When Harry Met Sally

Powerful Essays
The film “When Harry Met Sally” is rife with examples of interpersonal communication victories and utter failures. The main characters- Harry Burns played by Billy Crystal and Sally Albright played by Meg Ryan- are captive to each other’s company during a car ride from Chicago to New York and quickly find they maintain very opposite viewpoints on much of life, especially relationships between men and women. The premise for the argument and the remainder of the film is the disagreement as to whether or not women and men can be friends without sex getting in the way. Harry maintains it is not possible, and Sally takes the opposite position. Throughout the film Harry and Sally display a number of different communication traits. Their style of communication is determined largely by the way they regard themselves and the way they perceive others. These factors of communication provide for a rollercoaster of interactions throughout the film.

The way that one regards themself, a relatively stable set of perceptions about one’s self, is referred to as self-concept (Adler, Proctor, Rosenfeld 56). Self-concept is a reflection not only of the physical attributes but also the emotional, moral, value, and preference characteristics of personality. The way that someone feels about those qualities will determine their self-esteem, part of the self-concept that determines self-worth. Typically it is thought that a high self-esteem is preferable over a low self-esteem, and while that is largely true, a high self-esteem doesn’t necessarily mean that person will enjoy interpersonal success. A high self-esteem may lead people to think they are more successful than the rest of the world sees them.
“It’s easy to see how people with an inflated sense of self-worth could irritate others by coming across as condescending know-it-alls, especially when their self-worth is challenged” (Adler, Rosenfeld, Proctor 56).

There are many examples of Harry exhibiting an inflated



Cited: Adler, Ronald B., Lawrence B. Rosenfeld, and Rusell F. Proctor. Interplay. 10th ed. New York: Oxford, 2007. Print. DeVito, Joseph A. The Interpersonal Communication Book. 12th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon, 2009. Print. Gazzaniga, Michael S., Todd F. Heatherton, and Diane F. Halpern. Psychological Science. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print.

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