“The process of communicating can be more important than the actual message. How we communicate affects what we communicate”. – L.D. Hall
This episode may be the one and only time we’ll ever see Issa, Daniel and Lawrence have a conversation again until Season 3, and for obvious reasons. All three characters were given opportunities to express how they truly felt from Season 1 boiling up to this point. Yes, hurtful things were said, and although their words may not have been intentional, their feelings caused by each others actions were real and present: embarrassment, hurt, betrayal, the list can go on. Now, I definitely will include Molly’s communication with her mother and Dro in this post, but I want to first delve and dissect Issa’s communication with both Daniel and Lawrence.
I want to get very informative and as technical as possible, so I’m using not only my own analysis, but research too. The quote above comes from a short article of Hall’s research: Communication Strategies for Adult Couples. Hall states the obvious, that problems in a couple’s communication can cause conflict, but having conflict isn’t a problem depending on how it’s handled (Hall, 1994). It’s important to recognize when an issue arises and it’s more beneficial to deal with that issue early (like, within hours of the incident or maybe the next day), rather than let it boil up over time (such as 2-3 months like some of the characters in Insecure). If this process is not practiced or isn’t taken into consideration, then we see negative conflict which thus creates issues. Let’s first look at the conversation between Issa and Daniel.
Issa and Daniel have been friends since college (and possibly a little longer). Therefore, they’ve created a bond and friendship over the years. However, during Season 1 when Issa decided that she’d be more willing to have an affair with Daniel instead of work things out or end things with Lawrence, this is where Issa and Daniel’s conflict arose. By the end of Season 1 after Issa feels terrible about what she did to taint her relationship with Lawrence, she tells Daniel that “you were just an itch I needed to scratch”. Ouch. That’s not the best way of saying “I made a mistake and shouldn’t have brought you into it. I’m sorry for being selfish“. Now, fast forward to this season, Issa and Daniel run into each other back in episode 4, months after their last encounter, and they decide to move forward. Cool. In the last episode they had miscommunication during oral sex, and Daniel accidentally cums in Issa’s eye. She’s upset and embarrassed and informs Daniel of that this episode. He understands, apologizes, and then proceeds to say “now, we’re even” which pisses Issa off.
To her understanding, Daniel came in her eye as a revenge tactic when in actuality, Daniel never intended for that to happen. But since he was hurt by Issa’s words back in Season 1 and possibly S2E5 where Issa placed him in the friends with benefits corner, Daniel jokingly argues that, we both have done some bogus things to each other, what you did to me hurt, and what I did to you hurt (physically and emotionally). It wasn’t intentional, but since it happened, let’s laugh it off (maybe) and move on. However, Issa did not receive Daniel’s humor nor his apology, called him petty, and told him to never call her again. Issa did not partake in what Hall calls “Reflective Listening” where you do a few things such as listen to your and your partner’s tone of voice and take responsibility of your own behavior. In fact, Issa hasn’t taken responsibility of her own behavior much if at all in this entire season other than within the workplace, and that just happened this episode. Issa has a lot of growing up to do not only when communicating to others, but with herself.
Next, let’s look at the threads between Issa and Lawrence:
THIS. SCENE. BOTHERED. THE. FUCK. OUT. OF. ME. SO. MUCH!!!!!!! I get it. They’re both upset. Lawrence is still upset at Issa from two months ago, and Issa is still upset with herself from Season 1, but to have the ONE AND ONLY TIME the two of them communicate to tear each other down? What good does that do? Obviously I wasn’t expecting them to lift each other up, but making sarcastic comments, judging and criticizing, and cross-complaining are NOT how you resolve negative conflict. Hall encourages speaking for yourself only when communicating during conflict and we saw none of that from this scene. It’s not Lawrence’s fault to assume this, but it wasn’t right for him to call Issa a hoe nor was it right for Issa to be upset that Lawrence blocked her from social media and to continuously jab at him in regards to his depressed state back in Season 1. They’re both making false assumptions and creating false truths because they both have yet learned to be totally present with one another and create time to talk and discuss their own feelings and emotions. *Now, as a side note, I don’t think Issa and Lawrence’s encounter would have gotten this heated had Lawrence not brought Arpana to the birthday dinner, but Arpana is not at fault. She’s actually very respectable and likable! It just wasn’t the right timing as usual.
Finally, lets close with Molly’s emotions. She is low. I think the lowest I’ve seen her since Insecure aired. She willingly placed herself in a situation which is way too secretive for an “open marriage” and is being charm fully manipulated by Dro. I have gone back and forth with the idea that he’s in an open marriage, not his wife. I don’t deny that he cares for Molly and that the chemistry and attraction they have for each other is real, but since Kandace is never around, Dro takes that opportunity to share connections with Molly because he doesn’t want to limit himself. After physically seeing how messy their encounters can seem, Molly finally decides to call her mom and asks her how she was able to take her dad back after the cheating. Her mom is strong. Did anyone catch what she said? Something along the lines of “I never got over the fact he cheated, but I know he made me feel special more than he hurt me”. That type of forgiveness is a gift that not all of us have, and although I’m sure it was sincere, it wasn’t what Molly needed to hear in regards to mending her relationship with Dro. In the final scene we see her text Dro “I can’t do this anymore”, but Molly has a difficult time meaning what she says when Dro is around. It’s easier to mask your emotions through texts, but will she actually be strong in communicating that in person by the finale?
Before you sign off, I want to leave you with a few steps for communicating presented by Hall. I hope you’ll find them useful and beneficial within your own relationship.
- Recognize when an issue needs to be discussed — deal with the issue when it arises rather then let it build up and then explode
- Set a time that is mutually acceptable and without distractions
- Define the topic, issue, or problem specifically; stick to one issue
- Speak for yourself only; share feelings; identify how you think your behavior contributes to the problem
- Take a timeout if necessary
To read Hall’s short, yet informative article, click here
For a more in depth review/recap of S2E7, watch my YouTube video below