Interpersonal Conflict in the film American Beauty

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When first presented with this assignment, I got very excited to be able to do a paper on this film. I remember seeing this film as a teenager and did not understand the point of it at all, but as I grew up I began to understand it completely. The movie American Beauty is about a family that is going through a very tough time because of lack of communication. There is a lack of communication between the mother and father and of course that puts a damper on the parents relationship with the child. In most relationships conflict is impossible to avoid. At times these conflicts can be constructive of destructive. Interpersonal conflict can be found in many relationships and if people were to learn the importance of communication they would most likely resolve many issues. Conflict is inescapable, and the more people interact with one another, the more the need to negotiate boundaries and there is a greater likelihood that conflict will arise. The mother of this movie was depicted as a very ambitious real estate agent. The father on the other hand had lost his job and was having what some call a "mid-life crisis." Throughout the movie, you can see that the parents have very poor communication skills. In the movie you hear them say that when they were first married they were happy, but after fourteen years of being with each other they grew apart. The viewer can see that these two people are always angry or upset with one another and this really affects their teenage daughter who begins to dislike both of her parents. The parents began to hand their conflicts differently because they lacked the most important part in a relationship, and that was communication. The mother began to have an affair with a business rival. The father took... ... middle of paper ... ...situation or if they identified the problem. If they were to have resolved the conflicts within the relationship they would of seen that the conflict could of actually made their relationship stronger. There is both constructive and destructive conflict, which shows us the benefits of conflict and also why we avoid conflict. In this particular movie they are showing destructive conflict because they decided to avoid the conflict by ignoring the problem hoping it would go away. Interpersonal conflict can be found in all relationships and if people were to learn the importance of communication or the definition of constructive and destructive conflict they would most likely resolve many issues they happen to get involved in. Works Cited Sole, K. (2011).Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

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