Video for interpersonal communication: conflict

‘The Simpsons’: Season 2, episode 12

Link to episode description

In this episode, Homer and Marge attend a marriage retreat after Homer humiliates Marge at a party. One of the other couples at the retreat (John and Gloria) provide a nice example of an unwanted repetitive pattern (URT). As they begin to argue, it is clear that they have had this argument dozens of times before and they both fall into their patterns of general criticisms and name-calling.

The other nice thing about this clip is that the retreat leader, Rev. Lovejoy, gives them some advice that helps them to break the pattern. The advice matches several of the guidelines found in interpersonal communication books to help in this situation. After the video, I would ask the students to identify what recommendations from the reading correspond to the reverend’s advice and their reaction.

Note: There are some vague sexual references in the clip.

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About teachingpublicspeaking

I believe public speaking can go from most dreaded class to favorite class. I'm a former public speaking college instructor who spent years seeking out activities, assignments and examples to make the class interactive as well as educational -- they are collected here. I welcome suggestions for additions.

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