Matt places his foot on one of the boys papers

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Matt places his foot on one of the boy’s papers. “Looking for this?” Ramone starts to laugh, but Marya frowns. “Matt is just having a little fun,” Ramone says. Marya shakes her head. She wonders how to let Matt know that she disapproves of his bullying. 259 Lesson 2 Communicating Effectively Eliminating Communication Barriers ave you ever heard the saying, “A chain is only as strong as H its weakest link”? The same is true of communication. If one person in a relationship has good communication skills but the other person does not, the entire communication process suffers. Sometimes a person’s beliefs or attitudes can make communication difficult. Examples of obstacles to clear communication include: Image and identity issues. Many teens spend at least part of their teen years searching for an identity —a sense of who they are and their place in the world. If someone is unsure of his or her values, the uncertainty can complicate the communication process. identity For more information about the search for identity during the teen years, see Chapter 7, page 178. HS_HEALTH_U04_C10_L2 12/6/03 9:18 AM Page 259
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Unrealistic expectations. Avoid imposing unrealistic expectations on your listener; this may cause the individual to become frustrated or defensive. Lack of trust. Good communication is built on trust between two people. If you don’t trust a person—if you believe that you can’t count on him or her to tell you the truth or to keep a confidence—communication is very difficult. Prejudice. Some individuals have a or an unfair opinion or judgment of a particular group of people. Prejudice prevents a person from having an open mind and listening to new information. To avoid developing prejudices, you can demonstrate , or the ability to accept others’ differences and allow them to be who they are without expressing disapproval. Being tolerant helps you understand the differences among people and recognize the value of diversity. Gender stereotyping. Gender stereotyping is a type of prejudice that involves having an exaggerated or oversimplified belief about people of a certain gender. Assuming that all males like sports and that all females enjoy cooking are examples of gender stereotyping. Such assumptions make it difficult to communicate effectively. Constructive Feedback o one, not even your best friend or your teacher, is perfect. It’s N only realistic to be disappointed in a relationship occasion- ally. Imagine that you are meeting a friend to see a movie. Your friend is late, causing you to miss the beginning of the show. How would you react in this situation? Some people might resort to name-calling or placing blame. However, when someone lets you down, you may find that giving the person feedback in a more positive manner helps him or her and your relationship. The feedback you provide should take the form of , nonhostile comments that point out problems and encourage improvement.
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