So you think you're assertive?   Are you saying to your children what you think you are?  
Education: Interpersonal Communications
(Are you really saying what you think you are saying?)


Welcome to my classroom. My name is motdaugrnds; but most people just call me "mot". (That is not my real name, of course. It is a nickname I have adopted since retiring from face-to-face interaction with those outside my immediate family and close friends.) I am a retired Family Therapist, having gone into that field of study and practice through non-traditional avenues, i.e. Interpersonal/Therapeutic Communications. My educational background started with a traditional Bachelor degree in Psychology. (During that time I became more aware of myself as a communicator and had many questions I wanted answers to.) I continued on for a Masters degree in Interpersonal Communications within the department of Human Learning and Development. Another two years of graduate studies in Child and Family Relations; another two years in Substance Abuse studies; voluminous seminars, workshops and conferences related to my work within the Clinical Department of an alternative school; over four years of supervised practicums/internships; and over five (5) years of my own personal therapy rounded out my educational experiences. Throughout the latter part of this time (totalling over 15 yrs), I worked as a Therapist with severely disturbed adults, children and families...helping them own their self worth, experience their power and grow in their interpersonal and professional relationships. (It was during this stretch of time that I earned my "Clinical" Membership at the national level within the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists, i.e. AAMFT.) Alongside this therapeutic work, I designed courses of instruction in various aspects of Human Learning and Development, which I taught within the local community colleges and adult educational programs. I designed and coordinated the Parents' Enrichment Service for a clinical department in which I was employed for over 10 years. And now, I have an opportunity to present information I found most helpful through the years in my understanding of interpersonal interactions.

This is a course of instruction that can benefit you in both your personal and professional lives; and that is because communication is the golden thread that runs through absolutely everything. This course is designed to help you understand what communicating involves and how all the aspects of communication (intra-personal, inter-personal, verbal/non-verbal, etc.) make you what you "think" you are and keep you where you may not want to be in your relations with "important others".

During these studies, you will have the opportunity to find answers to some of the most bewildering quandaries facing us human beings who make an honest effort to convey our thoughts to others.

  • Have you ever wondered why you are not being understood by those close to you?
  • Are you really saying what you think you are saying?
  • Can your listener actually hear the message you think you are conveying?
  • Have you ever done something and immediately wondered why you did that?
  • Have you ever sat listening to another while wondering what the heck they are saying?

We will talk about the TYPES of communication, exploring only two of the basic four--the basic four being:

  • Intra-communication (within self)
  • Inter-communication (with others)
  • Public-communication (speaker or mass media)
  • Cross cultural-communication (age, race, countries, sex, etc.)

The two we will explore will be that communication that goes on INSIDE one individual (intra-personal) and that communication that goes on BETWEEN individuals (inter-personal).


In focusing on INTRA-personal communication, we will explore the following:

  • Personal Frame of Reference: Our basic attitudes, beliefs and values
  • Personal representational system: How we experience our world.
  • Personal Communicative style/process: Our chosen positions; how we share our experiences.
  • Personal motivators: Social/relational stances; and motivators or "drivers".

In focusing on INTER-personal communication, we will explore these:

  • Types of communication
  • Phases of communication
  • Listening
  • Models of communicating
  • Relational roles we choose.

Lastly, we will spend a little time on CONFLICTS and STRESS; and you will wind up with some ways of identifying these and resolving them.


At this time I invite you to get yourself a small notebook (or use your notepad or Microsoft Word, or whatever) and establish yourself a "Journal". Periodically, we will be doing exercises that will produce better results for you if you make use of some type of a Journal. During the process of taking these classes, you will be finding parts of your own communication expressions you were not aware existed. You will find that, for the most part, our "unknown" communication turns out to be acts resulting from decisions (now unconscious) about important others and the environment in general. We might call these: instinctive Behavior (reflex behavior) and habit (learned reflex behavior). An example of this communication process might be when we re-live our past by associating present environmental stimuli with past people and past situations; or more simply put: We might put the face of someone from our past on the person(s) we are communicating with at the present time and, thus, be interacting with this person as though he/she were here. All this can be outside our awareness. No matter what our age, not one of us got out of childhood with a full deck. We are all carrying some past experiences around with us that we made important decisions about...forgotten, maybe; but still there. And these can show up in unexpected ways as we interact with important others. Right now, let's do a little exercise to give you an opportunity to find some of the hidden burdens you (or close others) might be carrying around.

The Monkey on My Back!
What hidden burdens are you carrying?
See if any of these apply for you or for a friend you're interested in having a more personal relationship with.

__Do you try to please, maintain harmony and avoid arguments at all times, even at your own expense?
__Are there times when you want to say "no" and don't; or if you do say "no", you feel guilty?
__Do you feel pushed/pulled in opposite directions?
__Are you easily frustrated?  Angered?  Upset?
__Are you quick to assume blame?
__Are you a compulsive driver, a workaholic?
__Do you express opinions apologetically?
__Are you extremely skilled and competent, but tend to discredit yourself?
__Are you "other"-centered, putting the needs and desires of others before your own?
__Do you fear any inadequacy being exposed to others?
__Is it difficult for you to express anger?
__Are you non-assertive in many respects?
__Do you hesitate to accept leadership roles, but work behind the scenes?
__Do you set goals for yourself, yet never quite reach them?
__Do you attempt to do more than one thing at a time?
__Do you need external approval to maintain a sense of worth?
__Have you ever had a day where absolutely everything seemed to go wrong?
__Are you uncomfortable when things are not done the proper way?
__Have you ever wanted to get out, meet new people, and yet stopped yourself for some reason?
__Do you have difficulty trusting others (male/female)?
__Have you ever been aware of being among a group of people and yet feeling you were all alone?
__Do you feel weighted down by some particular burden, anxiety or stress?

These you may or may not be aware of. And you may know of others that fit even better for you (or a friend). Suffice it to say, we are all carrying unknowns. We rarely see ourselves as others see us. And this does not make us bad (or good). It simply means we are human beings. Yet, it is the unknown that often shows up at unexpected times to interfere in our relationships. And it is often the unknowns that others respond to during our interpersonal communications. (Also, speaking as a parent, it is the unknowns that our children often react to; but this is a completely different course of study.)

This will be a free course. There will be nothing to pay for. I will be available to answer any questions you might have. And it is my hope that what I present will be beneficial.

Click here to check out your "frame of reference".

Please feel free to contact me via regular email at "3motdaugrnds@hughes.net" (without the quotes of course) if you want to discuss anyting you've read here.