Chapter 7 (communication in the stages of relationships)
Subject : Theory ofCommunication Chapter 7 Group 5
Communication in the Stages of Relationships PRESENTER: NGỌC CẨM
Every relationship develops and changes with time
Even though no two relationships develop in exactly thesame manner, they tend to follow a life cycle that has fouridentifiable stages:• Beginning• Developing• Maintaining• Deteriorating (Baxter, 1982; Duck, 1987; Knapp & Vangelisti, 2000; Taylor & Altman, 1987).
Beginning Relationships• Communication during the beginning stage of a relationship focuses on reducing uncertainty by increasing your knowledge of the other person.• Your goal is to understand how he or she sees the world (Berger, 1987).• Relationships can begin in face-to-face or online environments.
The process that relationships go through in the beginning stage – Steve Duck (1999)FACE-TO-FACE
E.g. Two college roommates – Kate &Whitneyhobbies studying major school Schedule The chitchat reduces uncertainty and helps them gain knowledge about each other
Relationships in online environments• Online communication may present a potentially less difficult way to meet others than traditional face-to face interactions.
• The initial interaction can occur in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace.• You need not be concerned about physical aspects of the self or the other, and you can more precisely select what you are going to say (Ward &Tracy, 2004).
• Moving from the beginning stage of a relationship, we get into the next one: The developing.• On this stage, partners will identify and capitalize on their similarities and tolerate or negotiate their differences.
• As the relationship develops, partners tend to share greater physical contact. Sitting closer Leaning toward More eye contact together each other• Such physical behaviors may or may not involve romantic feelings.
• Females and males may differ in how they show physical contact in same- and opposite- sex friendships.• Females may hold hands or hug other female friends.• Males may high-five each other or punch each other’s shoulder.
• As a relationship develops, partners will feel psychologically closer.• Partners who do not feel relaxed and comfortable will remain casual acquaintances and may even decide to avoid having any relationship with one another.
• Because the relationship is developing, partners will come to understand each other more and be less surprised by the attitudes, reactions, or behaviors of the other.• Because they share a history and common activities, they will come to develop a common language, including inside jokes, pet expressions, and references unique to their relationship.
• Relationships can develop via face-to-face or online interactions.• Some people even report that they achieve more closeness in online relationships than in equivalent face-to-face relationships.
MAINTAINING A RELATIONSHIPMaintaining a relationship means thatboth people participate in ways thatkeep the relationship at a particularlevel of closeness.
Researchers have catalogued manystrategies, such as spending timetogether, merging friendshipnetworks, sacrifice, and forgiveness that peopleuse to maintain relationships.
You probably unconsciously use many of these techniques to maintain your relationships.For example:• Thu and Mai are from different province but they are room-mate and they used these strategies to maintain their relationship.• In the second year, they decided to take a few classes together, join some of the same clubs, and get to know each other’s friends. They even visited each other’s hometowns and met each other’s families and high school friends.
You can maintain your relationshipby choosing to spend time togetherface to face or online. In fact onlinecommunication can be the mainvehicle for maintaining long distancerelationships.
Another relationship maintenance strategy involves a willingness to sacrifice.Sacrifice means putting your own needs ordesires on hold.
For exampleWhen Nga was ill, sacrificed a date in order tostay home and take care of her sick roommate.Because all relationships involve give-and-take, being willing at times to do what is best forthe other person or for the relationship itselfcan help maintain the relationship.
Another strategy people sometimes practice is “positive illusion.” Thismeans emphasizing others’ virtues and downplaying their faults.
Relationships can also be maintained byforgiveness. Because conflict is inevitable inclose relationships, we may do or say things thathurt our partner. If not handled properly, suchtransgressions can harm the relationship andmove it to a level of less intimacy.By forgiving minor transgressions, we can keep arelationship at the desired level of closeness.
For example, Thu and Mai each have little habitsthat annoy the other, but they choose not to letthese annoyances get in the way of a goodfriendship.
Other ways that people maintain theirrelationships include continuingmutually acceptable levels ofaffection, self-disclosure, favors, andsupport.
Keys to maintaining relationshipsWe all need one another. Life is aboutrelationships and we need to know how to keepand maintain them.Below are a few keys to keeping yourrelationships.
1. Appreciate and value your friends.2. If you take your friends for granted you will eventually loose them.3. Keep a diary of phone calls and visits especially if you are a very busy person. This may sound funny, but if you don’t, you will wake up one morning to find out that you have drifted apart. This is especially important if you have just met someone and you are just building the relationship.
4. Discuss any issues that may arise. If you have unresolved issues, deal with them and don’t hope they will just go away without confronting them. Unresolved issues may eventually ruin your friendship.5. However high up you go in life, endeavour to keep your friends that were there for you before you became famous.6. Respect people and don’t be rude.
7. Return phone calls, emails, text messages, acknowledge cards and gifts.8. When you perceive that a person has an interest in you or wants to know youmore, receive them and open up.9. Give people allowances.10. If a person asks for your phone number, give it to them and ask for theirs. Its show that you are also interested in pursuing the relationship.
Deteriorating and Dissolving Relationships PRESENTER: Minh Sang
The less highly developed a relationship is, the morelikely it is to dissolve.Over time, a developed relationship may become lesssatisfying to one or both partners so that a partner willinvest less time in the relationshipBut this doesn’t mean that the relationship will end.Instead it may revert to a different, less intimate level.
The partners may feel less connected to each other, begin to share fewer activities, and communicate less frequently begin to emphasize each other’s faults and downplay virtues. Subjects that once involved deep, private, and frequent communication may become off-limits or sources of conﬂict. The ﬁrst sign that a relationship is deteriorating is a subtle indication of dissatisfaction. Partners become more defensive and less willing to foster a positivecommunication climate. If the relationship continues to be dissatisfying, people begin to drift apart. Theybecome less willing to sacriﬁce for each other, and they show less forgiveness.
When a relationship can’t be maintained at a lessdeveloped level, it will end.A relationship has ended when the people no longerinteract with each otherWhen a relationship can’t be maintained at a lessdeveloped level, it will end. A relationship has endedwhen the people no longer interact with each other.
Unfortunately, when people decide to end a relationship, they sometimes look forreasons to blame each other rather than trying to ﬁnd equitable ways of bringingthe relationship to an acceptable conclusion
The most competent way to end a relationship is to bedirect, open, and honest.It is important to clearly state your wish to end therelationship while being respectful of the other personand sensitive to the resulting emotions. If two people have had a satisfying and closerelationship, they owe it to themselves and to eachother to be forthright and fair about communicatingduring the ﬁnal stage of the relationship.
Summary• Communication in the Stages of Relationship: 1. Beginning relationship 2. Developing relationship 3. Maintaining relationship 4. Deteriorating and dissolving relationship 5. Common factors affecting these stages
The end!• Group members: 1. Dinh Quoc Minh Dang 2. Nguyen Dinh Minh Sang 3. Vo Huu Loc 4. Tran Thi Ngan Giang 5. Nguyen Ngoc Cam