Cooperative Principle, or the Lack of.

This past weekend, my friends and I met up to hangout out in our friend’s basement like we always use to do. After catching up quickly with each other, we started to discuss current things, good or bad, going on in our lives. Everybody had been going about discussing their dilemmas, discussing with each other problems and solutions, giving advice or support if needed, except one of my friends sat their quietly, just listening to everybody, almost as if he was waiting for something, or the right time to bring something up. Being polite and being not to bothered by the situation I was going to discuss, far less severe than some of my friends, I waited until they were all done. When it was my turn, I spoke up discussing how I have been quite stressed recently due to the fact that I am taking 17 credit hours at Germanna during a 10-week session., in hopes to get to the college I am transferring too faster. I had also begun to discuss how I was jealous of them for not having to take classes this summer, and how they don’t have to worry about many deadlines, assignments, or grades – if any at all. I was opening up to them, explaining that I wish I had had the great first year experience at my previous school, where I could happily return in the fall – but that was not the case. As my friends began to reassure me, discussing how everything will be okay and that I have everything under control and that I will be happier when I get to my future school, my friend that was quietly sitting there suddenly burst. “ALL RIGHT GUYS, IM SORRY, BUT THIS CAN NOT WAIT” he blurted out. As I sat there confused, giving my friend a glance of confusion just as he did the same towards me, my friend went on to explain how he had gotten these new rims for his car, and he was just so excited for him, that he could not wait any longer to tell us (as if he didn’t have any time before). Instead of responding with support like we had all given each other, he proceeded to go on to brag about his new rims. This reminded me of the opposite of the cooperative principle, the idea that we should make our verbal messages as informative, honest, relevant, and clear (McCornack 205). My friend had completely ignored this principle and went on to interrupt me about his purchase, totally contrasting my other friends who listened and supported me to make me feel better. 

Image result for cooperative principle

This picture reminded me of the proper way that the cooperative principle works, where the person that you are communicating with works with you and supports you to help solve your problem.


Harding, Tim. “The Gricean Maxims.” The Logical Place, WordPress.

McCornack, Steven. “Reflect & Relate: an introduction to interpersonal communication.” 4thed., Bedford/St. Martins, 2016.

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