In this paper, I will be covering the main points of the book titled, “Making Friends, and Making them Count,” by Em Griffin. I try to thoroughly explain the advice, pointers, and tips that Griffin gives us to guide us to better relationship formation and communication. My opinions of his book will also be present in this paper, as well as a synopsis of the outline and character of the book.
I found Em Griffin’s book quite fun to read. His comical stories and analogies were really helpful and I was able to understand the concept of communication more thoroughly after reading this book. He explained communication and friendship very well in his book, but also included a little bit of a Christian standpoint. Something I loved about this book were the comics and drawings that were present every couple pages or so. They really keep you entertained and on track with your reading, and a lot of them are really hilarious! In the last eight weeks, we have learned that interpersonal communication is a process. Griffin begins his book with this and tries to use different sports and games to show what communication IS and what it is NOT. Bowling was the first sport used, but explained that bowling is a one man operation. Ping-pong, another analogy used, showed that communication between two people can go back and forth. Sometimes it’s a hit or miss situation, but that is okay! You can start all over again and keep going. A third sport used as a comparison to communication, was charades. Charades is a guessing game, and when we communicate with our friends, we don’t want to have to guess. If so, we are left to guess at snippets of images, words, phrases, and expressions. Again, communication is a process. Processes usually take several steps. In Griffin’s book, he explains “ten steps” or, the “rules of interpersonal communication.” These steps/rules are: 1. Interpersonal communication is a process.
2. Interpersonal communication starts with self.
3. The chances for effective communication increase as people become aware of their motives for getting together. 4. People communicate to reduce uncertainty.
5. Words do not mean thing- people mean things.
6. You cannot not communicate.
7. Without identification there is no communication.
8. To reveal oneself opening and honestly takes the rawest kind of courage. 9. Communication is irreversible and unrepeatable.
10. Communication = content + relationship.
Griffin takes these steps and divides them into each chapter so that he may go over them more carefully. The first chapter introduces the analogies we previously went over, and then introduces these steps. Griffin built his book around three individual parts, “Understanding me,” “Understanding thee,” and “Understanding we.” Griffin states that he did this so he can build a “one on one” relationship with us, the readers. To be able to communicate with others, you must have a proper self-image. Griffin asks you to take a look at your self-concept in chapter two. He asks you to do an activity called, “Who am I?” In this activity, you will number the page 1-15 and complete this sentence 15 times, “I am…” This should help you figure out who you are, or give you a sense of identity. In Griffin’s book, identity is “the mind’s-eye picture we have of ourselves” (Griffin, PP31, 1987). Doing that activity may help you feel more positive about your identity versus negative. “Our self-concept is made up of our identity – the picture we have of ourselves, plus our self-esteem – how we feel about the images in that picture” (Griffin, PP40, 1987). He explains that identity is not carved in stone, and your identity is likely to change several times in your life. Griffin shares that if you are feeling down and your self-worth is not up to par, you need to do something about it! Toss yourself into a meaningful cause, surround yourself with people who make you feel good, and even...