Foundations of Relationships (Stages of Relational Interaction…
Foundations of Relationships
emotional, relational, and instrumental needs, as they are intimate, close, and interdependent relationships such as those we have with best friends, partners, or immediate family.
relationships that occasionally meet our needs and lack the closeness and interdependence of personal relationships.
Stages of Relational Interaction
Initiating “My name’s Rich. It’s nice to meet you.”
Experimenting “I like to cook and refinish furniture in my spare time. What about you?”
Intensifying “I feel like we’ve gotten a lot closer over the past couple months.”
Integrating (To friend) “We just opened a joint bank account.”
Bonding “I can’t wait to tell my parents that we decided to get married!”
Differentiating “I’d really like to be able to hang out with my friends sometimes.”
Circumscribing “Don’t worry about problems I’m having at work. I can deal with it.”
Stagnating (To self) “I don’t know why I even asked him to go out to dinner. He never wants to go out and have a good time.”
Avoiding “I have a lot going on right now, so I probably won’t be home as much.”
Terminating “It’s important for us both to have some time apart. I know you’ll be fine.”
n the initiating stage, people size each other up and try to present themselves favorably. Whether you run into someone in the hallway at school or in the produce section at the grocery store, you scan the person and consider any previous knowledge you have of them, expectations for the situation, and so on. Initiating is influenced by several factors.
The scholars who developed these relational stages have likened the experimenting stage, where people exchange information and often move from strangers to acquaintances, to the “sniffing ritual” of animals.
Experimenting continues in established relationships. Small talk, a hallmark of the experimenting stage, is common among young adults catching up with their parents when they return home for a visit or committed couples when they recount their day while preparing dinner. Small talk can be annoying sometimes, especially if you feel like you have to do it out of politeness.
As we enter the intensifying stage, we indicate that we would like or are open to more intimacy, and then we wait for a signal of acceptance before we attempt more intimacy.
In the integrating stage, two people’s identities and personalities merge, and a sense of interdependence develops. Even though this stage is most evident in romantic relationships, there are elements that appear in other relationship forms. Some verbal and nonverbal signals of the integrating stage are when the social networks of two people merge; those outside the relationship begin to refer to or treat the relational partners as if they were one person (e.g., always referring to them together
The bonding stage includes a public ritual that announces formal commitment. These types of rituals include weddings, commitment ceremonies, and civil unions. Obviously, this stage is almost exclusively applicable to romantic couples. In some ways, the bonding ritual is arbitrary, in that it can occur at any stage in a relationship.
Individual differences can present a challenge at any given stage in the relational interaction model; however, in the differentiating stage, communicating these differences becomes a primary focus. Differentiating is the reverse of integrating, as we and our reverts back to I and my. People may try to reboundary some of their life prior to the integrating of the current relationship, including other relationships or possessions.
he circumscribing stage, communication decreases and certain areas or subjects become restricted as individuals verbally close themselves off from each other.
During the stagnating stage, the relationship may come to a standstill, as individuals basically wait for the relationship to end. Outward communication may be avoided, but internal communication may be frequent. The relational conflict flaw of mindreading takes place as a person’s internal thoughts lead them to avoid communication.
Moving to the avoiding stage may be a way to end the awkwardness that comes with stagnation, as people signal that they want to close down the lines of communication. Communication in the avoiding stage can be very direct—“I don’t want to talk to you anymore”—or more indirect—“I have to meet someone in a little while, so I can’t talk long.
The terminating stage of a relationship can occur shortly after initiation or after a ten- or twenty-year relational history has been established. Termination can result from outside circumstances such as geographic separation or internal factors such as changing values or personalities that lead to a weakening of the bond. Termination exchanges involve some typical communicative elements and may begin with a summary message that recaps the relationship and provides a reason for the termination
Social Exchange Theory
Social exchange theory essentially entails a weighing of the costs and rewards in a given relationship.
Commitment and interdependence are important interpersonal and psychological dimensions of a relationship that relate to social exchange theory. Interdependence refers to the relationship between a person’s well-being and involvement in a particular relationship.
We can be cautioned, though, to not view social exchange theory as a tit-for-tat accounting of costs and rewards.
refers to our need to have close connection with others as well as our need to have our own space and identity.
the idea that we desire predictability as well as spontaneity in our relationships.
he desire to be open and honest with others while at the same time not wanting to reveal every thing about yourself to someone else.
I want to ask my group of their personal experience of using the stage of relationship. I think I will be more familiar if I understand every situation they meet.
Also, I want to ask my group member whether my experience is place to the right place or not. I want to classify my experience. I think by doing this I can know which mistakes I make.