“Momma Always Said…”

The movie Forrest Gump reached a vast amount of people; according to The New York Time the movie sold over $660 million dollars in movie tickets. So with this said, one could definitely say that a lot of people are familiar with the movie. In the scene above we see Gump telling Jenny about his personal experiences throughout his life; he reminisces about Vietnam and when he ran across the country.

This video clip shows Forrest revealing personal happenings in his life; these are things that he hadn’t revealed to anyone else in his life. This isn’t something that only happens in movie; this happens in everyday life as well. Everyone has those days where they have to get something off their chest when they’re mad or upset about something. We’ve all told someone, “Okay, I’m going to tell you something, but you’ve got to swear you won’t tell anyone…” And that’s okay; it’s part of improving our self esteem and self perception.

What Forrest Gump is exemplifying in the video is known as “self-disclosure”. Self disclosure is when one tells information to someone else that they wouldn’t know about on their own. (Wood, 2010) During this video, Forrest describes how the sky would inspire him, and how beautiful Vietnam was when it didn’t rain; little things like these are something that Forrest didn’t share to many people. They were quiet, peaceful times that meant a lot to him. Forrest trusted and loved Jenny, and when she became sick, he wanted to cheer her up and this was the only way he knew how. By telling Jenny about these times, he also got to look back and reminisce about the rare peaceful times he had during those crazy times in his life. After Forrest finishes telling Jenny his stories, Jenny says, “I wish I had been there with you.” Forrest responds by saying, “But you were.” By Forrest confiding in her, Jenny felt open enough to tell Forrest how she really felt and she was able to do a small example of self-disclosure herself; by doing this self-disclosure she was also able to get a new perspective on her life and how she really did effect Forrest’s life.

Self-disclosure is a healthy way to help your personal growth. By confiding in people, you are able to not only get something off your chest, you are also helping people get to know you better and gain new outlooks on yourself from the feedback you get from others. Although Forrest did use self-disclosure a lot when communicating with Jenny, this is not the only example in this movie; Forrest is self-confiding throughout the entire movie by telling various people pieces of his story. We find Forrest asking himself questions and figuring things out through telling his story. In the end, Forrest learns a lot about himself through self-disclosure.

Resources:

Forrest gump- “life is like a box of chocolate” [Web]. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJh59vZ8ccc

The best scene of forrest gump [Web]. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFvASiMTDz0&feature=related

Weinraub, B. (1995, May 25). ‘Gump’, a huge hit, still isn’t ranking in huge profits? hmm. The New York Times. Retrieved from h ttp://www.nytimes.com/1995/05/25/movies/gump-a-huge-hit-still-isn-t-raking-in-huge-profits-hmm.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

Wood, J. T. (2010). Interpersonal communication: everyday encounters (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning

 

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