Symbols. Qualities of Symbols. Symbolic Abilities. Arbitrary Abstract Ambiguous. Definition Evaluation Organization Hypothetical Thought Self-Reflection. Words are Symbols. Arbitrary—they are not intrinsically connected to what they represent
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When is it appropriate to show affection or disclose private information.
Affection (hugs and kisses)
I am withdrawing
more because you
“casual” “messy” “slob”
“assertive” “aggressive” “bully”
Rush Limbaugh’s “feminazi” instead of “feminist”
“geezer” or “old fogies” rather than “senior citizen”
Abstracting can distort our thinking by stereotyping whole classes of people in a generalization.Symbols Organize Perceptions
Include others. Use talk to show interest in others, and respond to their needs.
Use talk cooperatively. Communication is a joint activity; people have to work together.
Use talk expressively. Talk should deal with feelings and build relationships.
Assert yourself. Use talk to establish your identity, expertise, and knowledge.
Use talk competitively. Communication is an arena for proving yourself, gaining, and holding attention.
Use talk instrumentally. Talk should accomplish something such as solving a problem or giving advice.
Using I-language allows you to own your own feelings while also explaining to others how you interpret their behaviors.
You hurt me.
I feel hurt when you ignore what I say.
You make me feel small.
I feel small when you tell me that I’m selfish.
You’re so domineering.
When you shout, I feel dominated.
“Politicians are crooked.”
“A number of politicians have been shown to be dishonest.”
“Don is irresponsible.”
Indexing reminds us that our evaluation applies only to specific times and circumstances.
“On the Task Committee, Don was irresponsible.”Indexing