Interpersonal communication, as defined in our textbook, is “a unique type of communication that involved two individuals interacting via face-to-face or mediated channels.” It seems that where there is communication, inevitably there will be conflict. Television dramas tend to add conflict in their storylines in an effort to make the viewers relate to the characters. In the television series Scandal, interpersonal communication conflicts are numerous. Oddly enough, the characters in this program are all in roles where communication is of immense importance and yet, none of them communicate very well at all. This may, indeed, be one of the main reasons for the success of this show. Watching television characters intertwined in personal conflict somehow make them more real to the audience.
As a longtime fan of the show, choosing one single ...view middle of the document...
Olivia opts to go public about an extramarital affair she has been having with the President. Abby had questioned Olivia several times about this situation and Olivia lied. Every time she was questioned, Olivia denied having feelings for the President, as well as having an affair. Upon seeing a news interview that Olivia does, during which she confesses the affair, Abby is crushed about the deception. A confrontation in the White House occurs between the two. It was during this exchange that, in my opinion, their relationship changed for the better. The heated exchange enabled the two to finally come to the realization that their communication failures were a result of their individual perception of the other’s message.
Fundamentally, with active listening, empathy, and honesty, this conflict, as well as many others, could have been avoided. Much of their conflict is centered on jealousy and envy, which can be debilitating to a relationship. While avoidance would have been the best scenario, it is not likely that people could avoid a conflict forever. However, learning how to openly and honestly discuss their feelings could have assisted in managing the conflicts.
While not everyone may agree, Scandal is a very educational program when it comes to interpersonal communications. No one is immune from interpersonal conflict within any relationship, however this show shows its audience the results of making bad communication choices. First and foremost, in all communications, be honest. As evidenced in this episode, the truth always comes out. Second, work on relationships and develop them for the long term. The more effort one puts into a relationship, the easier it is to manage conflict due to trust and understanding. Finally, think before you speak. Words mean things and can be very damaging to any relationship if not used properly. The majority of communication issues on Scandal are a direct result of misunderstanding, thus making any episode appropriate for a discussion on interpersonal conflict.