Official website of Seattle-area actor and writer Nathaniel Jones

Goofus and Galant Teach Us About Communication

For the Communication portion of Health Class at FWHS

Narrator: Here we see two brothers, Goofus and Galant, eating lunch at a fast food restaurant.

Galant: Good Afternoon, Goofus. If you don't mind, I have some concerns I feel we should discuss. (Gal. sits up straight, begins to eat with a fork.)

Goofus: Yeah, sure, Whatever, Galant. (Goof. slouches, crams food in mouth.)

Gal: Goofus, I feel upset that I have to complete all the chores around the house, while it seems that you always leave your messes for me to take care of. I wish you would be more active in the chores.

Goof: Yeah, sure, whatever.

Narrator: Notice how Goofus said yes, but his body language tells Galant that he isn't listening to the best of his ability. Goofus SHOULD be sitting like Galant, upright, looking the speaker in the eye, instead of slouching back, looking around the room. Although Goofus pretends to know what is going on, he is really listening through a closed mind; he hears only what he wants to˜ here. Even though Galant says:

Gal: I wish I had your word that you would contribute to the chores so that I don't have to clean the whole house myself.

Nar: What Goofus hears is:

Ga: I wish I had  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - to clean the whole house myself.

Nar: If Goofus had kept an open mind, he would have heard Galant's request for help around the house. He agrees with Galant, but what he is agreeing to is not what he is supposed to. This means when Goofus says:

Goof: Yeah, sure, whatever.

Nar: Galant hears:

Goof: Absolutely. I, too have noticed that you are taking on an unfair portion of cleaning duty, and it would be my pleasure to lighten your burden.

Nar: when what he really means is:

Goof: Do all the chores you want, buddy!

Nar: What Galant recieves is a mixed message, because he hears Goofus agreeing to help around the house, while his actions seem to be the same as always. To avoid sending a mixed message, he should have said what he really meant.

Gal: Goofus, I wish I had your word that you would help around the house.

Goof: You neat freaks are all the same! I leave one sandwich on the furnace for a month and I never live it down!

Nar: Notice how Goofus labels Galant a neat freak, and stops listening. Even though Galant isn't talking about the sandwich, Goofus assumes that he is. Goofus is being prejudiced toward Galant. If he listened to hear all of what Galant had to say, he would know that the topic of discussion isn't his prior sandwich offense.

Gal: I'm not talking about that. I'm just asking you to pick up your messes. Is that so much to ask? Ever since we were kids, I was always the good one. I waited my turn while you cut in front. I washed my hands before dinner, and you came to the table filthy. I never touched the car without permission, and you get arrested for grand theft auto. All I want is a little bit of help. Are you listening to me?

Goof: Have you ever noticed how it hurts when he stab your fingernails into your arm as hard as you can? Watch! Ow!

Nar: notice how Goofus lets his mind wander. This is a poor listening skill. What he should be doing is listening actively, keeping his mind on the speaker, and letting Galant finish his thought before changing the subject. To review, poor communications skills include: bad body language, closed mind, mixed messages, prejudice, and poor listening skills.

The End

2009 - Nathaniel Jones