Communication Skills And How They Are Used

In Everything Essay, Research Paper

The skills of communication in the movie The Breakfast Club

Communication between individuals can occur in many ways but the amount of information revealed can tell you the strength of their relationship. Self-disclosure is this process of deliberately revealing information about oneself that is significant and that would not normally be known by others. Some reasons why someone might disclose information would be for catharsis, self-clarification, self-validation, and reciprocity. People disclose for the reason catharsis because they might want to get something off their chest. Self-clarification is the reason for disclosure in order to clarify their beliefs, opinions, attitudes, and feeling by talking about them with another person. Self-validation is the reason for disclosure when someone wants to seek the listener’s agreement or conformation of a belief they hold about themselves. Reciprocity is the reason for disclosure in order to encourage another person to disclose also. Another concept that must be taken into consideration when talking about communication is perception. Perception can be defined as the way one views their surroundings as well as themselves and others. The relatively stable set of perceptions individuals hold about themselves is their self-concept. Now that some of the terminology was discussed about interpersonal communication I will show some examples by using characters in a movie.

The movie “The Breakfast Club” was a great movie to see how people communicate with one another. Each individual in the movie appeared to be quite different but by the end they were all really not that different. In fact, they were pretty much the same, but acted differently due to their environment they lived in everyday. In the beginning of the movie the perception they held for each other was all due to their reputations so instead of having a group of students you had labels of a brain, a criminal, an athlete, a princess, and a basket case. As it turned out the brain was Brian Johnson, the criminal was John Bender, the athlete was Andrew Clark, the princess was Clare, and the basket case was Alicen. The reaction toward each other at 7am was not very receptive because at that time they all viewed each other to be very different people who just didn’t associate with the others. Some examples are how Bender viewed Clare to be a spoiled, rich, brat. He viewed Brian to be a nerd and Andrew as a jock who gets away with everything because of being a star athlete. Andrew thought Alicen was a mental case with a lot of problems. He also viewed Bender as a loser and a criminal. Brian thought Bender was just a stupid guy who takes shop class for an easy way out. He also viewed Clare as a girl who had everything good looks, money, and popularity so life had to be easy for her too. Brian viewed Clare as a scary nutcase. These were their initial views on each other.

In order to understand the self-disclosure and self-concept ideas I concentrated on John Bender. John had a self-concept that was entirely to low for himself. He felt like no one cared about him, not even his own parents. Although his self-concept was very low he did everything he could to cover it up. He was very cocky, arrogant, and insulted everyone in order to cover up his self-concept. He also portrays himself as a big tough guy we would call the school bully. John needs to show everyone that he is always in control. For example, when the principle told John to just be quiet but he would not allow the principle to have the last word so that by the end of their conversation he had two more months of Saturday detentions. John’s perception of the world was a cold, violent, bitter world. He thinks he knows the lifestyles in which everyone else lives. He believes Brian’s life is great because he is a genius with parents who love and nurture him therefore life must be easy for him. He believes Andrew is just a dumb jock that everyone loves and that his parents are real proud of him so again life must be easy for him. As for Clare’s life he believes she is just a spoiled rich girl whose parents give her whatever she wants and she is very popular so her life should not be too hard either. He judges everyone by their surface and reputations instead of who they really are. Later he would realize his perception of their “easy” lives could not be farther from the truth. As the day went on and they learned bits and pieces about each other they began to feel more at ease to talk at a larger breath and then a greater depth. As they were all eating their lunch John began to tell everyone about his home life and how his parents call him a loser in many forms and how his father became abusive towards him. I think his self- disclosure to the others was for self-validation because he was looking for them to understand why he behaves the way he does. They started to talk even more and they even went together to sneak to John’s locker. On the way back they would have gotten caught but John saved them by acting as a decoy so the rest of them could get back to the library. John was taken out of the library and locked in another room. Eventually he found his way back to be with the others. When he returned he went to get high and the others followed and because of this they all became very open with their actions and their conversations. While they were high some of the disclosures happened in dyads, although later the most disclosures happened while they were in a circle together. I think John and Clare’s disclosure was for the reason of self-clarification. Later they all sat in a circle where most of the self-disclosure happened because questions were being asked and the answers were going to deliberately reveal to everyone significant information that they would not normally know. At first I think the reason for their self-disclosure was for self-clarification. I think another reason for their self-disclosure might have been for catharsis, in order to get something off their chest, such as when Brian told everyone the reason he was in detention was because he taped a kid’s but together just to please his father. Besides the reasons given above another reason was for reciprocity, they told something in order to get others to talk, such as when Brian told everyone he had a gun in his locker because he was thinking of suicide due to his shop grad of an “F”. He only told everyone that after Andrew had expressed the reason he was in detention. As the conversation went on the self-disclosures occurred incrementally and symmetrically because they all told about the same breath and depth in small increments. Through it all they became friends and learned that they all are really very much alike. They discovered that inside each one of them there is a brain, a criminal, an athlete, a princess, and a basket case. It is funny how things work out when you get to know a person instead of just blindly judging. In this instance the athlete and the basket case got together while the criminal and the princess got together, who would have figured that to happen! Self-disclosure is a process that is very important to good communication.

Interpersonal communication shown by the characters in the movie, “The Breakfast Club,” was to help get a better understanding of some useful concepts. The characters in this movie self-disclosed to each other for different reasons depending on who they were and how they perceived things to be. Some of these reasons were catharsis, self-validation, self-clarification, and reciprocity. The other important concept for communication shown here was perception or the way they view their surroundings as well as themselves and others. We also saw how self-concept or the way we view ourselves shapes our perception of others too. This is only a few of the many concepts important to communication and with out communication this world would not be able to function.


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