INTERPERSONAL CONFLICT IN TELEVISION 4
InterpersonalConflict in Television
InterpersonalConflict in Television
Communicationis a fundamental component of human interaction. Underlining itsimportance is the fact that a large proportion of progress anddevelopment that human beings have undergone in both the contemporaryand traditional societies may be attributed largely to their capacityto communicate. However, it goes without saying that a largeproportion of human interaction is characterized by conflicts. Thismay be attributed to the variations of likes and preferences, as wellas the desires and motivations that different people have for variedactions. This is the case for Sheldon Cooper and Leonard Hofstadterin The Big Bang Theory’s “TheLeftover Thermalization”.
Theconflict emanated from the publication of a theory that Leonard hadcome up with but which Sheldon had worked the Math for in a sciencejournal. However, in spite of the fact that Leonard had been the leadauthor, the science journal had omitted his name. Sheldon feels thatit was not a big deal and does not even make the effort to correctthe publishers and editors of the magazines to rectify the mistakeand include Leonard’s name, and is comfortable with “SheldonCooper and his Team”.There are varied indications that the conflict was not handledappropriately right from the beginning.
First,it is evident that each of the parties wants to get their own way andis unwilling to compromise a bit for the same. This is particularlythe case for Sheldon Cooper who, in spite of the fact that he simplyexecuted the Math, he feels entitled to being called the lead author.Of particular note is the fact that he goes ahead to justify ratherthan seeking ways of correcting the mistake. His selfishness makeshim blind to the obligations that he has for Leonard, who is hisfriend, colleague and roommate and it is not until his girlfriendpoints it out and gets him to imagine a reverse scenario whereLeonard is given credit for Sheldon’s work that he sees the follyof his actions. The acknowledgement of this mistake and seeking waysof amending it would have gone a long way in eliminating thepossibility of the conflict escalating to a point where they couldeven curse each other at the dinner table (Bevan & Sole, 2014).Even worse is the fact that Sheldon sought the wrong way of making itup to Leonard. Instead of getting his name incorporated by theeditors, he got his name on the phone bill, which was bound to makeLeonard feel demeaned.
Inaddition, the conflict was handled wrongly given the fact that theaggressor not only sought to justify the wrong but also mock thewronged party. Leonard, being the wronged party was pretty muchcomfortable with the fact that the paper had been published in thescience journal. However, the efforts made by Sheldon to justify theomission of his name irked him. It is noted that Sheldon went as faras to point out the need for Leonard to be mentioned “by name”,which was a mockery. Rather than mock him, Sheldon could simply havecalled the editors and got them to correct the mistake, regardless ofwhat they felt about it. In addition, he could have apologized toLeonard and got him to understand that he had nothing to do with itand was equally surprised by the turn of events (Rahim, 2011).
Bevan,J. L., & Sole, K. (2014). Makingconnections: Understanding interpersonal communication(2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Kaplan,E., Holland, S., Molaro, S., Lorre, C., & Cohen, R. (Executiveproducers). (2007-2014). Thebig bang theory [Television series].United States: Columbia Broadcasting System.
Rahim,M. A. (2011). Managingconflict in organizations.New Brunswick [NJ: Transaction.