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I don't know where I would be without my best friend. The person who keeps me sane when my family is driving me crazy, or the person who will stay up with me all night to support me when I have a last minute paper due in a class; I don't know where I would be without that support. I found this support in my best friend, my sister from another father, Regina. Regina is an eccentric, overbearing, lover of all things natural type of girl. She lives life to the fullest and never backs down from a challenge. She is funny, full of whit and sharper than a tack fresh out of the box. Although it hasn't always been a smooth road for us we still remain friends to this day. Regina and I were neighbors for several years and in that time our friendship strengthened and didn't seem like anything could break it. It was in our getting older and need for exploration that slowly initiated the fissure in our friendship. We began not seeing eye-to-eye on subjects that we used to agree on when we first met. I would find myself looking for companionship in other friends instead of relying on her for support; and that was wearing thin. It was in our return home that we really started to waiver and greatly changed our relationship to something that I could not recognize. When I began to comprehend the faults within our relationship, I knew it was time to act. Focusing on the Struggle Spectrum by the National Communication Association, I noticed that we were repeatedly climbing the struggle ladder and falling off the edge only to repeat it again. My younger, less educated version of myself would never have seen the problems but now, after years of college and my Interpersonal Communications class, I could see what needed to be done. I began by making a check-list of issues that I needed to work on to be a better friend to her and to understand why we weren't getting along. My list consisted of: checking my perceptions, removing my listening barriers, nonverbal behavior that supports a positive relationship, and self-disclosure. Perception checking was first on my list because I thought that it would be the hardest to manage. Perception checking isn't something that I practice in my daily interactions; consequently, it would set the tone for my attempt to change my behavior. I began with checking my perceptions at the door. I entered every interaction with Regina with a clear heart and open mind. One of our issues that stems from something I can't quite put a finger on has grown into a grandiose level of misunderstandings and petty arguments. So I in a sense "got over myself" and entered into every conversation with a blank canvas. Once I established an open line of communication with Regina, it was easy to move into my next phase: removal of my listening barriers. I chose this measurable goal because due to prior conditions, our differences in expectations were skewed. When she needed me to be the supportive friend, I chose to be the practical friend. My advice was more for survival and less about support. I realized this when I removed my listening barriers. Cell phones, music, and heavy traffic areas were the objects that I stayed away from whenever we interacted. I would ask Regina to meet me at the library instead of the coffee shop, to my house instead of a bar and without the constant distractions of the outside world we found it easier to talk. My nonverbal behavior was probably the most difficult to keep up because as an unconscious attribute, it took more concentration to keep my body in check. Since Regina and I were having such a hard time understanding each other, the irritation that swells beneath my skin whenever we butt heads always seeps into my nonverbal communication and I end up sneering or rolling my eyes at her. Not only is this rude behavior, it is hurtful behavior and greatly played a part in her low level of trust in our friendship. I decided to use a bit of conflict management style along with the change in my nonverbal behavior and it was a great combination. Instead of avoiding all conflict and constantly competing with Regina, I tried the accommodation and compromise approach whenever we would get into an argument. Managing my emotions and listening carefully greatly improved my response and nonverbal communication. Once I had my emotions in check, Regina's attention, and an environment that reduced my listening barriers, it was time for self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is defined as purposefully providing information about yourself to others that they would not learn if you did not tell them (Beebe, Beebe, and Redmond pp. 53). Since Regina and I already knew a lot about each other, I chose the time we spent together to disclose my thoughts and feelings about our current situation and my feelings on our relationship. I began with an open conversation about our avoidance of our core issues and asked her what we could do to fix them. She responded with, "You need to stop over analyzing things and just go with the flow." At first I was taken aback by her statement because instead of taking some of the fault on herself, she put it all on me. But I took a moment to think about what she said and why she was saying it and asked her for suggestions on how to better communicate with each other. She thought about it for a moment and replied, "I don't think you're a bad communicator, I just think you're bad at expressing your issues when the time is right. You usually just bottle it up and when it's too much to keep down, you blow up; which makes it hard to listen to you and your issues." I took this to heart and spent a lot of personal time thinking back to the times that I did blow up on her without proper explanation. When we got together again later in the semester, I came back to our original discussion and (through empathic listening) paraphrased what she said to me and apologized for my lack of respect with regards to our relationship. Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick (the first female U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations) stated, "What we call each other ultimately becomes what we think of each other, and that matters." And I truly call Regina a friend. She is my best friend in all aspects of the world and I would do anything for her so that's why I chose her as my most important person to enhance, mend, and create a healthier relationship. I found myself calling her lazy, irritable and hard headed to the extent that whenever I saw her, those were the only qualities that I saw in her after a while. Allowing Regina to change along with my journey to change has proven to be successful in the mending of our friendship and has been the most influential in my quest to change. When executing the five goals to improve our friendship, I found that the most valuable exercise was self-disclosure. This attribute is something that I struggle with in my everyday interactions and can only become sturdier as I practice with my best friend. I found that through my conversations with her, I have become better at letting go and dealing with my issues at hand rather than waiting for the top to blow. As time goes by and we reach our many milestones to come, I hope that Regina and I are open and honest with each other. I made it this far with her and I don't want to look back and wish that she was there at my most pivotal moment. I have learned that it's easier to put blame on those we cherish most dear rather than talk through our problems; and that is a mistake that I will never make again. Going through this process has changed me for the better and I now know that Regina is ready to complete this journey with me. "The friends that listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius" (Karl Meninger). I am greatly pleased with the outcome of this challenge and look forward to what comes next. The profound meaning of my friendship with Regina and what we've been through over the past 11 years constantly reminds me that of all the moments we've shared, arguments we've had, and time spent apart. I appreciate that nothing
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The Importance of Interpersonal Communications in a Friendship
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The Importance Of Interpersonal Communications In A Friendship

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              I don't know where I would be without my best friend. The person who keeps me sane when my family is driving me crazy, or the person who will stay up with me all night to support me when I have a last minute paper due in a class; I don't know where I would be without that support. I found this support in my best friend, my sister from another father, Regina. Regina is an eccentric, overbearing, lover of all things natural type of girl. She lives life to the fullest and never backs down from a challenge. She is funny, full of whit and sharper than a tack fresh out of the box. Although it hasn't always been a smooth road for us we still remain friends to this day.
              Regina and I were neighbors for several years and in that time our friendship strengthened and didn't seem like anything could break it. It was in our getting older and need for exploration that slowly initiated the fissure in our friendship. We began not seeing eye-to-eye on subjects that we used to agree on when we first met. I would find myself looking for companionship in other friends instead of relying on her for support; and that was wearing thin. It was in our return home that we really started to waiver and greatly changed our relationship to something that I could not recognize.
              When I began to comprehend the faults within our relationship, I knew it was time to act. Focusing on the Struggle Spectrum by the National Communication Association, I noticed that we were repeatedly climbing the struggle ladder and falling off the edge only to repeat it again. My younger, less educated version of myself would never have seen the problems but now, after years of college and my Interpersonal Communications class, I could see what needed to be done. I began by making a check-list of issues that I needed to work on to be a better friend to her and to understand why we weren't getting along. My list consisted of: checking my perceptions, removing my listening barriers, nonverbal behavior that supports a positive relationship, and self-disclosure.
              Perception checking was first on my list because I thought that it would be the hardest to manage. Perception checking isn't something that I practice in my daily interactions; consequently, it would set the tone for my attempt to change my behavior. I began with checking my perceptions at the door. I entered every interaction with Regina with a clear heart and open mind. One of our issues that stems from something I can't quite put a finger on has grown into a grandiose level of misunderstandings and petty arguments. So I in a sense "got over myself" and entered into every conversation with a blank canvas.
              Once I established an open line of communication with Regina, it was easy to move into my next phase: removal of my listening barriers. I chose this measurable goal because due to prior conditions, our differences in expectations were skewed. When she needed me to be the supportive friend, I chose to be the practical friend. My advice was more for survival and less about support. I realized this when I removed my listening barriers. Cell phones, music, and heavy traffic areas were the objects that I stayed away from whenever we interacted. I would ask Regina to meet me at the library instead of the coffee shop, to my house instead of a bar and without the constant distractions of the outside world we found it easier to talk.
              My nonverbal behavior was probably the most difficult to keep up because as an unconscious attribute, it took more concentration to keep my body in check. Since Regina and I were having such a hard time understanding each other, the irritation that swells beneath my skin whenever we butt heads always seeps into my nonverbal communication and I end up sneering or rolling my eyes at her. Not only is this rude behavior, it is hurtful behavior and greatly played a part in her low level of trust in our friendship. I decided to use a bit of conflict management style along with the change in my nonverbal behavior and it was a great combination. Instead of avoiding all conflict and constantly competing with Regina, I tried the accommodation and compromise approach whenever we would get into an argument. Managing my emotions and listening carefully greatly improved my response and nonverbal communication.
              Once I had my emotions in check, Regina's attention, and an environment that reduced my listening barriers, it was time for self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is defined as purposefully providing information about yourself to others that they would not learn if you did not tell them (Beebe, Beebe, and Redmond pp. 53). Since Regina and I already knew a lot about each other, I chose the time we spent together to disclose my thoughts and feelings about our current situation and my feelings on our relationship. I began with an open conversation about our avoidance of our core issues and asked her what we could do to fix them. She responded with, "You need to stop over analyzing things and just go with the flow. " At first I was taken aback by her statement because instead of taking some of the fault on herself, she put it all on me. But I took a moment to think about what she said and why she was saying it and asked her for suggestions on how to better communicate with each other. She thought about it for a moment and replied, "I don't think you're a bad communicator, I just think you're bad at expressing your issues when the time is right. You usually just bottle it up and when it's too much to keep down, you blow up; which makes it hard to listen to you and your issues. " I took this to heart and spent a lot of personal time thinking back to the times that I did blow up on her without proper explanation. When we got together again later in the semester, I came back to our original discussion and (through empathic listening) paraphrased what she said to me and apologized for my lack of respect with regards to our relationship.
              Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick (the first female U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations) stated, "What we call each other ultimately becomes what we think of each other, and that matters. " And I truly call Regina a friend. She is my best friend in all aspects of the world and I would do anything for her so that's why I chose her as my most important person to enhance, mend, and create a healthier relationship. I found myself calling her lazy, irritable and hard headed to the extent that whenever I saw her, those were the only qualities that I saw in her after a while. Allowing Regina to change along with my journey to change has proven to be successful in the mending of our friendship and has been the most influential in my quest to change. When executing the five goals to improve our friendship, I found that the most valuable exercise was self-disclosure. This attribute is something that I struggle with in my everyday interactions and can only become sturdier as I practice with my best friend. I found that through my conversations with her, I have become better at letting go and dealing with my issues at hand rather than waiting for the top to blow.
              As time goes by and we reach our many milestones to come, I hope that Regina and I are open and honest with each other. I made it this far with her and I don't want to look back and wish that she was there at my most pivotal moment. I have learned that it's easier to put blame on those we cherish most dear rather than talk through our problems; and that is a mistake that I will never make again. Going through this process has changed me for the better and I now know that Regina is ready to complete this journey with me.
              "The friends that listen to us are the ones we move toward, and we want to sit in their radius" (Karl Meninger). I am greatly pleased with the outcome of this challenge and look forward to what comes next. The profound meaning of my friendship with Regina and what we've been through over the past 11 years constantly reminds me that of all the moments we've shared, arguments we've had, and time spent apart. I appreciate that nothing
Friendship Essay 
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Works Cited

Beebe S., Beebe S., Redmond M. (2011, 2008, 2005) Allyn & Bacon by Pearson Education, Inc.
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