The elements of the Assertive Message Format can be arranged in any order to suit the needs and style of each individual.
The Office - Michael's comments to Pam create a negative communication climate.
Recognition, which is simply showing awareness of another person, is one way to send a confirming message to another. Norm experiences this every time he enters the bar in the show Cheers.
One conflict trigger is provocation, purposeful instigation of conflict. Chandler, then Phoebe and Rachel, provoke conflict within the group.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards reveals the reasons couples fight and how to manage these conflicts productively.
The Office - In the following clip Michael Scott attempts to help Angela and Oscar settle a dispute through collaboration, while Pam attempts to help them settle the dispute through compromise.
Dwight and Jim engage in a conflict regarding desk space. Can you identify which conflict style they use?
In many relationships, we engage in certain conflict rituals. You can see a distinct difference in the way the guys of New Girl handle relationships versus Jess and Cece.
You've Got Mail - Kathleen and Joe's face-to-face interactions demonstrate a defensive spiral. They constantly throw discomfirming messages back and forth at one another.
Sheldon struggles when his friends purposefully interrupt him.
An effective communicator is appropriate by meeting the demands of the situation. Tom Cruise clearly illustrates when the demands of the situation are not met.
We experience many emotions and may not always realize what we are feeling. The following clip introduces us to several of those common emotions.
How is emotional intelligence demonstrated in this clip from Inside Out?
Sheldon struggles to understand and distinguish the emotions of others.
Albert Ellis developed the Rational EmotiveTheory to explain that behavior, emotion, and cognition are intertwined.
On This Emotional Life, Elizabeth Gilbert explains why people are like porcupines. Do you agree? Why or why not?
The Cosby Show - Kenny spouts his brother's ideas about women indicating an influence in what he believes regarding gender roles.
Introducing the next speaker.
The Big Bang Theory ("The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis") - Sheldon hugs Penny; Sheldon realizes in that moment that he does not have the words to express his gratitude and in a rare instance replaces words with a non-verbal message instead.
In this TED Talk, Pamela Myer explains why we're all liars, how we can become lie spotters, any why we might want to go from lie spotting to truth seeking.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards discusses tips for indicating popularity just by your profile picture.
One reason we manage the impressions we make on others is to explore new selves. In the following clip, Ross has made a New Year's Resolution inspired by this very thing.
While technology may often allow an individual more control over the presentation of self, it often also includes what others present about us, which can have both a positive and a negative impact. This is illustrated in the following clip where Jef Varner infamously outs Zeke on the reality TV show, Survivor.
Doubt - Viola Davis's character uses euphemisms and evasive language to communicate to Sister Aloysius that she knows the truth without having to admit it directly.
Ross and Rachel's "We were on a break", represents and example of a semantic misunderstanding. They each interpreted the meaning of these words differently.
Tom has created specific terms for food. Leslie is part of his group of people, so she knows and understands what he means.
Sheldon does not understand the pragmatic rule (unspoken rule) at work in Raj's question.
Using I Language
2-Minute Therapy: Positive Communication with I Statements
Cultures vary in their language use. Most cultures are either high-context cultures or low-context cultures. The difference between the two is illustrated in the following clip.
Phoebe is unaware of some of the cultural differences in using language when she calls London.
Texting is Killing Language. j/k!!
Words have power.
Sheldon uses Klingon as a secret weapon.
Euphemisms are inoffensive words or phrases we substitute for language that is potentially upsetting. This is illustrated in the following clip where Lorelei and Sookie attempt to skirt around using the words "die" or "death".
Supportive Listening - Leonard tries to support Penny, but does not choose the best way to show his support.
Both ineffective listening techniques and attempts at effective listening technique are illustrated by Sheldon and Leonard.
Active Listening - Kate Owens teaches us simple ways to be active listeners.
The following TED Talks discuss listening further.
2007 Miss Teen USA - Miss South Carolina becomes very nervous and pulls the wrong information from her prepared answers.
In an effort to get people to communicate verbally while dining, a New Jersey restaurant, The Station, asks customers to put their cell phones in a basket in the middle of the table for the entire meal; if they do, they receive 5% off the bill.
Cast Away - The following clip illustrates the absolute necessity of communication with others. It is an innate part of us.
I Am Legend - In the following clip, we see how desperate Robert Neville is for communication with others.
In the following clip we see how friends communicate to meet each other's various needs: physical, identity, social, and goals.
For the Birds
Friends - Chandler decides to quit the gym and brings Ross along for support. Notice that every nonverbal channel is used in some way. Can you list all of the examples?
Up - This opening sequence shows Ellie and Carl's love story with no dialogue, demonstrating the power of nonverbal communication. Notice the many different emotions/feelings conveyed through a variety of nonverbal cues including eye behavior, proximity, facial expression, environment, haptics, and body language.
The Importance of Nonverbal Cues
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards explains color psychology.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards explains the mysteries of women’s body language.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards explains important elements of men’s body language.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards provides body language tips to help individuals (especially introverts) feel more powerful, confident, and personable.
A TED Talk by social psychologist Amy Cuddy
Psychologist Paul Ekman conducted cross-cultural research and discovered seven common facial expressions which are easily deciphered by any culture. They are illustrated in the following video.
Psychologist Paul Ekman discusses his research on the human face.
In this video, behavioral investigator Vanessa Van Edwards explains the seven universal facial expressions.
In the following clip, Paul Ekman discusses the role microexpressions play in lie detection.
Body Language Expert Blake Eastman explains microexpressions.
Body Language Expert Blake Eastman explains the micro expressions that indicate contempt.
Body Language Expert Blake Eastman explains the micro expressions that indicate sadness.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards explains how to interpret three common microexpressions.
Reading facial expressions is better than reading body language.
Oculesics is eye communication. This includes eye contact, eye movement, and pupil dilation. In the following clips, Tyra Banks teaches models to smile with just their eyes, or "smize".
Cingular Commercial, "Mother Love" - The nonverbal paralanguage does not match the verbal message.
Bud Light "Dude" Commercial - "Dude" is substituted for all of the dialogue in this commercial, but the paralanguage indicates what is really being said.
The Big Bang Theory - Sheldon struggles to pick up on the subtle changes in tone of voice that indicate sarcasm.
In this clip, notice that he is working to understand and use sarcasm, but still misses the tone of voice that communicates it.
Nonverbal Communication is used as a substitute for words. In this clip Sheldon has no words to thank Penny for her gift.
Seinfeld - Here is a perfect example of invading someone's intimate zone.
Eye of the Beholder - This short film follows a day in the life of an artist and explores how he is perceived by those he encounters while also exploring his perceptions of them.
The Voice Italy - The Voice is the first competition show to limit the factors that influence the judges' perceptions of each contestant's true vocal ability. Frequently on this show, what you see is not what you get. The judges' reactions clearly illustrate the power that schemas have in influencing the way we see the world.
Toy Story - Based on their initial experience, Woody and Buzz automatically assume the toys in Sid's room are cannibals and will tear them apart. Later, however, they discover that what they first assumed was a misperception. Sid's toys are actually kind, and just want to help. In the second clip you see that Woody works with Sid's toys to save Buzz and escape from Sid.
Punctuation (determining the cause/effects in interactions): Ross and Rachel disagree about who sent whom signals.
Many factors can influence our perception, including hunger. In this commercial we see this illustrated.
We may form relationships due to: appearance, similarity, complementary attributes, reciprocal attraction, competence, disclosure, proximity, or rewards.
What are the reasons that Sheldon and Amy form their relationship?
Knapp's Developmental Stages identify ten different stages a relationship can experience.
In this first example its clear that Robin and her boyfriend are in two different stages.
In this second example, can you identify which stage(s) Ross and Rachel are experiencing?
Relationships move through Knapp's stages in different ways and at different paces. Take a look at the stages Rachel and her blind date progress through.
While there are several ways to handle the dialectical tension of predictability versus novelty, Leonard, Raj, and Howard find a creative way to change up the normal routine while still maintaining a sense of predictability for Sheldon.
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards explains Dr. Gary Chapman’s 5 love languages.
Relational turning points are significant interactions or events that shift the relationship into a new stage.
In the following clip, we see Chandler and Monica move from friendship into a romantic relationship wth their first kiss.
Ross and Rachel move into the "coming apart" stages of their relationship.
Real Housewives of Atlanta- Kim Zolciak chose to pursue a singing career and as you can see, her self-concept is unreasonably positive when it comes to her ability.
Clip #2: Kim Zolciak performs "Google Me" on Watch What Happens Live
Behavioral Investigator Vanessa Van Edwards discusses personality types.
Personality has Biological and Social Roots
Chasing Life - April reveals to her friend Beth that she has Leukemia, and the concerns she has about this. These concerns illustrate the many ways that reflected appraisal could influence and change her self-concept.
Self-Concept is subjective, based on the impressions we have of ourselves. These impressions can be uncharacteristically positive or negative. The following clips illustrate that we are not always aware when our impressions are uncharacteristically positive or negative.
You're More Successful Thank You Realize (a social experiment): Others often see a very different self than we see.
Presenting Self is the "face" we display to those around us, our public self. In the following clip we see Chandler make very specific choices about what "face" to display in an important job interview.
The following video discussed Self-Efficacy, which is closely linked to Self-Concept.
Self-Efficacy is also illustrated in the animated film Kung Fu Panda.
Self-Efficacy, Motivation, and Goal Revision
How to Boost Your Confidence
The Cycle of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.
The Breakfast Club - All the characters end up revealing very personal things about themselves. In this portion of the movie we see them willing to share to reap the benefits of catharsis and reciprocity. This one example shows how personal and important the subject matter must be to the individual sharing for it to be considered true self-disclosure.
*Warning: Strong language at 2:12, 2:43, 3:03, and 3:08
The Big Bang Theory ("The Killer Robot") - Penny gets fed up with Howard and tells him how she really feels about him and the things he says. This reminds us to ask ourselves, "Is this disclosure appropriate?" and "Will the effect of the disclosure be constructive?"
One of the risks of self-disclosure, decrease in relational satisfaction, is illustrated in the following clip. Eva Marie reveals her feelings about having children.
One alternative to self-disclosure is equivocation. Watch how this bridesmaid uses equivocation to avoid revealing how she really feels.
The Social Penetration Theory looks at how much, how deep, and at what point we are willing to reveal deeper layers of ourselves in our relationships. This is illustrated through Jess and Nick's relationship in New Girl.
The King's Speech - In the following clips we see glimpses of those (Lionel Logue and Queen Elizabeth) who provide a supportive communication climate for King George VI filled with confirming messages, and glimpses of those (the King's brother, Edward) who created a negative communication climate with disconfirming messages.