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Communication and Relational Dynamics

Communication and Relational Dynamics

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Communication and Relational Dynamics

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  1. Communication and Relational Dynamics Chapter 8

  2. Relational Stages/Attitudes • “We have a terrific relationship” (Interpersonal needs are being met) • “I’m looking for a better relationship” (interpersonal needs are not being met; it’s important that you identify what your real needs are in the relationship) • “Our relationship has changed a lot” (Interpersonal need may or may not be met; what has changed?)

  3. Why We form Relationships • Communication both defines and reflects our interpersonal world • Our interpersonal relationships involve the way we deal with one another • Why do we form relationships with some people and not others?

  4. Appearance (While we say, “We should judge others on their actions not on how they look,” the reality is quite opposite) • Similarity (Research reveals that people like people that are similar, at least in MOST cases) • Complementary (Opposites attract too; “She fills in my gaps” Rocky Balboa) • Reciprocal Attraction (We are attracted to people who are attracted to us; they bolster our feelings of self-esteem)

  5. Competence (We like being around competent people; their skills may rub off on us; this is “part” of the attractiveness of power) • Disclosure (Revealing important information about yourself can build “liking;” shared experiences, attitudes and feelings) • Proximity (In many cases, proximity, i.e., neighbors, work, social/religious activities, leads to liking) • Rewards (We often seek out people who can give us rewards that are greater or equal to the costs we encounter in dealing with them –Social Exchange Theory)

  6. Relational Development and Maintenance • Look at the Developmental Model on page 272 (coming together, coming apart, relational maintenance) • Initiating (showing interest) • Experimentation (interest in pursuing the relationship) • Intensifying (open expression of feelings; shared interests/activities; hinting and flirting; getting to know family and friends • Relational development is the stage depicted most often in movies

  7. Invitation to Insight • Read “Your Relational Stage” on page 278 - 279 • Get with a “shoulder Buddy” and discuss the five questions • Examine the stages on pages 273 to 278

  8. Understanding Dialectical Perspectives and Tensions • Connection verses autonomy (No one is an island, John Donne) • Openness versus Privacy • Managing Dialectical tensions (challenges) • Denial (respond to one end of the dialectical and ignore the other) • Disorientation (overwhelmed/helpless and unable to confront problem) • Alternation (switches between ends of the dialectical spectrum)

  9. Segments in the relationship; some things shared, some not) • Balance (balance dialectical tensions, recognizes both sides are legitimate; compromise) • Integration (accepts both opposing forces without trying to diminish them) • Recalibration (reframing tensions so that they “appear” to disappear) • Reaffirmation (acknowledges that dialectical tensions will never disappear; accepts or even embraces the tensions present)

  10. Characteristics of Relationships • Relationships are constantly changing • Relationships are affected by culture and previous relational experiences • Relationships require maintenance

  11. Relationships Require Maintenance • Gardens need tending (entropy process), cars need tune-ups, bodies need exercise, and relationships need on-going maintenance to keep them successful and satisfying (natural process of deterioration –entropy law) • Communication accounts for as much as 80% of the difference in satisfying and unsatisfying relationships • What kinds of communication help maintain relationships?

  12. Positivity (positive and upbeat climate) • Openness (disclosing personal needs and concerns) • Assurance (let the other person know verbally and non-verbally that they matter to you) • Social network (Communication with others can provide support and relief; helps partners understand and appreciate each other) • Sharing tasks (assisting in life’s chores and obligations)

  13. Repairing Damaged Relationships • Minor versus significant (small doses of separation can enhance a relationship: “absence makes the heart grow fonder”) • Social versus relational (social expectations/family rules) • Deliberate versus unintentional • One-time versus Incremental (act of betrayal, verbal assault; withdrawal • Forgiving transgressions (forgiveness reduces emotional distress and aggression; sexual infidelity and breaking up a relationship are the least forgivable offenses)

  14. Interpersonal Relationships • Good ones take time … and work: