Communication Research Paper on Interpersonal Communication Terms

Interpersonal Communication Terms



People communicate on daily basis to pass information. Communication is the process in which people deliver a message to another person through pictures, words, gestures among others. This process of communication is only complete if the person targeted to get the information understands it entirely. Communication process involves several stages like encoding where the source of the message puts the message in an understandable form. The encoded message is then transmitted through a channel or a medium to the receiver (Lane, 2016).  After the receiver receives the information, he then decodes the message to get its meaning. After decoding the message, the receiver sends a feedback to the point of origin of the message. The original receiver goes back to the same process as the original sender and the same factors influence the communication. The receiver of the message may use the same medium or channel when giving the feedback. The message received by the original sender is not the same as that sent by the original receiver. It is also important to understand that the process of communication may not always be successful. Several factors may prevent the message from reaching the receiver or have the anticipated effect. Barriers, which may affect the transmission of communication, may include, listening barriers like, interrupting a speaker, rushing the speaker, being distracted by someone or something, which is not part of the communication among others. Other barriers occur when speaking, like, unclear messages, failure to seek for clarification while communicating. Additionally, environmental barriers like the use of negative words, use of words with the same meaning, an emotional block may affect the communication process. Communication can be one to one communication, one to many communication, many to one communication.

In addition, communication can be of diverse types; written communication, non-verbal communication, or verbal communication (Lane, 2016). Verbal communication includes; face to face conversation, through telephone, presentation, public speech, interview, and meetings. On the hand, non-verbal communication involves the use of models, pictures, diagrams, charts, maps, sketches, and cutouts. Documents such as minutes, reports, letters, circulars, notices, memos are used in transmitting written messages. Conflict may also occur in the communication process when individuals have opposing viewpoints, have incompatible goals or when there is a scarcity of resources. Interpersonal conflict is expressed either verbally or non-verbally ranging such unnoticeable cold shoulder to evident disapproval. Interpersonal disagreement is different from intrapersonal; violence that involves abuse of certain individuals. Conflict is inevitable in close relationships and in most cases takes a negative emotional toll. In some instances when the conflict is handled well, it can result in positive rewards. This paper will focus on the film, “Love-struck the Musical.” This film was produced in the year 2013, focusing on the issues of love and how people communicate when solving the relationship conflicts that occur. This paper aims at explaining how interpersonal communication concepts have been applied in the film. The paper will illustrate how the actors in this exchange information either verbally or non-verbally. Concepts of interpersonal communication will help in explaining the complexity of relationships and the various stages that relationships go through. In addition, the concepts will help explain why people behave the way they behave and the reasons why they succeed or fail in those relationships. The paper aims at explaining how the following terms have been demonstrated in the film; strategies, self-disclosure, stages, reverse pattern, relational dialectics theory.




The film involves characters such as Mirabella Hutton and her mother Harper. It is based on love where Mirabella Hutton is in love with a French person and wants to go and live with him in Italy. It is against her mother Harper, who argues that Mirabella should remain in her homeland and continue practicing dancing. They confront each other since Mirabella refuses to go and dance in a show, which had been organized by her mother. Her mother had invited famous musicians to come and see her daughter present on that day. Harper falls when also practicing for a dance and breaks her leg. She found a drug called Aramid O’Malley’s as she was searching for drugs relieve her pain. She decided to take it. Immediately she took it, she became young and her wrinkles faded away. She could be able to dance as she did when she was young. She decides to follow Mirabella to Italy. Harper attends a party organized by Mirabella’s boyfriend and she intentionally kisses him to hurt Mirabella and make them break up. Mirabella’s boyfriend was weak and could not tell Mirabella that he loved her. After Mirabella realized that her boyfriend had kissed another girl, she decided to stop the marriage preparations that they had. They eventually get married as the film ends.


The strategy concept shows the various active, passive, and interactive strategies that people use when learning about others and how best to approach them. The passive strategy involves first observing an individual before deciding whether to approach them or not. One observes how an individual communicates with other people, how they respond to various issues, what they like to strangers, and how they are able to handle interpersonal conflict. On the other hand, the active strategy involves asking other people for information about an individual before approaching them. One may enquire from their either close friends or family members about how they carry out communication (Shockley, 2014). One also gets an idea on the best way to approach the person without making them angry. Furthermore, the interactive strategy involves approaching an individual directly and starting a conversation with them. This strategy does not require one to conduct a pilot study about the individual before approaching them. Different strategies have been used in the film “Love-struck Musical.” Harper did not have any information about where Mirabella’s boyfriend lived and did not even know what job he did. Before Harper left for Italy, she sought information about Mirabella’s boyfriend from her friend Amanda. This strategy is called active strategy. Amanda explained to Harper where Mirabella’s boyfriend lived, what he liked, and how he treated Mirabella. Additionally, Amanda explained to Harper that the best way to approach Mirabella’s boyfriend was by first saying hello to him with without shaking his hand. She was also advised not to approach him if he was drunk since he became high tempered when drank. It is evident that strategies should be used to understand other people well to develop a close relationship with them.


Self-disclosure involves an individual revealing their confidential, private, and confidential information to other people. Through this, one is able to build trust with other people. The concept brings people closer together and one is able to understand the other person better. It increases intimacy and makes people feel comfortable to disclose information that other people might see as negative (McLeod, Scheufele & Moy, 1999). Mirabella’s boyfriend was weak and could not tell Mirabella that he loved her. He could only express what he felt through music. In one of the songs he sang to Mirabella, he explained that his mother had died when he was six years and his grandmother raised that. He explained to Mirabella that his grandmother also died when he was at the age of fifteen and that he had to raise himself since there was nobody else to take care of him. He had worked as a houseboy where he was tortured. Despite the torture, he was able to save some amount of money, which he used to produce his first song. He also explained that someone had even planned to kill him if he did not give the song’s lyrics to him. Through this self-disclosure, Mirabella was able to understand her boyfriend and a feeling of trust build between them.  Mirabella’s boyfriend was also able to explain to Mirabella that he had also attempted to steal food from his neighbor during his young age since he was starving.


The stage concept explains how the relationships evolve. The concept explains that relationships start with a first encounter, a relationship advances to the point where people are able to exchange a variety of information on different topics. The stages help people know if they have common grounds to enable them to establish a good relationship (Bochner & Krueger, 1979). If the people have common grounds, the two people irrespective of whether they are lovers, friends or business acquaintances develop a lasting bond. Mirabella first met her boyfriend in a dance training session. They were shy at each other and only talked less. One day after the training session, they were left together as their colleagues left. They talked a lot about each other and their experiences. They talked about their aspirations and lifelong dreams. They shared their contacts and left for their homes. They chatted all night. Unfortunately, Mirabella’s boyfriend got a sponsorship in Italy for musical training. He left the next week but they could always keep in touch. Mirabella’s boyfriend flew severally to visit Mirabella. This advanced to the stage that they got married to each other. It is evident that their intimate relationship took a while and stages before they got married.


Relational Dialectics Theory

Relational dialectics theory helps in exploring the tensions that arise in a relationship. It studies the connection and separateness between the people. In the case of self-disclosure, every individual is expected to keep the information confidential (O’sullivan, et al., 1994). If they share the information with other parties, conflict arises and the individuals may even part ways. In the film, Mirabella becomes angry when she realized that her boyfriend had kissed another woman. She felt that her boyfriend had betrayed her and that he only played with her feelings. Mirabella even composed a song claiming that her boyfriend is a liar and that she hoped that she was only dreaming. She closed herself in her room and did not want to talk to anyone about her boyfriend. She vowed never to talk to him and that he had shattered all her dreams. Her boyfriend apologized and claimed that he kissed another woman by mistake, but she did not want to listen to anything about it. They split ways and did not communicate to each other for few days. The relationship between Mirabella and Harper also deteriorated and Harper could not even look at Mirabella’s eyes. This theory aims at studying such tensions in relationships regardless of whether they are business, family or lover relationships.

Reverse Pattern

Reverse pattern concept explains that once relationships have broken down, they follow a reverse pattern similar to the way they were initiated. Those in the relationship mainly focus on the differences rather than the similarities (Verderber, Beebe &Verberber, 2004). They begin to reduce the number of times that they communicated about the impersonal topics. The members in the relationship avoid each other and the relationship becomes unrewarding to both parties. Members exhibit mutual annoyance when they meet and could even catch the attention of other people because of this. After Mirabella realized her boyfriend kissed another woman, she developed a negative attitude towards him. She did not want to meet him and every time her boyfriend called or texted her, she could talk rudely or even not pick the calls. It is interesting to see how all this happened because they had even planned for a wedding and set the wedding date. This concept explains that the members in the relationship exhibit a proportional level of hatred to the love they shared. Despite Harper apologizing to Mirabella because of kissing her boyfriend, she did not want to listen to anything positive about him. Mirabella’s friends advised her to forgive her boyfriend since he did not kiss intentionally.





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