People are social creatures who require communication with others, and it has to be positive. For this purpose, a person needs to understand the processes of building connection and relationships, the feelings of others, and their perception of his or her personality. In this essay, examples of videos from the Internet will be analyzed to determine different types of listening, emotions, and stages of relational development and show the importance of understanding these concepts for relationships.
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Styles of Listening
A situation in which someone reveals his or her feelings is always saturated with emotions and requires understanding and empathic accuracy. In the video, Barney tells his friend, Lily, about his feelings for their female friend Robin (Gremelashvili, 2016). Empathic accuracy means that a person has to recognize the feeling of others for successful communication (Berscheid & Regan, 2016). However, in this case, everything is complicated by the plot of the TV show, since Barney always avoids serious relationships. For this reason, Lily experiences shock and joy, and at the same time, faces a difficult task because Barney does not know what he wants.
Lily, in this scene, shows an analytical listening because she wants to help Barney. This way of listening can be noted by the fact that Lily asks Barney questions, and although she tries to push him to the right decision, she does not press on him. At the same time, both characters use a relational kind of listening because they are friends who have sympathy for each other and tend to feel each other’s emotions (Adler, Rosenfeld, & Proctor, 2017). Barney also tries to apply a task-oriented listening, since he expresses such feelings the first time and does not know how to deal with them (Gremelashvili, 2016). Barney wants to solve his problem quickly and looks for help and advice from Lily, and although he argues with almost each her proposal, he still understands that Lily is right.
Another model of communication for both characters can be critical listening. It seems that Barney also uses this style because he denies everything all the time and finds that arguments of Lily not strong enough (Adler et al., 2017). However, Barney rejects everything because he is afraid of his feelings and does not want to change his lifestyle. At the same time, one can note that Lily also demonstrate the features of critical listening, since she found inappropriate Barney’s arguments (Adler et al., 2017). In this case, although criticism is subjective, it has objective reasons, since Barney’s behavior and action do not coincide to his words. Thus, Lily use critical way of listening to understand Barney’s problem and separate his real feelings from his fears of relationship.
Moreover, this scene is full of manifestations of different emotions that are expressed both in a non-verbal and verbal way. Barney, in the beginning, demonstrates uncertainty, confusion and fear, since he cannot reveal his secret. Lily appears irritated in the apartment as Barney called her too early, and she expects some stupidity from him (Gremelashvili, 2016). At the same time, most of the emotions are manifested through non-verbal gestures or intonations. For example, when Barney makes sudden movements doubting the need to tell his secret, or how he swings his legs and arms when he talks about Robin.
These listening styles and manifestations of emotions coincide with the examples given in the textbook. Emotions are obvious as this is a comedy show in which actors often exaggerate their feelings. However, this fact complicates the process of determining the style of listening, especially for such a problematic situation as Barney and Lily have. Nevertheless, according to the textbook, a person can use and combine several types of listening at the same time for the broadest possible coverage and analysis of information, and in this case, such a combination is appropriate.
Manifestation of Emotions
In this video, Joey realizes that his friends who have known each other for many years are in a relationship, which caused him a storm of emotions. Monica and Chandler want to keep their connection in secret, so they are trying to reassure Joey before he says something to everyone else (Afonco, 2015). The emotions of the characters are clearly visible in the video, since the situation is unusual for all of them.
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The initial feelings for Joey were a surprise, amazement, and shock, which he very clearly expressed both at the very beginning of the video and after the couple revealed some details to him. Monica and Chandler at first experienced fear, anxiety, embarrassment and were bewildered because they did not want to show relationships. Then, for a long time, Joey was embarrassed by the circumstances, afraid that he needed to keep a secret, and confused because of need to choose. At that moment, when Joey promised to be quiet, Monica and Chandler felt relieved, comfortable, and peaceful. Joey’s final emotion was acceptance and humility, although he still felt uncomfortable, irritated, and mad at the sight of kissing friends (Afonco, 2015). Monica and Chandler, in the end, felt loving, happy, and sexy in each other’s arms.
At the same time, friends could experience other emotions if they did not have such a close relationship. For example, Joey might be angry and upset because his best friend had not said anything to him for months. Monica and Chandler could have been irritated, since Joey nearly revealed their secret. However, friends have a close relationship and take care of each other’s feelings and desires, therefore they show kind emotions.
Also, almost all of Joey’s feelings appear in a non-verbal way as he lacks words because of shock and surprise (Adler et al., 2017). All he can do at the beginning is to open his eyes wide and point with a finger at Monica and Chandler (Afonco, 2015). Then he continues to look at Monica quickly, then at Chandler, makes many abrupt movements and tries to take some action. The couple also expresses their feelings non-verbally, literally forcing Joey to be silent at the beginning. Then Monica leans closer to Joey to calm him and convince him, and this move gives confidence and remorse to her words.
Moreover, friends show conflicting style and way of problem resolution, although the quarrel itself does not lie on the surface. Good relations between the characters did not allow the conflict to develop, although it has all the reasons for its occurrence, such as lie and enormous stress (Folger et al., 2017). However, Joey makes concessions and agrees to keep the secret of Chandler and Monica, although for him it is challenging promise. Thus, Joey used such a conflict style as accommodation, since he agrees to be silent (Adler et al., 2017). For him, it is a complicated task, but he just doesn’t want to quarrel with friends.
The part about emotions coincides with examples from the textbook, since comedic characters very accurately convey all their feelings with facial expressions and gestures, as well as words. However, the part about the resolution of the conflict is not entirely typical, since the problem itself does not actually occur, but methods are used to resolve it. Thus, this video is an excellent example of the manifestation of uncontrolled emotions due to severe shock and surprise.
Stages of Relational Development
This video demonstrates the whole story of the friendship between Forest and his friend Jenny. In the beginning, one can see the first meeting of the children and then the evolution of their connection for months (Movieclips, 2011). The video shows almost all the stages of development of the relationship. The first scene on the bus is initiation as the girl invites Forest to sit with her, and then starts a conversation (Movieclips, 2011).
Perhaps the questions were not too attractive for the boy, but the children communicated sincerely and without malice. Then comes the period of the experiment, when the children play, teach each other to climb trees and look for adventure. During this period, the intensification stage also occurs, since children spend a lot of time together. The scene on the branch shows that friends go to the integration stage when they trust and can rely on each other. This fact can be noted because children feel comfortable without words, and they do not afraid to show their feelings (Adler et al., 2017). Besides, an adult Forest confirms with the words that the girl is his best friend.
It is also worth noting, considering the history of children’s friendship, that their relationship arose due to proximity. This fact pushed them to frequent meetings and learning of each other, as well as to the emergence of liking feelings (Adler et al., 2017). Children go to school together, and judging by their games, they live nearby, so it’s easy for them to find opportunities to meet and have fun. However, proximity is not enough for constant friendship, so another reason was the similarity of the children (Adler et al., 2017). The video shows that they both like to spend time outdoors, seek adventure and are curious, so they wanted to be together.
The phases of the relational development between Forest and Jenny, in general, coincide with the examples in the textbook. However, these stages are not shown in detail, and the viewer has to imagine some elements. Nevertheless, the first stage is displayed very clearly, and one can see in it who was the initiator of communication. Thus, this video briefly demonstrates all phases of the friendship development, except for the bonding that either did not happen or was left behind presented scenes.
All three videos show examples of interpersonal communication in different conditions and reveal their different sides. The first video demonstrates in more detail the styles of listening as the situation requires explanation and friendly advice; however, this scene is also emotionally intense. The second video more widely illuminates the emotions of the character and their transitions because the situation is shocking and uncomfortable for all friends.
In the same case, a method of resolving or avoiding conflict is used. The third video has fewer details and gives full coverage to different stages of the relational development, or more accurately friendship between children. All of these aspects described in the paper can be applied to the characters of all videos if one fully trace the plot of the film or TV show. However, the fragments show that people need to be able to manage their emotions, feelings, and conflict to maintain positive relationships with others.
Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., & Proctor, R. F. (2017). Interplay: The process of interpersonal communication (14th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Afonco, C. (2015). Friends S05E05 – Joey finds out about Chandler and Monica [Video file]. Web.
Berscheid, E. S., & Regan, P. C. (2016). The psychology of interpersonal relationships. New York, NY: Routledge.
Folger, J. P., Poole, M. S., & Stutman, R. K. (2018). Working through conflict: Strategies for relationships, groups, and organizations (8th ed.). New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
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Gremelashvili, K. (2016). Barney says he’s in love with Robin [How I Met Your Mother 4×1] [Video file]. Web.
Movieclips. (2011). Forrest Gump (1/9) movie CLIP – Peas and carrots (1994) HD [Video file]. Web.