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Silver Linings Playbook
Transcript of Silver Linings Playbook
The Diner Scene
McCornack, Steven. Reflect &
Relate: AnIntroduction to Interpersonal Communication.
N.p.: n.p., n.d. 245-66. Print
Dinner At Ronnie's
Silver Linings Playbook is a movie that focuses on the relationships
between various characters, many of whom have mental illnesses. The
main character Pat has just been released from an eight month stint in
a psychiatric facility after severely brutalizing the male that he
caught his wife having sexual relations with. Pat has been diagnosed
with Bipolar disorder, and Pat’s main goal after being released is to
find the silver linings in all situations, and most importantly,
reunite with his estranged wife, Nikki. Pat is introduced to his best
friend’s sister-in-law Tiffany, who also suffers from depression,
which is mainly due to her husband Tommy dying in a car accident while
driving home after procuring some items for her. Pat and Tiffany
develop a quid pro quo camaraderie, and their emotional interactions
with one another and other people in their lives are featured
throughout the film.
is a negative interaction between interdependent people,
rooted in disagreement. Conflict is inevitable, and can arise in any
type of environment involving interaction with others. Our class
textbook, Reflect & Relate, states that there are four features that
characterize most conflicts: they begin with perception, they involve
clashes in goals or behaviors, they unfold over time as a process, and
they are dynamic.
In the upcoming scene, Pat has offered to take Tiffany to a diner.
Tiffany offers to get a written letter to Pat’s wife Nikki, who has a
restraining order against Pat. While conversing, Tiffany elaborately
unveils the truths about how she handled her late husband’s death,
which was by engaging in promiscuous sex. Pat is highly interested in
what Tiffany has to say about her sexual escapades, that is, until
Tiffany makes a comment that she and Pat are both similar. Pat
retaliates with a competitive approach by using
when he begins to act superior towards Tiffany and
her, which attributes to Tiffany’s escalation of an
is characterized by
accusations of mistrust, yelling, crying, and becoming verbally or
physically abusive. Tiffany uses the
for all of the troubles, and blames Pat for most of the issues.
The textbook provides some feasible solutions to their unique conflict
situation. Pat could have evaded the entire conflict in general by
using the avoidance approach by just simply ignoring Tiffany’s
comment, and by possibly skirting around the issue by changing the
topic. Tiffany did use an avoidance approach called sniping when she
physically left the scene. Each of them could have used the
constructive approach, collaboration, to handle their disagreement.
They could have addressed each issue as the problem itself instead of
attacking one another, and they each could have been courteous and
respectful, in spite of how angry each of them were. For a short term
resolution, they could have used structural improvements by letting
the conflict become a vehicle for reshaping the relationship by
redefining expectations about who plays what roles in the
relationship, and by agreeing to change the basic rules of
understanding that govern their relationship to prevent further
The approach is vital for this new relationship. Both characters have experience traumatic events that have made their attachment styles the way they are. The best way to go about this is to realize the attachment style and plan carefully what should be communicated. In this case, to steer clear of anxieties, certain topics should be avoided. Topics like:
Past drug use
Previous relationship issues
Comparing one to other issues
Both characters disclose information in an inappropriate setting, but it is normative to them. To competently disclose information to others the book says to follow these tips:
Know your audience and surroundings
Don't force others to self-disclosure
These characters have emotional pasts that have influenced their views on relationships in a negative way. Pat's past relationships have left him with a
fearful attachment style
, he is left with trust issues and tends to shun other relationships that are unknown; which is why he is trying so hard to gain the approval of his wife who has cheated. Pat believes that no other relationships will work out and experiences a chronic lack of faith in himself.
On the other hand, Tiffany develops more of a
preoccupied attachment style
. She feels the need to use sexual contact to satisfy the need to feel loved. Though she is still skeptical with the same trust issues as Pat; but when faced with relationship issues she will react with extreme negative emotional demands.
The characters both inappropriately
disclose too much information
for the setting. It makes for an awkward situation and leaves all of the people in the scene confused and uneasy.
This scene illustrates the act of
without proper resolution, and inappropriate ways to deal with the problem. They have no sense of boundaries. They
disclose too much
too soon, and are brutally honest with each other. Pat
the fact that is marriage has fallen apart. In
. He shows this by illustrating his wedding ring on his finger and
proclaiming he’s married when the ex hasn’t been in the picture for a
Tiffany, being depressed and emotional from the death of her husband, is left with very little
. She does not recognize her own emotions, and misreads others emotions. When presented with conflict Tiffany snaps at him for his insensitivity by slapping him and then walking away; in other words
Experiencing and Expressing Emotions
Perhaps they should filter their thoughts more before reacting; not
necessarily refraining from saying what they feel just being more
discerning whether it will enhance the encounter or present
He should start accepting the reality of his situation- at least not
letting it interfere with potential connections.
Although her reaction could be seen as justified, maybe using “I feel
…” statement might have been as productive.
Other applicable terms:
Mixed messages- her hugging him to seek comfort and then slapping him
to express her anger
Honesty- when she expresses her feelings, “You felt it. I felt it.”
Nonverbal communication- eye contact
Self-Disclosure- revealing that she hadn’t dated since before her
marriage and that she hates football
Her: dismissive attachment- expresses avoidance by sleeping with many
Him: preoccupied attachment- still lingering to his ex. Possibly,
fearful attachment- he doesn’t allow new relationship to form
Haptics- hug and slap
Illustrator- him displaying his wedding ring when he says he’s married
Proxemics- very close to each other. Almost intimate space but
certainly personal whereas with appropriate situation they might be
standing further apart like in social proximity.
Strong Language Advisory for Clip
Strong Language Advisory for Clip