fat days’ when she is striving to attain her perceived ideal looks. Instead of making conversation she says “Leave me alone” and leaves the table leaving her friends behind. This prevents her from accepting professional advice or even encouragement and comfort from her friends.
In order to improve her interpersonal communication, Reece should focus on her self-concept. By developing a positive self-concept her communication will also improve. According to William Schutz, communication fulfills the three basic needs of inclusion, control, and affection. By being aware of her needs, Reece can open up to her friends instead of shutting them out and thus open a channel of communication, which can lead to better self-awareness and correct her skewed body image. This will also take care of the hidden issue of facing her feelings and her fear of expression.
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Reece sends negative messages to herself at every turn which further strengthens her unhealthy self-concept. When she looks in the mirror, her mind throws a message at her saying “you are fat, fat, fat”. These messages contain ideas about her perceived unattractiveness and discriminating society. These messages are probably the echo of her previous experiences and thoughts that were passed on to her through media and influential people in her life. Reece can make a conscious effort to send positive images to herself. This exercise will aid the unlearning of ideas she has already woven into her personality and make it easier to transform her body image and identity, and thus improve her communication. In order to do this, she should also consciously isolate distorted feedback that the other person sends during conversations. By doing so Reece can prevent further damage to her body image. This means that she should be aware of the responses from people and be able to determine which ones will influence her and which ones she should ignore while trying to understand in which way she has stimulated that kind of response. Both verbal and non-verbal communication plays a role in how others respond to us. It is important to consider posture, gestures and facial expressions while evaluating responses.
The effective solution to interpersonal communication involves two persons. There are two major concerns in interpersonal communication, self-awareness, which we already discussed, and knowledge of the other person we are communicating with. When there is a higher degree of uncertainty about the responses to be expected from the other person the communication is not open and there is very little self-disclosure. .