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Lies and Interpersonal Communication in Win, Win - Movie Review Example

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Mike Flaherty is going through a tough time. He is a practicing attorney in a small town in New Jersey, and he is going through a crisis. He is under tight financial constraints and there are many things that need to be done. …
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Lies and Interpersonal Communication in Win, Win
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Download file to see previous pages Mike’s practice is “slow” and does not earn him enough income. He is having a tough time paying the bills, which is made obvious when he refuses to call someone to take care of the dead tree in front of their property that is threatening to fall on their house. The plumbing and the heating system in his office need repair badly. His back-up system is malfunctioning and he refuses to call an IT person because it would cost money. He wants to shield his wife, Jackie, and their daughters, Abby and Stella, from the problem. Whether by accident or by choice, Mike ends up concocting a series of lies that landed him with more responsibilities and troubles. This paper will assess whether the consequences of Mike’s lies actually justify his decisions. It is said that lies are often treated “as the most efficient solution to interpersonal communication problems” (Camden, Motley, & Wilson, 1984, p.309). Deception is usually considered as the right thing to do in circumstances when one desires to avoid conflict, avoid distress, and protect one’s self and/or livelihood, among other acceptable reasons (Levine, Kim, & Hamel, 2010, p.273). These three reasons can be seen in the film “Win, Win” as Mike tries to protect his family from enduring the problems he is currently facing. First, Mike tries to avoid conflict by not telling Jackie that he became Leo’s guardian. This is to hide from her the fact that he took guardianship for the $1508.00 monthly commission. He also tries to avoid conflict by not informing anyone that he deceptively placed Leo in a nursing home despite the old man’s desire to stay in his own house. He even openly lied to Leo by telling him that it was the judge’s decision to place Leo in a nursing home for some time. Second, Mike tries to avoid distress by not telling Jackie about his real financial status. He hides from her the fact that he cannot call someone to cut down the tree because he is worried about paying for labor. He tries to tell Jackie that he will cut down the tree with the help of his friend, Terry, but Jackie does not agree with him because she does not know the reason for this. Third, Mike tries to protect himself and his livelihood by telling the judge that he can keep Leo in his home. He lies to the state and the court by saying that he can do a better job in ensuring that Leo’s will is implemented more properly if he will be the guardian instead of the state. These lies are high stake lies because they hold severe consequences (Camden, Motley, & Wilson, 1984, p.309) for Mike and the people he lied to. To compare, low stake lies are simple lies that usually do not affect the people involved (Camden, Motley, & Wilson, 1984, p.310). For example, lying about a favorite color is a low stake lie. On the other hand, high stake lies affect the people involved in a big way (Camden, Motley, & Wilson, 1984, p.309). This is the case for Mike’s lies. Had he not lied to avoid conflict and distress, the normally calm household he has might be impacted negatively. Mike would also have been pressured to keep Leo in his home, which technically defeats the purpose for why he volunteered to be Leo’s guardian in the first place. Obviously, keeping Leo in his home would cost not only more money but also more time from Leo. Furthermore, had Mike not lied to protect himself and his livelihood, he would have gone through more inner turmoil in thinking about how to continue his practice. The effects of Mike’s lies leak through his non-verbal communication. As a viewer, one could immediately sense through his actions that he is trying to control the situation that his lies created. A good example is in how Mike’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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