Following a Social Script by Austin Peterson (Blog Entry 9)

We have all been there. We are going to meet the parents of someone we are currently dating. Its a nervous time because we want to give a good first impression and dont want to do anything stupid or embarressing. For most of us the hype is far greater than reality and it goes smoothly because we just play into a social script. A social script is a culturally provided mental instructions for how to act in various situations. We know how to pass the meet the parents test and we stick to basics to just get through and not risk it.

Passing the test doesn’t go perfectly smooth for everyone though. In this clip from the TV show Friends Phoebe is going over to meet mikes parents and throughout she is trying very hard to follow the social script she thinks she needs too to impress Mike parents. It goes okay (subtitles in foreign language)

Phoebe struggles to keep with the social script. Her efforts at the start though when she just arrives is a perfect example of a social script. What she wears and how she acts is nothing like she does throughout the show but she changes what she does to try and follow what she thinks is needed in that situation. May we all learn from phoebe and see that we dont always have to follow a social script.

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