Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Journal 13

In the beginning, when the project was first assigned, my group was all really enthusiastic about the project. We all wanted to get A’s on everything and not let eachother down by always being on time to group meetings with all of our work done. As time went on, though, we became less and less enthusiastic. We just wanted the project to be over with. We still came with work completed, but with less enthusiasm.

As a group, we agreed the project had been dragged on for such a long time. We were so tired of reading about fish in India. We were even joking around that we were starting to break one of the rules on our constitution: “always come to group meetings with a smile on your face”.

We found the pros of group work was that we could bounce ideas off of each other. But groups work was also really frustrating at times. Especially when we were writing the paper. It was hard to combine our ideas, and that made the process slower. It was extremely frustrating.

Journal 12

This was the first Thanksgiving I have been gluten free for. My Mom, concerned I would get upset by the fact that I couldn’t eat all of the pies, stuffings, and gravies associated with the holiday, decided to cook our entire holiday feast gluten free. I appreciated this so much. Usually to save time, my mom buys pre made pie crust, and makes the filling. But she had to make the pie crust this year for it to be gluten free. No one had a problem with this, even my brother, who had a variety of food allergies himself, sympathized with me. There was one person though, who found a reason to protest: my sister. She and I have had a rocky relationship for years. Up until Thanksgiving Day, we had not spoken since June. So naturally, she had a problem with changing something for my benefit. She argued that none of it would taste the same (which 90% of it did) and that it was changing tradition.

In this conflict, I was the avoider that I always am. I figured that it wasn’t my decision to make everything gluten free and I didn’t choose to have a gluten intolerance (trust me, I’d much rather not), so my sister shouldn’t be mad at me. So every time she made a jab at, “I wasn’t involved in the cooking this year; there is a lack of gluten”, I simply rolled my eyes and kept my comments to myself. And so did the rest of my family. And this was the day that my sister decided to end her coercive commitment.

Journal 11

When I negotiate, clearly I want to leave the table with everything I wanted to begin with, but I have to think about what I would be willing to give up. If I don’t want to take the train home for winter break, and my parents can’t pick me up, it’s absolutely fine that I have to stay two extra days so a friends can drive me. I still achieve my main goal, just a little bit later than expected.

I learned my negotiation styles from my family. I am the youngest of four children, and admittedly, that made me a little selfish. All parents like to baby their youngest, and growing up, there was rarely a time when I didn’t get the last cookie from the box because I was the youngest and it was only fair. This has shaped my negotiation style because if I truly want something, I will try as hard as I can to get my point across and get my way. It may make negotiation longer, but in the end I usually get my goal achieved. And I think as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned how not to be so selfish, because now, I am willing to give up certain things in order to get my goal achieved.

Journal 10

I used to think that I was passive aggressive more than anything when handling conflicts, but now I have learned I am more of an avoider. I would avoid talking directly about the problem and try to show people what I was talking about instead. I thought this was being passive aggressive, but now I have realized I am being more of an avoider by doing this. I don’t want to talk about the conflict; I just want it to go away.

Journal 9

When in a group, if you have a dissenting opinion, it is easier to go along with what everyone else thinks than to speak up. To speak your mind means to say that you think what the majority of the group says is wrong. This makes speaking your mind a difficult thing to do. So, many people end up just going along with the rest of the group when they are doing terrible things because they are afraid to speak up. They could be afraid of being made fun of. Or worse, they could be afraid the group might turn against them.

Journal 8

When my conflicts finally end, I become an avoider. I usually get fed up with the conflict in general and don’t care about the outcome anymore. I’d like to say for my own sake that I don’t give in, but I withdraw. As for the larger conflicts in the world, a third party usually has to step in and tell them what to do to end it. this is because their conflicts have been going on for so long, they usually don’t know what they’re fighting for anymore at that point.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Journal 12

It's so hard to objectively think of the way I acted in this conflict. However, from thinking over it, I can see a lot of faults that I need to work on. The particular conflict I am thinking of is between me and two good friends at Juniata. I think that the root of the problem is that my one friend is just a little different than me and my other friend (we'll call him Joe), and we don't quite understand why he acts the way he does sometimes. I secretly realize this and want to cut him some slack because he just operates a little differently than us, and doesn't realize that it sometimes hurts our feelings. My other friend (we'll call her Sara) is sensitive, and the carelessness and seeming coldness of Joe toward her really gets to her. So Sara is creating all kinds of intention inventions and truth assumptions about Joe's actions, and always seems to find the worst possible way to explain his actions. However, Sara hasn't really been receptive to my excuses for Joe, and continues to think that Joe has something against her. Although, I do tend to agree that Joe is a bit selfish and doesn't think about how his actions or reactions affect others. So I find myself caught up in talking to Sara about Joe and agreeing that he is kinda rude and mean and doesn't mean well.
Taking a step back and looking at this situation, I find that there is a lack of communication and an abundance of miscommunication. Each person involved in this conflict obviously has very different expectations of what a good friend is, and in order to resolve it, those expectations have to be communicated and understood by each person. I think there is also a large lack in trust involved.
I'm not proud of my lack of responsibility and care in this conflict. I am doing my classic avoiding strategy by thinking that the conflict is just between Joe and Sara, and that if they want to make it better, they have to take care of it themselves. But I am both of their friends and I am kind of in the middle of the conflict, since I get along better with both Sara and Joe than Sara gets along with Joe. I do feel some obligation to try to make things a little less hostile, but Sara has her mind made, and Joe will not open up to me about it. I have discovered that my style of avoidance hasn't always worked out for the best, and that at some point, I really need to gain the courage to be a part of conflict and use it to achieve good things.
Sometimes I think that the best option for Joe and Sara is for them to reduce contact, and not try to be good friends. Sometimes that's just the way things work- not everyone can be friends. However, that would put me in an awkward situation where I basically would have to pick a friend and go with that one, and loose friendship with the other person.
I think things will get better soon, because we are all going abroad next semester, so that will give Joe and Sara some time away from each other. When we all come back next fall, I think we will all get along a little bit better. I can help but think that this is just a resolution that will lead to other conflicts in the future.