The Interactional view is based on systems theory and was developed by Paul Waltzawick. Waltzawick was a part of the Palo Alto group because he was one of twenty scholars and therapists who was inspired by, and worked with anthropologist Gregory Bateson. The Palo Alto group does not focus on why a person acts a certain way, instead the focus is on how that behavior affects everyone in the group (Griffin, 2012, p.182). “Family system is an autonomous, mutually dependent network of feedback loops guided by members’ rules; the behavior of each person affects and is affected by the behavior of another” (Griffin, 2012, p.182). The Interactional view theory postulates that relationships within a family system are interrelated. The theory infers that relationships do not come together or fall apart because of one individual. A popular song, “Stick to the Status Quo”, reflects the theme of the theory. In essence, everyone needs to continue playing the role they are use to; if they do, then things will not change and everything will continue as is. Sticking to the status quo can also be referred to as homeostasis. A keen analysis of the Interactional Theory places my mother and I at the heart of the theory.
As I examine this theory I realized that my mother and I have established a “status quo” for as long as I can remember. She was the strict parent, very dictatorial in a number of ways, and as long as I did as I was told, all was well. As the years progressed I realized that miscommunication is bound to take place. “Miscommunication occurs because people are not "speaking the same language” (Communication Pragmatics). This often becomes evident in my family when my mother tells me to clean my room. In my mind, she means that I should clean my room before the end of the week. In her mind, she expects it to be done immediately.
According to this theory there are four axioms of interpersonal communication. “Axioms only offer a framework to explain how communication takes place, they are only a framework”(Communication Pragmatics). The first is “one cannot not communicate.” Even if there is no verbal communication, communication can still exist. It is stated 63-95% of communication is nonverbal communication. So no matter what people are always communicating with each other, whether it is the tone of voice they use or just sighing loudly. When I am silent, and rolling my eyes after my mother reprimands me, or the look she gives me when she opens my door and realize that my room is messy, communication is still present.
The second axiom is that content plus relationship equals communication. Content is considered "the report part of a message; what is said verbally. While relationship is the command part of the message; how it's said nonverbally"(Griffin, 2012, p.184). It is important to understand content and relationship, as it is the foundation to understanding what is being communicated. Waltzawick et.al refers to this as metacommunication,...