By studying the importance of communication and behaviors in our lives, I realize that many aspects of communication affect interpersonal situations and relationships. I am someone who has parts of my character that result due to different forms of the communicative experience. I will look at self-concept issues, interpersonal and social interactions to examine the relationship with my mother. In this class I have learned that communication is everywhere and constant in our lives and we develop interpersonal situations and a self through all of this.
What is most relevant to my mother is how communication strongly forms her identity, and this affects our interpersonal situations at certain times. We form concepts of ourselves, as we develop who we are through communicating with others, and so my communication with my mother is perfectly relevant. The development of our self-concepts is generative rather than reflective. My mother and I’s self-concept is the major issue in terms of not only us as personalities, but also the influence it has on our relationships and communicative interactions.
A lot of our self-concept comes from various interactions we have with significant others, and strangers. I know that interactions with my mother bring happiness and love, but also uncertainty, and insecurity. Relating to Cooley’s Looking Glass Self, where we see ourselves through what others see us as, my relationship with mother is huge in the creation of my self and identity. On the one hand, I can have love, complete understanding and a coordinated state of synchrony with my mother.
We move in a direct relationship to each other’s communication as we hold a discussion, and talk about how beautiful the day was with my father as a family. We can laugh, shriek, and joke around about our little dog Pippen, and the mess he can leave the house in with his “poop”. We are comfortably nodding heads and in sync with each other, as only we as a mother-daughter and family could only be. However, I know I can have great confusion, disappointment, and a sense of rejection through my mother’s communicative self-reinforcing cycle issue.
The concern here is that I know of occasions when my mother has told me that she does not approve of certain friends or life decisions I make. This occurred earlier in my High School years, and when I was less mature and obviously less able to fully make my own mind up. My mom would rather see me not care so much about certain friends, and just concern myself with academics, the present, and common daily values and topics. My friends and peers are my life. They have brought a lot of anger, upset, and frustration over the years, but it has also brought much good that outweigh the bad, because I still love them.
My mother will occasionally say, “forget so and so, they do no favors for you and you do so much for them”. Due to my mother rejecting these people I care for, brings non-validation, and so this arguably provides the negativity I feel with myself and towards these specific friends. Aspects of the self are validated, confirmed, or rejected through communication from others, especially significant ones, and no one is more significant than my mother and immediate family.
In the self-reinforcing cycle we build a detailed model of the self, and we begin to shape our behavior, as we come to be what others see us to be, especially significant ones. Whenever I interact and communicate with my mom on the self-aspect that I love, but she does not validate, it unconstructively affects the communication expectations. I expect my mother to be negative or unsympathetic to conversations or situations regarding friends she does not care for, and so this causes uncertainty in my feelings.
So when I talk with my mom, I am talking seriously about feelings or situations in my life I really care about. To be dismissed or contradicted about people through her different feelings and comments would cause confusion and grief. Cooley suggested the social self does not exist prior to social interaction, that selves arise in process of communication, and what self arises depends on what is being communicated. Relative to the topic with my mother, the relationship overwhelms the content, and we are extremely sensitive to the approval and disapproval of others.
The interpersonal relationship with my mother and the relationships with all of these friends all relate to the self-reinforcing cycle. I feel pressure from my mother having that been through situations with my friends who have had parents leave home, deaths, and hardships. The situations strained the communication between my mother and I, and the communication coordination went from greater to lesser emphasis. There have been extents where my mother knew I wasn’t being myself, ignoring her, and snapping at her on occasion.
Knowing my mom wasn’t satisfied or concerned with me at times I felt almost alone, a sense of involuntary aloneness. My mother is everything in my life, and so as a significant other, Cooley relates again as we come to be as others want or see us as. I involved myself in a vicious cycle of negativity, as I became effected by my mother’s lesser view of me. I came to be pessimistic and not myself because the self that was arising was the one that came from the communicative experience with my mother, the “other”. Emotions resulted that contributed to the communicative behavior state between my mother and I.
I became very angry, emotional, and inconsistent with my feelings and self, especially around the house, where my mom and myself were always around each other. My facial expressions were automatic and involuntary and were constantly communicative of anger and sadness. Due to my facial expressions of anger, and unhappy faces, my mother received facial feedback. In response, my mom produced similar emotions that related to the interpersonal occasion of her lack of receptivity to the situation of not knowing these certain friends of mine the way I did and still do.