Week 2 Assignment 2
As I have been learning, communication is not always straightforward. Everyone, at some time or another, makes assumptions based on messages communicated through body language and facial expressions. For this assignment, I considered what I have been learning about communication skills and styles. I then recorded an episode of VH1’s show Single Ladies. I watched the show twice, the first time I watched it was with the sound turned off and the second time I watched it, I turned the sound on. The first time I watched it with the sound turned off, I thought one of the female characters was in a relationship with a man, but I thought the man was cheating on her because of the looks she would give him whenever this particular woman would come around. In fact, the man looked very uncomfortable being in a communal location in which both women would be present. As I watched the TV show, I saw a lot of “unfinished business” between the man and the woman I thought he was in the relationship with because of the gaze they had when they looked into each others eyes and by the way other people that was around them looked on and watched their movement and then whispered.
Now, watch the show with the sound turned on.
I then watched the same show with the sound turned on and wow what a difference it makes to hear how a person feels opposed to judging their feelings or behavior based solely upon what I see. For instance, I learned that the female character Keisha was not the girlfriend of Malcolm but an ex girlfriend. However, the energy that I felt when I saw the two of them together clearly indicated that they have some unfinished business. And the female I thought Malcolm was cheating with was the new girlfriend. However, the new girlfriend was clearly intimidated by Keisha who is the ex girlfriend; it was evident in her body language and in the comment she made in which she articulated her desire for Malcolm to cut off all forms of communication with Keisha if their relationship was to grow and have a chance. Initially Malcolm’s body language appeared to be unsettled by the request because his eyes began to shift and he became very fidgety. It was apparent that Malcolm still wanted a relationship with Keisha on some level. However to my surprise, Malcolm later went to Keisha’s home and personal told her that he was going to honor the request of his current girlfriend and cut off all ties with her. Its funny because, I heard what Malcolm said and I saw and heard the aggravation in Keisha as she received the information from Malcolm, but when she closed her door, they were both touching the door as if they wanted to engage in more dialogue and or physical activity.
- Would your assumptions have been more correct if you had been watching a show you know well?
This show is a drama, so I expect to see some predictable behavior, but the writers and producers of this show did an excellent job of showing how a person can articulate one thing but their non verbal form of communication indicates otherwise….so I was left with the question do we listen to what a person say even though their body language states otherwise?
My “aha” moment occurred when I realized people can say one thing and their actions can mean something totally different… I guess in many respects the phrase actions speak louder than words rang true after I watched this TV show.