Social Needs.

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WHY WE FORM
RELATIONSHIPS?
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Physical Needs. (reducing uncertainty
about the world around us)
Identity Needs. (reinforcing our
identity, self-worth, etc.)
Social Needs. (inclusion, being a part
of a group).
Practical Needs.
Why Do We Form Relationships With
Some People And Not With Others?
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Appearance
Similarity
Complementarity
Competency
Proximity
Rewards
Reciprocity/Disclosure
I was initially attracted to my
spouse/partner by his/her
Men Women
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Looks
Personality
Sexiness
Wealth
Warmth
Power
Humor
I was initially attracted to my
spouse/partner by his/her

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Looks
Personality
Sexiness
Wealth
Warmth
Power
Humor
Men
26%
49
9
2
12
1
1
Women
17%
44
5
1
26
3
4
The question of interpretation
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What is the meaning of “personality?”
What is the meaning of “looks?”
Etc.
Influences of culture, education, even
mass media
Close, same, different…
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proximity = we like those near us
similarity = we like those who are like ourselves
Complementarity
Competency
Rewards / Costs
Based on Rational Choice Theory
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The exchange theory
Rewards – Costs = Outcome
(costs/benefits analysis)
The main question: what one considers to be a
reward and a cost?
Also: what are the alternatives?
Relationship Development
& Deterioration
Stages of Relationship
Development
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1. The stages should be viewed as descriptive of
what seems to happen rather than what should
happen.
2. The stages are not totally distinct from one
another.
The initiating stage
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1. In the initiating stage, we tend to follow the
scripts we have learned for initial interactions.
2. During this stage we make initial judgments
of other people's competence and they make
judgments of our competence.
The experimenting stage
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This stage can be seen as an audition for
friendship.
It also helps us identify similarities between
ourselves and others.
It helps us and the other person reduce our
uncertainty about each other.
Relationships at this stage are casual and
commitment is very limited.
Testing Your Partner…
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Directness
Endurance
Indirect suggestions
Public presentation
Separation
Third party (asking others)
Triangle
The intensifying stage
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During the intensifying stage we increase the
information we disclose about ourselves to
others.
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Overall, during this stage we are displaying our
uniqueness to others.
The integrating stage
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Our interdependence with our partners begins
to be visible to others.

A jointly constructed view of the world begins
to emerge. The "my" orientation begins to be
replaced by a "we" orientation.
The bonding stage
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The bonding stage often involves a public ritual
that announces to the world that commitments
have been formally contracted.
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This is not just a ritual but a sign of taking
responsibility and commitment.
Affinity-Seeking Strategies
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Altruism
Leadership
Comfort
Politeness
Dynamism
Optimism
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Attractiveness
Sensitivity
Listening
Autonomy
Openness
Knowledge
The dialectical perspective
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The dialectical perspective focuses on
explaining the contradictions, inconsistencies,
and paradoxes in our relationships.
Primary Relational Dialectics
(inherent contradictions)
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INTEGRATION-SEPARATION
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STABILITY VERSUS CHANGE
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EXPRESSION VERSUS PRIVACY
INTEGRATION-SEPARATION
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The connection/autonomy dialectic
(inclusion/seclusion)
Autonomy = our desire to be independent;
Connection = our need to feel included;
Developing quality relationships requires balancing our
needs for autonomy and connection and being aware of
our partner's need for autonomy and connection.
STABILITY - CHANGE
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Predictability-Novelty Dialectic
(conventionality/uniqueness)
Developing quality relationships requires that
we recognize our need for predictability and
our need for novelty.
EXPRESSION - PRIVACY
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Openness-Closedness Dialectic
(revelation/concealment)
Openness with others is necessary to develop
intimacy with them;
Protecting ourselves requires some degree of
closedness.
Responses to dialectical tensions
(strategies?)
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Disorientation (inability to face the problem)
Denial / Recalibration (reinterpretation)
Alternation
Segmentation
Balance
Integration
Reaffirmation
Content vs Relational Messages

Every message, verbal and nonverbal, has a
second relational dimension which makes
statements about how communicators feel
toward one another.
Interplay, 12th Edition, Adler/Rosenfeld/Proctor
Copyright © 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Content vs Relational Messages
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Consider comparison to the art of argumentation
Relevant vs irrelevant material
Relational
Superiority
Friendliness
Sexual
Helplessness
Aloofness
Irritation
Causes of Relationship Deterioration:
Transgressions/Violations of Norms
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Minor versus significant
Social versus relational
Deliberate versus unintentional
One-time versus incremental
Interplay, 12th Edition, Adler/Rosenfeld/Proctor
Copyright © 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc.
Causes of Relationship Deterioration:
Transgressions/Violations of Norms
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Lack of Commitment (from failing minor
obligations to deception and unfaithfulness)
Distance (emotional/physical separation)
Disrespect (criticism/abuse)
Problematic Emotions (jealousy, suspicion, rage)
Aggression (verbal hostility/physical violence)
Other Causes of Relationship
Deterioration
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1.
2.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Unrealistic beliefs
Relationship changes
Undefined expectations
Sex-related problems
Work-related problems
Financial difficulties
Ideology / Politics / Religion
Stages of Coming Apart
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The differentiating stage
The circumscribing stage
The stagnating stage
The avoiding stage
The terminating stage
The differentiating stage
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Differences become the central focus of our
attention and these differences lead to greater
interpersonal distance between us and our
partners
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The "we" orientation begins to be replaced by
a "my“ orientation.
The circumscribing stage
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The circumscribing stage involves constricted
communication;
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Communication decreases in Quantity and
Quality.
The stagnating stage
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In this stage, there is an expectation of
unpleasant conversations, and the feeling that
we have little to say to our partners.
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Our communication is awkward, scripted, and
often similar to the way we talk to strangers.
The avoiding stage
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In the avoiding stage we rearrange our lives so
that there is little need to interact with our
partners.
The terminating stage
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The terminating stage involves physically and
psychologically leaving relationships.
Why People Stay Together?
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Emotional attachment
Convenience
Children
Fear
Inertia
Commitment (to whom? To what?)
Relational maintenance
(the negative side)
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Retribution
Reformulation
Prevention
Minimization
Relational justification
Interpersonal Persuasion
Ethos
Logos
Pathos
LOGOS (reasoning)
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Select reasons that give the best support for
your proposal
Select reasons you can support with specific
information
Select reasons that will have an impact on the
person you are trying to persuade
ETHOS (believability)
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Demonstrate knowledge and expertise
Demonstrate that you care about the effects on
others
Behave ethically
PATHOS (emotional response)
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Identify your own feelings about the situation
Select information that will stimulate those
emotions
Describe your feelings to the other person
Compliance Gaining Strategies
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Direct Requests
Indirect Appeals
Reciprocity
Reward and Punishment
Face Maintenance
Relational Appeals
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