Friday, July 6, 2012

Week 2 Assignment 2

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.


  1. Nicky,
    I can relate to your AHA moment. Sometimes I wonder if the actions (non-verbal cues) do speak louder than the words. Non-verbal cues are definitely important, and we should make it routine to listen to them. However, we must also listen to the verbal speech. When both are combined, we can make an educated judgement as to the true meaning of the communication.
    Mary L.

  2. Nicky,

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree that people can say one thing and have a different nonverbal body language. In regard to listening to the language or body language the most for me, it depends on the situation. If I know the person is nervous in what they are about to tell me, I listen to their words more and assume that the body language is more of them being scared.

  3. Nicky,

    This assignment made us think more about the importance of non-verbal and verbal communication. On our discussion board, we talk about the importance of non-verbal communication but during this exercise, I realized that verbal communication or at least a caption would help us understand what we are watching. Thank you for sharing your experience. Hopefully with this assignment, we will be more mindful on how we communicate with other people.

  4. Nickon,

    I agree that actions sometimes reveal more truth or speak louder than what someone is actually verbalizing. I've never watched Single Ladies, but I do watch a few shows on VH1. On one particular episode (on a popular new show, this woman had told an old friend that another woman was actually, the girlfriend of this music producer (the woman telling did not know that her old friend was actually the longtime girlfriend of the man. When how she knew they were a couple she replied that it was all in their body language a chemistry. This has allowed me to see the importance of body language and how damaging it can be, if the wrong image is given off.

  5. Nickon,

    Single Ladies is one of my favorite shows. I should have picked this series to watch with the sound off, because there is always something going on, I probably would have made all sort of assumptions. The characters in this particular show use a lot of facial expressions and body gestures to send messages to the receivers about their emotions.