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- Relationships must work out many dialectics -tension from opposing motives and desires
- 1. closedness vs. openness
- 2. autonomy vs. connection
- 3. novelty vs. predictability
Differences bring you together
similarities bring you together; both individuals share traits, interests, and approaches to communication.
- Independent - partners live separate and disconnected lives.
- Dependent - partners rely so much on one another that their identities are enmeshed with one another.
- Interdependent - Relationships in which the partners rely on one another but are not so dependent that they cannot make independent decisions when warranted.
- Disconfirming messages - messages that deny the value of a relational partner by refusing to acknowledge his or her presence and communication.
- Confirming messages - Messages that value the partner's presence and contributions.
- Rejection messages - Messages that acknowledge the partner's presence and communication, but do not fully accept or agree with the partner.
- Rigid vs. flexible
- dominant vs. passive
Strategies for Managing Dialectics
p.129, Table 7.1
- Denial - partners claim that no tension exists
- Segmentation - partners segment their approach to a dialectic depending on the situation.
- Balance - Partners strike a compromise between opposing dialectics.
- Reaffirmation - Partners have competing needs, but accept the tension between dialectics.
- Roles, responsibilities
- Shared history
- Shared space
Two Types of Families
- Those into which we're born
- Those we create
- Upbringing influences our future relationships
- We "manage" conflict the way we lived it
"I" messages. Five ways to respond to conflict.
Using "I" messages will help the other person hear what you have to say without feeling attacked or demeaned.
- Observation - describe what you see, hear, touch, and experience and focuses on facts.
- Feelings - describe your own feelings rather than using "you" statements.
- Wants - describe your wants and needs instead of hoping the person will guess what you want them to do or what you need from them.
- Thoughts - try "I" messages like "I feel secure when you tell me you love me more often," "I like it when you tell me whether or not you enjoyed the meal I cooked."
- Intention - describe what you plan to do. Rather than depend on the other, state your intentions.
Conflict and types of conflict
- Perception of incompatible goals -
- Overt - out in the open
- Covert - hiding anger
- intended outcome - solve the problem, or "win"?
- Below the belt
Conflict Styles (5)
- Collaborate - high concern for self and high concern for people
- Compromise - moderate concern for self and moderate concern for people.
- Accommodate - low concern for self and high concern for people.
- Avoid - low concern for self and low concern for people.
- Compete - high concern for self and low concern for people
- Reciprocity - equality
- Receptivity - status difference
- Association - transitory
- Collectivist - close friendships, high expectations
- Individualistic - friendly, but also look out for self
- Tension or opposition between interacting forces or elements or relationships.
- Every relationship must contend with several issues, or dialectics, in the negotiation of communication between the parties.