I have been a very active sportsman throughout my academic career, back in Hong Kong I used to be the captain of my school’s badminton team and our team had won many inter-school tournaments and thus got many laurels for our school. After leaving Hong Kong for the States I had never realized that it would be so difficult to adjust in the new country.
Apart from studies, I knew that sports and badminton in particular would be a regular activity for me, since I considered myself very good at it. However, when I came, I had to give the trials like everyone else for the selection of the team. I was selected in the playing eleven, but the positions of the team players were to be decided in the practice sessions. During our practice, I must admit I realized that the standard of the players selected for the team was excellent; however I was hopeful about getting the position of the central mid-fielder. That was the position I had played for years and was very good at. I was also expecting to be the captain of the team, which comprised mainly of Americans, I was the only Chinese and there were two Asians in the team. I believe that amongst the major factors that I found different from China was the culture shock in terms of individualism and collectivism. I come from a culture where families live together and decisions are taken after a consensus of the family but in the States, the independence the children have to live their life and make their decisions baffled me a little. I also missed my family quite a bit due to which I had become despondent, that is why I feel that I blamed everything on my nationality. That I think is quite a contributing factor to this conflict. A relief however is the fact that because of the empowerment and independence that students have in the States, I could at least talk the matter out with my coach. Had I been stuck in the same situation in China I would not have had the leverage to discuss this with my coach. This lack of freedom, I feel has hampered my ability to communicate. Since I have never had to argue with my seniors, to be able to convey my opinion I feel that I was at a disadvantage and my negotiation skills were not very apt for a discussion with the coach, which is why the clarification which I tried to seek turned more or less into an argument. I also felt that since my coach is such a senior person and at a position of authority, he expected the team players to accept his decisions as right and trust them, therefore I feel my seeking clarification might have angered him a little, as he might have seen it as an insult to his credibility. Evolution and Characteristics of the Relationship My interpersonal communication problem is between me and the coach of our team. I feel that part of the problem existed with my pre-decided notion that I might not get adequate representation in the new college because of being a Chinese. For this reason, if ever I was denied a chance at anything I used to blame it on my nationality. Therefore, when I was not given the position of the central midfielder, I thought the coach was biased because mostly the central midfielder becomes the captain of the team and thus, I was sure that the central midfielder would be given to an America national and so was the case, which served to substantiate my doubts. The