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The Complexity of Human Communication

What communication behaviors were most revealing or important?

Aggressive behavior was demonstrated in the party by Sam’s mother. She overlooked other people’s feelings in the party by her dressing, choice of words and denying her husband the freedom of interacting with Sam’s professor. From this behavior it can be asserted that Sam’s mother is insecure and has low self-esteem, hence the need to appear dominant.

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Accommodating behavior was revealed in the party. Sam’s family members were polite and ignored issues that could have resulted in confrontational situations. Sam’s dad did object to his wife dressing as a teenager despite having reservations about the issue expressed both verbally and non-verbally.

Avoidance behavior was demonstrated by Sam’s professor; she avoided any confrontation with Sam’s mother and left the party earlier. Sam’s dad also avoided his wife after the professor left diffusing the situation which could have become confrontational. Susan’s friend avoided interacting with other party goers probably because they were new to her.

Assertive behavior was demonstrated by Sam when communicating with his professor. He effectively communicated his feeling using both verbal and nonverbal communication. This enabled him to effectively communicate his gratitude to his professor.

Who was the most effective communicator at the party?

Sam’s professor was the most effective communicator in the party. She effectively maintained her status as an academician by using space, time, voice, tone and dressing. She was dressed formally, talked in an audible and well-articulated voice signifying authority and seniority, and left the party earlier, avoiding any confrontation with Sam’s mother. Her interaction with Sam and his dad was clear and avoided any situation that could have caused misunderstandings. Her communication behavior maintained her status and respect from the people in the party. She made sure that Sam gratitude was reciprocated by using eye contact and touch as she bade him good bye.

What does this clip teach you about the complexity of human communication?

To effectively communicate and pass the right message, a person must use both verbal and a nonverbal signs which is quite difficult as their actual contributions to communication is unquantifiable (Lappako, 64). Dressing is very important in any given situation as it influences the message recipients. In the party Sam’s mother was inappropriately dressed for the party and this hindered effective communication between her, her family and other party goers.

Her dressing code was misinterpreted despite dressing in such a manner to be able to socialize with Sam’s friends. This made her feel insecure and lowered her self-confidence as nobody was willing to socialize with her.

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Being able to understand nonverbal communication is essential for effective communication as it may avert a confrontational situation. Sam’s dad immediately realized that Susan’s friend did not want to talk and left her alone. Had Sam’s mother correctly interpreted her husband’s paralinguistic clues in their bed room and her families facial expressions when she descended into the sitting room she could have changed her attire.

The video also demonstrates that nonverbal methods of communication are ineffective in communication and should be reinforced with verbal communication. This is shown by Sam’s ineffective gesture to discourage Suzan’s friend from smoking. People who are closely related enjoy good relationships and stay close to one another in rooms. This is revealed by family members around Sam’s grandmother.

When the appropriate distance is not maintained there is a communication breakdown which results in uncomfortable situations as happens when Sam’s mother tried to join the group. For human beings to effectively communicate they must use both verbal and nonverbal communication signs to effectively pass their messages to the desired recipients. Effective communication is essential in developing good social and life skills.

Works Cited

Lapakko, David. Three Cheers for Language: A Closer Examination of a Widely Cited Study of Nonverbal Communication. Communication Education. 46(1997), 63–67. Print.

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