Developing Close Relationships “The man who trusts no others doesn’t trust himself.” --Napolean Hill Development of a Relationship • Becoming aware—our first impressions are the points at which we tend to make judgments about whether or not we will pursue a relationship • Making contact—mere exposure to another person tends to increase the likelihood of a relationship developing • Disclosure—letting the other person know about ourselves Friendship • Psychology Today (1979): Qualities of a friend: – – – – – – – – – – Keeps confidence (89%) Loyalty (88%) Warmth and Affection (82%) Supportiveness (75%) Honesty and frankness (73%) Sense of humor (72%) Willingness to make time for me (62%) Independence (61%) Good Conversationalist (59%) Intelligence (58%) Friendship • Trust – How predictable is the individual? – Can I depend upon her or him? – Do I have faith in that person? • Similarities—we tend to select friends who are similar to us in many different aspects such as ethnic background, social status, interests, income level, occupation, education level, and political preferences. Finding Friendship • If we remember that proximity is a major factor in developing attraction, placing ourselves in situations and places where we can find other people with similar interests and needs will be key to finding new friends. Opposites Attract? • While people who are our “opposite” are novel and sometimes exciting, opposite interests, backgrounds, etc. will eventually terminate a relationship • UNLESS, the needs of the other are complementary to our needs—where one person’s strengths compensate for the other person’s weaknesses Social Exchange Theory • According to this theory, we tend to measure our actions on a cost-benefit basis. • In relationships, the cost and benefit are measured in intangible or tangible resources— intelligence, attractiveness, warmth, social status, etc. How to Win Friends and Influence People • Dale Carnegie (1998) outlined six rules for winning friends 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Become genuinely interested in people Smile Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves Talk in terms of the other person’s interests Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely Dating and Mating – Courtship—the process by which two people decide to get together and stay together – “These relationships are so important and we are so vulnerable to the effects of rejection and abandonment, that we experience many of our greatest risks and joys in life through being part of a couple.” (p. 279) Major hurdles – In our quest for love and intimacy, we face the challenges of – Recognizing what it takes to attract potential dates, mates and friends – Devising a strategy for meeting them What do we do to make ourselves attractive – Flirting—nonverbal courtship signals – This set of behaviors generally falls upon the female and includes initial eye contact, gestures, body orientation, primping, play behaviors (teasing, mocking, joking, etc.) – It is generally the male’s role to interpret and respond to the flirting behavior Love or Infatuation? – In its simplest terms, love is “when satisfaction, security and development of another person is as important to you as your own satisfaction, security, and development, love exists.” (Harry Stack Sullivan, 1953) – If you desire happiness for the other person to such an extent that it is important, even if you are not able to share in that happiness, this is love. (Raymond Short, c. 1981) Myths about Love – – – – – True love lasts forever Love can conquer all Love is a purely positive experience When you fall in love, you’ll know it. When love strikes, you have no control over your behavior. Love is – Sternberg (1988) developed a theory that love consists of three components: – Passion—an intense physiological desire for another person – Intimacy—the feeling that one can share all one’s thoughts and actions with another – Commitment—the willingness to stay with a person through thick and thin, or for better or worse, or in sickness or health. Triangular Model of Love – – – – – – – Liking—Intimacy alone Empty Love—Commitment alone Infatuation—Passion alone Romantic Love—Intimacy+Passion Companionate Love—Intimacy+Commitment Fatuous Love—Passion+Commitment Consummate Love— Intimacy+Passion+Commitment Six Types of Love – Game-playing—treating love like a game or sport – Possessive—wanting to bind the partner to an enduring relationship – Logical—treating love as a practical, down to earth decision – Altruistic—sacrificing for the sake of love; putting another person’s happiness above your own – Companionate—loving, affection, companionate, and friendship that develops over time – Exotic—sheer physical excitement and sexual pleasure Love and Marriage – Bad Love and Marriage choices (Deangelis, 1993) – You care more about your partner than s/he does about you (and vice versa) – You are in love with your partner’s potential – You are on a rescue mission – You have partial compatibility – You choose a partner to be rebellious – Your partner is unavailable Love and Marriage – Psychology Today (1985) most important reasons that marriages last 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. My spouse is my best friend I like my spouse as a person Marriage is a long-term commitment Marriage is sacred We agree on aims and goals My spouse has grown more interesting I want the relationship to succeed Will it last? – Happily married couples spend a lot of focused time together – They share many of the same values – They are highly flexible – Other factors – – – – – Age at time of marriage Socioeconomic class Length of courtship Family background Personality Expectations – As we have explored, expectations are one of the key predictors of happiness – Realistic expectations about roles, marriage, career, childrearing, etc. are keys to marital success Conflict and marriage – Toxic negative emotions – – – – Criticism Contempt Defensiveness Stonewalling – Five-to-One Ratio – Successful communication is the cornerstone of any relationship How to have a happy relationship – – – – Learn to Calm down Validate Your Partner Learn to Speak and Listen Non-Defensively Practice, Practice Practice Codependence – When one person has allowed another person’s behavior (abuse, chemical addiction, etc.) to affect him or her, and who is obsessed with controlling that person’s behavior (Beattie, 2001) – Codependency involves a habitual system of thinking, feeling and behaving toward ourselves or others that can cause us pain. Codependence – – – – – We depend on the other for our mood We depend on the other for our own worth We depend on the other for their love We may appear strong but feel weak We may appear to be in control but are actually being controlled Growing Apart – According to Dr. Phil: – First, do not ever make life-changing decisions in the midst of emotional turmoil – Second, if you are going to quit, you earn the right to quit (McGraw, 2000) Divorce Predictors – Your marriage will have a greater chance of lasting if: – – – – – – You marry after age 22 You grow-up in a stable, two-parent home You dated for a long time prior to marriage You are well and similarly educated You have a stable income from a job you enjoy You do not cohabit or become pregnant before marriage – You are religiously committed – You are of similar age, faith and education Divorce Grief – Divorce, like any other loss, brings with it grief – Losses/changes include: – – – – Loss of emotional support Loss/change in social ties Loss/change in socioeconomic status Loss of hopes and dreams for the future Gay Relationships – The dynamics within a gay relationship are not different than those in heterosexual relationships – However, negative social attitudes, prejudice and discrimination effect the ways that relationships develop and are lived.