Saturday, June 20, 2009

Manners of a friend

I went out and shopping with a few of my friends, we tend to choose our own shirt and try it. One of my friend asked me that whether her shirt looked nice or not. I answered that :" It doesn't look good on you", she then replied:" OH ya!!! It only looks nice on you, is it?!!!"

She scolded me with high tune. She seems like so pissed off with me. I wander if she jealous with me? Oh my goodness, she is the one who asked my opinion. I did nothing wrong and I just tell her the truth. What kind of person is she, I wandered. How long have I been knowing her, and she thinks me like that way.

I have never talked to her since that day. This is because I was too disappointed with her.

Choi Hui Lei

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Whats Of Distance

The study of distances between people and animals is called Proxemics. Proxemics was introduced by Eward T. Hall, an anthropologist. There are 4 types of distances which includes Intimate Distance, Personal Distance, Social Distance, and Public Distance.

  • Intimate Distance (embracing, touching or whispering): This usually occurs when we're emotionally close to someone and mostly in private situations. However, this varies with culture differences as well as how we feel towards someone.
  • Personal Distance (interactions among good friends): When an uninvited person intrudes our personal distances, we might feel uncomfortable. This especially applies to those who move into friendships too quickly and this action might scare the other person.
  • Social Distance (interactions among acquaintances): This is very common in business situations. For example, social distance between a salesperson and a customer or between people who work together. This distance is for more formal and impersonal situations.
  • Public Distance (public speaking ): The closer range is about 12ft - 25ft. This range of distance is usually used by teachers in the classroom. The farther range of public distance can go froom 25ft and more. This is when two-way communication won't work well.

When interacting, it is important for us to know which distance is best suited to a situation as it can affect our relationship with others. Hall notes that different cultures maintain different standards of personal space. For this reason, we must constantly note the differences between our culture and that of others in order to avoid misunderstandings. :D

Friday, June 12, 2009

Getting together

Olden days, people don't have the technology to communicate when a person is at far apart. On the other hand, nowadays, people can communicate in everywhere at anytime. No matter how far apart, we still can communicate through various ways.

Internet help us to communicate with each other using verbal and nonverbal communication. Therefore, the relationship of friends are easily getting closer to each other. When people communicate with each other through internet, there might be a lie. Therefore, we need to be very careful when communication with the person especially when we know each other through internet.

Male and female have different intimacy style. As we want to communicate with the person that is opposite sex, we need to be careful and know what are the style of them. This can prevent misunderstanding between both of the people. When the intimacy of two person is getting weaker, they need to do something to save the relationship and prevent terminating a relationship.

Choi Hui Lei

What real friend are

Friendship are important for everyone and need to communicate in daily life. When we feel depressed, we wanted to find someone to talk to and to tell our secret. Some secret must be kept for whole life as we don't want people to know it. It is rational to find someone that close to oneself to tell a deep secret. Normally, we will find someone that is very close to us and tell out our secret so that they can help us and to share some opinion with us.

Finding a best friend is very important in life. We cannot simply choose someone to talk to when we don't know each other, especially when we talk about private matters. As a friend, we should not tell others people secret when people tell us not to tell everyone. When they believe us, they will tell their secret to you. Some people that choose a wrong person to tell with, will end up of everyone knowing their deep secret.

As the relationship goes closer, it is expected to get deeper into the social penetration model. When we communicate every day, our relation will automatically get closer. Friends sometimes will hurt each other, however, if not too serious, they will recover very soon. Maybe they will get closer too!

Choi Hui Lei

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Broking people's heart

Learning from non verbal communication, I like to do gestures when I was talking and presenting something. Nonverbal communication may cause a lot of misunderstanding, but I was still thinking that nonverbal communication maybe better than verbal communication. This is because non verbal communication does not hurt people easily as we can talk about different thing using same gestures.

That day, I meet my secondary school's friend. Then, she saw a fat guy wearing jeans that look unfit to him. She then point her finger at that fat guy, beside that fat guy is a pretty girl. I thought that she was jealous to that pretty girl. I said to her: “No need to jealous on people, everyone has its own good!” She then laughs at me and say: “Dude! I was talking about the fat guy beside!” I laugh out loudly and say that pointing your finger to there means many things and better to state it out clearly. We go back our own home after that. I was thinking that nonverbal communication really that important that it affects our daily life.

Choi Hui Lei

Lying without a word

I believe that in every one of us need to communicate with people. When we communicating, our hand will move or our face will come out with an expression. Nonverbal communication comes in a way that our expression will tell us the truth and verbal communication can lie to people. In my opinion, I think that one’s will only lie if they had done something wrong and they don’t want people to know about it and admit what they had done the wrong thing. Worst still, they even think that they are right in doing anything and what other do is wrong.

Recently, I have found that some people will do gestures when they are lying. They don’t dare to admit it. When they feel guilty, they do gestures or some expression on their face to cover their lies. They hope they can feel better when they do so. Some people like to do eye contact with people when they lying together. This is also a form of nonverbal communication.

For me, when I feel my parent were so annoying, when they are talking the same thing repeatedly everyday when I was playing computer games. Then, I pretend them and act like them when they talk to me the same thing. I talk but no voice coming out from my mouth. My hand and expression act like them. I copy their gestures when I feel annoying. When I do so, I feel better because I think that I understand what they want me to do but I just don’t feel like doing so. Maybe they will think that I am rude to them and not respecting them. This will form a lot of misunderstanding.

Choi Hui Lei

The Whats Of Paralanguage

Paralanguage is what social scientists use to describe nonverbla, vocal messages. You can understand vocal cues by considering how the meaning of a simple sentence can change just by shifting the emphasis from word to word. Here's a 20 minutes long video of an episode of comedy series 'Still Standing' but just skip to 10:00 to see how paralanguage is used between Judy and Bill's conversation over a lost ticket.

Here is how it went:
Judy: (unable to stand guilt any longer) Alright, alright! I lost the tickets!
Bill: (talking to Fitz) Hear that, Fitz? She lost them.
Judy: They were in my gym bag and they disappeared! Isn't that right, Marion?
Marion: (confused) This is making me very nervous.
Bill: So you're saying that you lost the tickets. (pointing at Judy) You lost the tickets. You lost the tickets.
Judy: You are just saying the same thing over and over again, emphasizing different words each time!

The tickets were for the Rolling Stones concert for their wedding anniversary (that's why it's such a big deal).
So from the example above, we can see that the first time Bill said that, he was emphasizing that Judy lost the tickets. Then he emphasized on 'lost', making her sound irresponsible. Last he emphasized on 'the' tickets, saying that it isn't just ANY ticket but Rolling Stones.

One can distinguish the following aspects of speech signals and perceived utterances:
  • Perspectival aspects

Speech signals that arrive at a listener’s ears have acoustic properties that may allow listeners to localize the speaker (distance, direction). Sound localization functions in a similar way also for non-speech sounds. The perspectival aspects of lip reading are more obvious and have more drastic effects when head turning is involved.

  • Organic aspects

The speech organs of different speakers differ in size. As children grow up, their organs of speech become larger and there are differences between male and female adults. The differences concern not only size, but also proportions. They affect the pitch of the voice and to a substantial extent also the format frequencies, which characterize the different speech sounds. The organic quality of speech has a communicative function in a restricted sense, since it is merely informative about the speaker. It will be expressed independently of the speaker’s intention.

  • Expressive aspects

The properties of the voice and the way of speaking are affected by emotions and attitudes. Typically, attitudes are expressed intentionally and emotions without intention, but attempts to fake or to hide emotions are not unusual. Expressive variation is central to paralanguage. It affects loudness, speaking rate, pitch, pitch range and, to some extent, also the formant frequencies.

  • Linguistic aspects

These aspects are the main concern of linguists. Ordinary phonetic transcriptions of utterances reflect only the linguistically informative quality. The problem of how listeners factor out the linguistically informative quality from speech signals is a topic of current research.

In text-only communication such as email, chatrooms and instant messaging, paralinguistic elements can be displayed by emotions, font and color choices, capitalization and the use of non-alphabetic or abstract characters. Nonetheless, paralanguage in written communication is limited in comparison with face-to-face conversation, sometimes leading to misunderstandings.


"Paralanguage" 2004. Wikipedia. Web. June 6th 2009.


Yang Su Ying

The Types Of Gestures

As we all probably know, gestures are the motion of hands or body that is used to help emphasize or express a thought or feeling. Gestures are usually used together with verbal communication.

1st picture on the right. We can easily tell that the lady's angry and seem to be arguing about something by looking at her pointing finger and facial expression.

2nd picture. This was taken during a political argument. We can see that the man on the right seems to accusing the other man on the left by the tensed pointing finger. Whereas the man on the left seems to be trying to tell him to calm down or probably to get his facts straight with the open palm of his hands.

3rd picture. That's the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding. Usually the gesture of the fist is portrayed as aggression and anger. However, in this picture it portrays strength, determination, and power.

Here are some commonly used gestures.
  1. Emblems. Emblems are specific gestures with specific meaning that are consciously used and consciously understood. They are used as substitutes for words and are close to sign language. A common example would be the 'V' sign portrayed with only the index and middle finger up, facing away from the body would mean 'victory' or 'peace'. If the palm is towards the body then it'd be considered rude.
  2. Iconic gestures. Iconic gestures are often used when someone is trying to portray concrete and physical items. This gesture is especially useful when we're is trying to give others a clearer mental image of the item.
  3. Regulators. Regulators are used to control turn-taking in conversation. For example, when a person has finished speaking, he'd drop his arms whilst the other person who wants to speak would raise an arm as if to grasp the way forward.
  4. Affect displays. Affect displays are used to display emotions. For example, if a person uses his hands to cover his ears or the shaking of the hand vigorously probably shows that he doesn't want to hear anymore of what is being said.

Gestures are rather complicating as there are so many types of gestures made up all over the world and are commonly used. It'd be difficult to know all of it. The list above could go on and on. Understanding the way gestures work is very important as it can unintentionally cause misunderstanding between parties such as when the 'V' sign is wrongly portrayed.

"Types Of Gestures" 2006. Wikipedia. Web. June 6th 2009.
"Gesture Types" 2003. Changing Minds. Web. June 6th 2009.

Yang Su Ying

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Importance Of Our Daily Use Of Informative Listening

Much of our learning comes from informative listening. For example, we listen to lectures or instructions from teachers - and what we learn depends on how well we listen. Careful informative listening is a necessity because sometimes, careless listening can cause misunderstanding among people.

There are 3 important things included in informative listening which can improve our skills.

  1. Vocabulary. It has been proven that inreasing your vocabulary will increase your potential for better understanding and it's never too late to improve your vocabulary. You can always start by increasing your reading activities whether it involves picking up a new book or reading the morning paper.
  2. Concentration. Concentration is difficult. You can remember times when another person was not concentrating on what you were saying - and you probably can remember times when you were not concentrating on something that someone was asying to you. Whether you are occupied at the moment the speaker is talking, the lacck of curiosity and itnerest or lack of motivation to accept responsibility for good listening, try to push those distractions aside because you might just miss out on important information.
  3. Memory. Meomory plays an important part of our daily lives. It could be either remembering the road home or to work, where this particular store is located in the shopping mall. Overall, memory helps your informative listening in 2 ways.
  • It allows you to recall experiences and information necessary to function in the world around you. In other words, without memory you would have no knowledge bank.
  • It allows you to understand what others say. Without simple memory of the meaning of words, you caould not communicate with anyone else. Without memory concepts and ideas, you ccould not understand the meaning of messages.

As we all know, we probably will still be studying for another year or so. Therefore being fully equipped with these informative listening skills is important as it can help us learn and absorb information easier.

Kline, John A 1996. "Types Of Listening". Listening Effectively. Web. May 31st 2009.

Yang Su Ying

The Whats Of Phonological Rules In English

In the complicating world of languages, phonetic environment influences how a sound is pronounced. In most times, non-native speakers of English can be rather sensitive to such deviations from the expected pronunciation.

Phonological rules can be divided into 4 groups
  1. Assimilation. Rules of this kind describe processes where a sound becomes more similar to a neighboring sound. This is the kind of rule that occurs in the English plural rule described above - the -s becomes voiced or voiceless depending on whether or not the preceding consonant is voiced.
  2. Dissimilation. When a sound changes one of its features to become less similar to an adjacent sound, usually to make the two sounds more distinguishable. This type of rule is often seen among people speaking a language that is not their native language, where the sound contrasts may be difficult.
  3. Insertion. When an extra sound is added between two other. For example, when we pronounce the word 'hamster' at a regular speed, most of us will say and hear 'hampster' with a 'p'. This also occurs in the English plural rule: when the plural morpheme -s is added to "bus", "bus-s" would be unpronounceable, so a short vowel is inserted between the two 's's.
  4. Deletion. When a sound, such as a stressless syllable or a weak consonant, is not pronounced. For example, most American English speakers do not pronounce the 'd' in 'handbag'. Also, when pronouncing the word 'police', the word often sounds like 'pleace' and may be confused with please if one is not used to hearing voiced 's'.

Phonological rules are very versatile. Speakers apply these rules without being aware of it and they acquire the rules early in life without any explicit teaching. The rules give speakers intuitions about what words are 'well-formed' or 'acceptable'. If a speaker hears a word that does not conform to the language's phonological rules, the word will sound foreign or ill-formed.

"Phonological Rules Introduction To Linguistics" 2001. Andreas Schramm and Hamline University. Web. May 31st 2009.
"Phonological Rule" 2009. Wikipedia. Web. May 31st 2009.

Yang Su Ying

Who first?

Friends are the closest people around me, it's cause I'm the only child. They are the ones whom I share my joy, problems and so on. They are the ones I turn to whenever I need advice or just lend me their ears. Same goes to me, when friends need me to listen to their problems, I'll give them my 100% attention. I may not be able to give good advice, but I believe that if you tell someone about your problems, you'll feel much better. At least that's how I feel. 

When you talk to someone, for sure you'll want them to listen. How would you feel if you talk, and your friend is texting on her phone. The sound tap tap tap tap annoys you in a way, aint it? You'll begin to wonder, are you listening to me? Perhaps you'll think that the person is not interested in what you have to say and you'll stop talking. In the end, you'll still have that problem stucked in you. Most of the time, we're interrupted by others when we're talking. It may not because we want to, but maybe something related to the topic strucked our mind. This had occured many times to me, it goes like..

A: "... I was having dinner the other day there and..."
B: " Oh ya, that reminded me, I was eating at Nando's the other day and the family beside me was.. (and the story goes on)" 

She goes on and on and person A actually forgot what she wanted to say in the end.

B: " So that was the story, what were you saying just now?"
A: "I forgot. It's okay."

When we're talking, we should also think about what the other person will feel when being interrupted. What if it was something that might affect his/her life that he/she wanted to advice for? Are we able to bare the consequences if anything happens? Listen to others like how you want others to listen to you. 

Chew Seok Yeng

Friday, May 29, 2009

Questioning and Prompting

I heard someone crying from a corner in the school. I followed the sound of crying and found out that's one of my best friend. She was crying sorely and she was unwillingly to talking to anyone. I went nearer and try to speak to her using low tone. At first, she does not seems want to talk to me, she even ignore my presence. After awhile, she trying to speak to me softly.

I started to ask her questions,

"What happened ?" I asked.
"My family is going to break, my parents wanted to divorce and they don't want to live together. And I can't help in anyway..." She spoke softly.
"Do they quarrel everyday?"I asked again.
"Yes, and sometimes they even throwing things to each other. Then, my brother cried everyday when they have a fight. But they don't even bother of my brother. I was so sad." She cried.
"Is OK if they fell unhappy living with each other and divorce. If they live together everyday but not happy, it is no point to live together right? and they might even fell happier after they divorce." I told her.

After have a conversation with her, she started to calm down and not crying anymore. The bell rang and we went to class together.

Choi Hui Lei

How good am I as a listener

Often, I consider myself as a poor listener. I always looked like I'm listening to someone's taking, actually, I often daydreaming and did not pay any attention when people is taking to me. I don't know why. Where there is people taking to me for too long period, I will lose my attention to it. For me, I think that I am too lazy enough to listen to people's talking.

Nevertheless, even if someone tell me that something that is very important, I will also think of another thing in the middle of the conversation. It is hardly for me to pay attention in listening for more than one hour. Therefore, I often fell boring when people is talking. By the time when the person finished talking, my mind was empty and I cannot accept too many information at one time. That makes me headache and turning out for everything.

I was trying to improve myself so that I can listen to people's talking but not only hearing. During my lecture, I try not to daydream, focus and put more effort to take down importance note. In order to listening effectively, staying focus is not enough. Listening carefully and understand the speech is also play an important role to improve my listening skill. From now on, I will train myself and try to become a good listener.

Choi Hui Lei

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Different Ways Of How Men And Women Communicate

Men and women have such different ways of communicating that at some point it may seem as though they might come from different planets. There are several facts that point out the general differences between how they communicate with each other.

Firstly, men and women communicate for different reasons. According to Deborah Tannen, men communicate to maintain independence, while women talk to maintain intimacy. In often situations, men talk to build status from others. Women talk to express emotions, feelings, or build rapport.

Secondly, research has shown that men tend to talk more in public than compared to women who talk more in private. Once the different communication styles of men and women is understood, it can be clearly seen that men talk in public to, again, establish their status while women talk in private to establish intimacy.

Thirdly, the body language portrayed by men and women are different as well. Often in conversations, women tend to use nonverbal communication directly, men use it indirectly. Women tend to maintain eye contact, stand in close proximity, and gesture more frequently. Men, however, are the exact opposite.

Fourthly, when conflicts are brought to women's faces, they tend to avoid them in order to insure closeness of relationships. As for men, they use conflicts to gain status.

Fifthly, men and women also express themselves differently in means of the content, style, and structure of their conversation. Men often talk about sports, money, and business. On the other hand, women discuss about their feelings, people, and relationships. Men mostly communicate to solve problems and converse for competition. Women most often communicate to understand, converse to support, and talk to connect. As they talk, men tend to use precise words, to the point, without descriptive details, while women are more detailed, apologetic, and vague.

After reading this, it seems like it's pretty tough for men and women to truly communicate. However, if one is properly equipped with the knowledge of understanding these 2 different communication styles, he or she can improve their communications in means of content, connecting with each other, and many more.

Kelley, Rhonda H. "Communication Between Men And Women In The Context Of The Christian Community". The Council On Biblical Manhood And Womanhood. N.d. Web. May 24th 2009.

Yang Su Ying

How To Determine Your Self-Concept

As most of us know, our individual self-concept is very important mainly due to these 2 factors: Social Perception and Attribution.

Social Perception is the process by which we perceive impressions of others. Whereas Attribution is how we interpret behaviors of our own and others as it is particularly influenced by our self-concept. There are 2 ways of determining your self-concept and self-esteem.

The first way to determine yourself concept is through realization.
1. List down all of your characteristics, focus on your strengths
2. Along with creating your list of characteristics, include your beliefs and values
3. Recognize the strengths that you have listed down
4. Think of ways of improving yourself by learning to accept and love yourself
5. Learn to praise yourself
6. Develop a strong and positive attitude
7. Surround yourself with supportive people such as friends and families

The second way is carried out after you have realized your own potential and have made efforts to improve your self-concept.
Here is a self-esteem test from Queendom to see where your self-esteem stands. This test is made up of 79 questions, yes, that many but it is worth the time and effort to know about your self-esteem so you could improve them. Besides, it would only take less than 20 minutes. :) For the reason that an individual's self-concept and self-esteem changes, sometimes creating just a minor change may result to a surprising change in your life.

Valencia, Carla. "Self-Concept and Self-Esteem". Self-Esteem Awareness. N.d. Web. May 24th 2009.
"Self-Esteem Test". Queendom, The Land of Tests. N.d. Web. May 24th 2009.

Yang Su Ying

Thursday, May 21, 2009

No One Listen To Me

When the first time I become group leader for our assignment, I was so excited. I feel that I had the power and thought that I can give command to others. I hope that I can be a good leader and trying to become one. At the beginning, I was tried to be polite and ask them some questions like: " I think we can do it in this way, want to try it out?", " Uh, can you add more details in this part?", "If you all had free time, can you all email the data to me?". After throwing a lot of command and works to them, I was happy and thought that I am a good leader. I thought that I have the power to order what was their responsibilities.

Until the end, none of them did what I said. I realized that they did not even respect me as a leader or a friend. I trying to be good and thought that this way is better for our cooperation. I were wrong. This way is not always works to every one. For some of those stubborn, not willing to listen to others, being politeness was ineffective. I was so frustrated, the dead line is coming soon and we had not complete any thing yet. All of them just counted on me to finish the assignment. Then I were too angry and shout at them like this: "You must finish this part by today and hand it to be by tomorrow." , "I will report to teacher if you all didn't cooperate.", "I will not accept anything excuses for the delay." On the next day, all my group member finish the whole assignment already I were so happy. From that day onwards, I know that if you lack of confident and sometimes be polite, eventually will leads to powerless speech where no people will listen and respect to you. In order to leads or to persuade, we must believe in ourselves and is better to have powerful speech for those who are not mature and not willing to listen to us.

Choi Hui Lei

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Respecting everyone using language

Orders, come from my father :"Take that newspaper come!" using a high tone of his voice. He is speaking in a way that giving order that makes me feel uncomfortable. I rather if he add a "Please" or "Help me" in front of it will makes me feel better. As I know that he is my father and everything he said, I must follow his orders. I will be willing to help him happily with my heart if he ask politely because I would feel he is respecting me. I would feel like he treat me like I'm his maid. After that, I knew that I need to use some words that makes people around me will be friends with me with their own heart and not just pretending to be another person when they are with me.

Body language is also important. I found this last week, when I saw my sister chatting in MSN and talking with me about some important things. She was chatting and talking to me at the same time she is looking at the monitor and not me. In the MSN, the person she was chatting to cannot saw her while I was sitting beside her and tell her to look the case seriously. I was angry when she showed her disrespectful expression to me and when I told her to look at me. I told her to look at me and she asked me why. Then, I was totally fustrated since she does not respect me by her body languague. I found out that we have some misunderstanding because lack of communication. I told her that what her action was totally impolite to me. She changed after we discuss about our arguement. After have some verbal and nonverbal communication between us.

Choi Hui Lei

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Communication Barriers Between People

Communicating is something that we do everyday. Regardless of what we do, we have to communicate with each other. It could be verbal or non verbal communication. Our gestures, tone of voice, eye contact, movement of our body transmits a lot of information to the other person. In order to understand what the person you're talking to is saying, you both need to have similar gestures, tone of voice and so on. However, although the both of you know what's the topic about, you might not have the same perception of it. 

When you come across a scent that is familiar to you, it reminds you of something. Perhaps the smell of your perfume, but the other person may think that it's the smell of a cleaned toilet. Who knows? I was in the cyber cafe one day and I smelled a very familiar scent. I started smelling my shirt cause it smell like my perfume! And I thought maybe it is. Slowly I realised that it's the air freshener and not my perfume. This is just an example that I encountered. The both of you may be talking about the same thing, but may not have identical image about it. This is when you want to express your ideas to others because you look at it in a different way. 

Background is another barrier in communication. Age, gender, economic status, social status, cultural background, religion and many more could be a barrier when communicating. We wouldn't want to send the wrong message to the other party. To overcome this barrier, we will need to clarify and understand different backgrounds. We also have to avoid projecting our own backgrounds into others to avoid conflicts. Besides, many of us may have similar gestures when doing something but it may not mean the same to everyone. Don't assume that similar gestures or behaviours transmits the same message. 

Thus, in order to communicate and avoid conflicts, we should look at things in the person's point of view. Or be in their shoes when speaking about certain topics. All of us come from different backgrounds and cultures, we all don't have identical perception about things. Communicating is something that shows a lot about us, be it our personality or background. 

Chew Seok Yeng

The Whats Of Self-Concept

Self-concept is an important element to everyone as to how we perceive ourselves. It can actually affect a person's development and achievement in life.

Self-concept is made up of 3 components: the Perceived Self, Desired Self, and Presenting Self.

Firstly, the Perceived Self is the person you belief yourself to be. This task of determining your identities begins at an early age. However, once the identity is decided it is very difficult to change.

Secondly, the Desired Self is the person that you wish you were. We often compare ourselves to others and would sometimes wish that we could acquire that particular quality the person has. For example, if I've always wanted this I-Pod Classic, and I'm surrounded by people who have one each, I begin to suffer by comparison and the image that I hold for myself would be negatively affected. This sense of belonging is an essential need to achieving a healthy self-concept which can also be seen as the 3rd tier in Maslow's Hierarchy.

Thirdly, there is the Presenting Self. The Presenting Self is a role that we, as actors, take on and play on the stage of life. That explains how people can be so aggressive and some have control over their behaviors.

An individual's self-concept can be easily diminished through several factors. The first one is having obsolete information. This usually happens when a person refuses to admit his or her current physical conditions. For example, James used to be the fastest runner for his school about 30 years back and is now a potato couch but still thinks that he's the all-star athlete he was. A healthy self-concept should be focused on the present.

Secondly, giving distorted feed backs could hurt a person's self-esteem and self-concept crucially. There are people out there who are cruel and are constantly compelled criticize and belittle others. It could actually take awhile to build up the person's self-concept depending on how he or she took the criticism and how harsh it was.

Thirdly, there is a social expectation that exists in most society. The reinforced modesty created by our society makes us feel compelled toward humility no matter what the cost is. In truth, it is actually considered arrogant to desire a positive image of ourselves.

Our individual self-concept is partly determined by how we seek from others to find out who we are. This discovery process under the watchful eyes of others can make or break our self-concept with their opinions. However, we have to learn the ways of dealing with opinions from others once we receive them. We can either accept or reject it. Understand and discovering your self-concept is very important as it can affect many sides of our development. Hence, for my next post I shall be talking about How To Determine Your Self-Concept.

Gaddis, Susan (Ph.D). "Prescriptions for Improving a Poor Self Concept". The Communications Doctor. N.d. Web. May 17th 2009.

Yang Su Ying

Believe and Listen to others

In this world, nothing is impossible. First and foremost, we need to believe in ourselves in everything. For example, in olden days people never thought that human can travel to the moon, but now, with the improvement in science and technology, we are able to travel to the moon or even outer space. It is because of scientists believe in themselves and have self-fulfilling prophecies. Without their hard work and believe, we may still can’t explore the milky galaxy. With self-fulfilling prophecies, we can do things out of our expectation and our dreams may come true.

In our normal daily lifestyle, communication is unavoidable; none of us can survive healthy without communication. Hence, communication will affect our believes, thinking and behavior. For instance, our parents, friends or teacher will tell us what is our weakness and so that we can improve our thinking and behave. Without communicating with them, we may become worst or dull in life. We need communication to have self-fulfilling prophecies and increase our self-esteem. Those who live with us from childhood to adult, play an important role in our life. They are the one who communicate with us and will affect us when we growing older. If they told us positive things, we might have a brighter future compare to those who surrounded by people who teach them negative aspect of life.


Choi Hui Lei

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Importance of impressions

Interviewing for jobs, when we come to interviewing for a job, the first things that we need to do is giving a good impression on the employers. By having a good impression, it can really help us to find a good job. The first thing that we need for our impression is our manner. That is how we speak or how we act in front of the employers. We must speak politely and gently. We must also get used to it since we need that for our daily life. Not only speak politely and gently with our employers, and also our friends and family. We can give many people good impressions and we can make many friends. Friends can help us when we need them help. A good manner can help us to get along with others very well. For example, we can cooperate well with each other since we have a good manner and reduce a lot of argument. If we do not have a good manner, when we talk to each other, it can create a lot of misunderstanding because we speak so loudly and make them feel irritating.

Appearance will also affect our impression on people. Although English Idioms said that ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, still, in reality many people will judge a person, by its outlook appearance. For example, most of the schools, had taught that we must wear a uniform. Besides, even we in college, we must wear a formal shirt when we have a presentation. It means that everyone is judging a person by its outlook. Whereby, we need to have a tidy hair, shirt and shoes. The person will seem like neater and friendly. We will feel it is safe to make friends with a good outlook appearance person. So, we need to wear a neat and tidy cloth, with a good personal hygiene to have friends and can communicate with many people very well. Others will also feel comfortable if they are talking to a person like this.


Choi Hui Lei

The Empathetic Ability In Infants and Children

Many of us often think that infants and children are well, just the way they are, incapable of feeling or knowing much about their daily experiences. However, we'll be surprised to find out how empathetic they can be when they're connected to their true inner feelings. Children's empathetic ability grow as they mature.

Based on a pedagogical documentation by Valerie Quann and Carol Anne Wien, they have identified three types of visible empathy of infants and children. The three are Proximal Empathy, Altruistic Empathy, and Self-Corrective Empathy.

One of the three is known as Proximal Empathy. In a distress situation, when a child notices another child nearby who's hurt, will take action by showing kindness both verbally (comforting words) and non-verbally (touch). These responses could factor from several reasons such as their relationship with the upset child or perhaps out of shared knowledge of what it feels like to be upset. For example, an inexperienced child is trying to grab hold of a pair of scissors but accidentally bent her index finger backwards and begins to cry. Another child near her says 'ouch' and touches her hand as a sign of comfort.

For a deeper insight of how empathetic children can be:


This video had actually made me realize how deep children's thoughts can be, even though they're only 10 years old. They are, in fact, capable of understanding what's happening around them mainly because they have experienced it.

The second visible empathy among infants and children is Altruistic Empathy. Children with this type of empathy would interrupt their own activities as they have a desire to alleviate the distress that others are feeling. For example, a child in a nursery has been unhappy for the whole day, refusing to conform with class activities until one of the teacher succesfully guided him to a puzzle. Another child, busy with his own activities notices the happening. To assuage the unhappy child, he picked up a toy as an offering to make her happy and then returns back to his own activity, smiling.

Lastly, the final visible empathy is known as Self-Corrective Empathy. This feeling of empathy usually occurs when an infant or child happen to be the cause of another child's hurt feelings or injury. For example, a boy is painting in class and another child came over and she wants to have a dab at his painting, he shouted at her to go away. When he sees her crying, he feels a small sense of guilt and hence, invites her to paint along with him. This shows that the boy had actually thought of his actions and switched his thought from exclusion to inclusion.

All in all, I think the empathetic ability in us has always been there since we were infants and the ability to empathize increases as we experience many events throughout our lives.

Quann, Valerie (MEd, ECEC) and Wien, Carol Anne (Ph.D in Education). "The Visible Empathy of Infants and Toddlers,". The Journal of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Web. July 2006.

Yang Su Ying