Hey, who remembers the movie, Hitch? You know the movie, where Will Smith plays the guy that teaches people how to win over the person of your dreams. Well that movie was a great example of interpersonal communication going wrong and this Blog will be discussing that subject. Enjoy!
Hitch and Interpersonal Conflict
Can having different agendas while being open to communicating still cause conflict when it comes to self-disclosing? The answer is yes. The movie Hitch was a great example movie of showing the different conflicts that can arise within interpersonal communication that happens often with people trying to get to know each other. When stepping into the levels of self-disclosing oneself to another and vice versa, while making sure to listen carefully, in sharing personal information it is most important to be communicating ethically, no hidden agendas or dodging certain subject matter. This is what occurred with Alex and Sara in, regards to their attraction to one another followed by them moving from acquaintance to a more personal relationship. As Hitch stated, “I trick women into getting out of their own way, so that honest men can have a fighting chance.” He made it possible for men and women to be honest with each other by truly listening to what was being said and paying attention to the non-verbal messages, unfortunately, Hitch, nor Sara really listened to each other. In the movie Hitch, a glaring interpersonal conflict that kept reoccurring between Alex Hitchens and Sara Melas was that, of self- disclosure, the intrigue of it not being handled properly was the sub-plot, because there was a simpler and effective way that self-disclosure could have been handled.
While Alex and Sara were disclosing information about their personal history, the issue of self-disclosure still became a conflict because of one main detail was being evaded, that of, what was Alex’s job. In disclosing information about yourself, it is important that you are ethical with and how you give that information, that what you are saying is reliable and trusting because one is working with principles of right and wrong (Sole, 2011). Too often people tend to attempt to stay honest by not giving certain information about themselves because they feel it can hurt a situation when in fact, by not disclosing is, in, itself will cause the very conflict that one was trying to avoid. As a result, looking as though you are being dishonest, distorting the truth for gain. This is what happened with Alex and Sara by not disclosing important information about their work caused major conflict.
Moreover, avoiding and keeping secrets was the main reason why the conflict between Alex and Sara was not handled properly. Understanding that self-disclosing aspects of one’s life is intentional, and is done in stages of getting to know one another, and although there are positives and negatives with self-disclosure it is important to allow yourself to become vulnerable (Sole, 2011). Alex, should have allowed himself to become vulnerable enough to be honest with his information to Sara. By not being trusting and vulnerable, which caused him to hold back certain information. Sara, truly did not listen to Alex when he did give telling information about his defensiveness. By Alex not allowing himself to be completely vulnerable and Sara not listening to the information that was being offered to her caused the conflict that they endured.
Lastly, with the bond that had been built between the two and with the understanding of interpersonal communication, there were steps that could have been taken with regards to doing things differently so, as to negate the conflict that did arise. Both, Alex and Sara were guarded with their emotions which caused them to go the things they did which caused the major conflict. If Sara would have been honest with herself with how she was feeling about Alex and be willing to confront her past painful relationship so, as to truly move forward, she would have been able to listen completely to Alex, and when she discovered what his job was, she could have approached him and allowed him to explain. If Alex would have been able to take his own advice and allowed himself to show his flaws, to be honest with whom he really is as he always told his clients to do and be. He could have allowed himself to be vulnerable enough to trust Sara with the information of his job, so when Sara discovered what he did, she could have come to him knowing that they had and would continue to be honest and trustworthy with one another.
In self-disclosing information about yourself it is important to be honest and trusting. Knowing yourself goes along way with knowing how to allow yourself to be vulnerable with someone, which in the long run will minimize interpersonal conflict that you may run into with your mate.
Mordaunt, W., Tadross, M. (Executive Producers), &Tennant, A. (Director). (2005). Hitch [Motion picture]. Los Angeles: Sony Pictures
Sole, K. (2011). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.