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Relational Maintenance<br />The “everyday stuff” of family life.<br />How does a married couple stay together?<br />How do...
Cornerstone of Communication with Your Family/Partner<br />Talking & Listening are Key to<br />Relational Maintenance<br />
Relational Maintenance<br />Couple A<br />Wife to Husband:<br />	“I just don’t feel appreciated anymore.”<br />Husband to ...
Relational Maintenance<br />Couple A<br />Wife to Husband:<br />	“I just don’t feel appreciated anymore.”<br />Husband to ...
What about you?<br />Are you aware of whether your responses to family members/your partners:<br />Confirm their value<br ...
Relational Maintenance<br />Takes Work<br />Long-lasting relationships are characterized by supportive, confirming message...
Ever Wonder How Come?<br />Some couples find it difficult to discuss day-to-day issues let alone intimate issues.<br />Fam...
On the Other Hand:<br />Some couples have deep trust and intimacy in their relationships.<br />Family-of-Origin:<br />You ...
Confirming Communication<br />Confirming Messages & Responsesthat:<br />Recognize & value the other person<br />Are releva...
Two Key Parts of Confirming Messages<br />Recognition<br />Absolutely essential to marriage & family relationships.<br />A...
Recognition = Validation<br />Validation:<br />You acknowledge your partner’s presence verbally or nonverbally.<br />You i...
Recognition = Validation<br />“It was nice of you to go to the grocery store, it really freed up my afternoon.”<br />“Than...
Acceptance = You’re OK<br />Every family member needs to feel that they are “all right.”<br />Messages that say to the oth...
Does it really matter whether we confirm our partners?<br />People judge us by our words and behavior rather than by our i...
Does it really matter whether we confirm our partners?<br />Marriage Researcher John Gottman:<br />A significant predictor...
Six Types of Confirming Responses<br />Direct Acknowledgment<br />Agreement about Judgments<br />Supportive Responses<br /...
A Direct Acknowledgment<br />Just a simple direct acknowledgment of what your partner says to you.<br />You’re not just re...
A Direct Acknowledgment<br />Mike:<br />“Gee, it’s really getting cold outside!<br />Sue:<br />
Agreement about Judgments<br />You don’t have to lie, but you have to demonstrate that you understand what your partner th...
Agreement about Judgments<br />Nancy:  I think the band was great tonight.<br />This message is GOOD – it affirms the othe...
Supportive Responses!!!!<br />Sometimes all it takes is some reassurance & understanding.<br />You confirm your partner’s ...
Clarifying Responses<br />If you’re tired, confused, or just don’t understand what your partner is talking about:<br />Sho...
Positivity: Expressions of Positive Feelings<br />In marriages – this is an important relational maintenance strategy!!<br...
Compliments:To compliment someone is to confirm that person’s self-worth.<br />When you tell people you like what they hav...
Confirming Responses Validate Your Partner’s Self-Worth<br />Directly acknowledge something your partner has said.<br />Ag...
The “Other” Side of Confirming Responses<br />Disconfirming those you Interact With<br />[Remember:  It’s in the interpret...
Rejecting Responses<br />Your message doesn’t validate the other person.<br />“You’re lazy; impossible …. “<br />“Oh get a...
Disconfirming Responses<br />Undermine another person’s self-worth.<br />Can be very detrimental to a marriage, family and...
Impervious Responses<br />You might be tired or not interested in listening to the other person.<br />You fail to acknowle...
Interrupting Response<br />How do you feel when someone interrupts you?<br />If someone interrupts you, they’re implying t...
Irrelevant Responses <br />Your partner responds to you with nothing at all to do with what you were saying.<br />This can...
Impersonal Responses!!!<br />These responses drive me crazy!!<br />The person responds with a sense of superiority and dis...
Incongruous Response<br />Verbal message is inconsistent with nonverbal behavior.<br />Like a malfunctioning traffic light...
Tangential Response<br />The person acknowledges you, but what he/she says is only minimally related to what you are talki...
Disconfirming = Disrespecting<br />To disconfirm what your partner says can be devastating to your relationship.<br />It’s...
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Wk 8 Ch5 Introduction To Relational Maintenance

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Wk 8 Ch5 Introduction To Relational Maintenance

  1. 1. Relational Maintenance<br />The “everyday stuff” of family life.<br />How does a married couple stay together?<br />How do you maintain family ties?<br />People in relationships that are characterized by high levels of maintenance tend to :<br />stay together longer <br />be more satisfied<br />
  2. 2. Cornerstone of Communication with Your Family/Partner<br />Talking & Listening are Key to<br />Relational Maintenance<br />
  3. 3. Relational Maintenance<br />Couple A<br />Wife to Husband:<br /> “I just don’t feel appreciated anymore.”<br />Husband to Wife:<br />“Maggie, I’m sorry, I love you. You’re the most important person in the world to me.”<br />Couple B<br />Wife to Husband:<br />“I just don’t feel appreciated anymore.”<br />Husband to Wife:<br />“Well, what about my feelings? Don’t they count? You’ll have to do what you have to do. What’s for dinner?”<br />
  4. 4. Relational Maintenance<br />Couple A<br />Wife to Husband:<br /> “I just don’t feel appreciated anymore.”<br />Husband to Wife:<br />“Maggie, I’m sorry, I love you. You’re the most important person in the world to me.”<br />Couple B<br />Wife to Husband:<br />“I just don’t feel appreciated anymore.”<br />Husband to Wife:<br />“Well, what about my feelings? Don’t they count? You’ll have to do what you have to do. What’s for dinner?”<br />Confirming Response: <br />Causes Her to Feel Valued<br />Disconfirming Response: <br />Causes Her to Feel De-Valued<br />
  5. 5. What about you?<br />Are you aware of whether your responses to family members/your partners:<br />Confirm their value<br />Disconfirm their value<br />
  6. 6. Relational Maintenance<br />Takes Work<br />Long-lasting relationships are characterized by supportive, confirming messages.<br />Key to maintaining family relationships is the ability to be other-oriented (not self-absorbed).<br />
  7. 7. Ever Wonder How Come?<br />Some couples find it difficult to discuss day-to-day issues let alone intimate issues.<br />Family-of-Origin:<br />Maybe the only form of communication you learned was functional communication.<br />Only communication concerned with the ins and outs of daily life.<br />Asking for and Giving Information<br />Just the facts: who, what, where, when, how<br />You didn’t talk about caring for one another; validating other family members; feelings; and emotions.<br />
  8. 8. On the Other Hand:<br />Some couples have deep trust and intimacy in their relationships.<br />Family-of-Origin:<br />You learned functional communication.<br />But maybe you also learned nurturing communication:<br />You learned how to interact with family members to convey caring, recognition, respect, and validation of other family members.<br />You learned how to use CONFIRMING responses.<br />
  9. 9. Confirming Communication<br />Confirming Messages & Responsesthat:<br />Recognize & value the other person<br />Are relevant to the conversation you’re having<br />Accept what the other person is saying<br />Show a willingness to be involved in the relationship.<br />You acknowledge the other person’s presence.<br />You show a willingness to become involved with the other person.<br />
  10. 10. Two Key Parts of Confirming Messages<br />Recognition<br />Absolutely essential to marriage & family relationships.<br />Acceptance<br />Essential for family members to feel like they belong to the family.<br />
  11. 11. Recognition = Validation<br />Validation:<br />You acknowledge your partner’s presence verbally or nonverbally.<br />You indicate that your partner is a significant, contributing member of the relationship.<br />
  12. 12. Recognition = Validation<br />“It was nice of you to go to the grocery store, it really freed up my afternoon.”<br />“Thanks for turning your cell off so I could sleep in this morning.”<br />“Hey – good to see you again. I missed you.”<br />Messages imply that you value your partner & his/her contributions to the relationship.<br />
  13. 13. Acceptance = You’re OK<br />Every family member needs to feel that they are “all right.”<br />Messages that say to the other person, “You’re OK the way you are.”<br />Including the family member in activities<br />Listening to the other person’s ideas, opinions, and thoughts<br />Recognizing that the other person has something important to say and that he/she contributes to the family.<br />
  14. 14. Does it really matter whether we confirm our partners?<br />People judge us by our words and behavior rather than by our intent.<br />This includes family members<br />It’s your partner or family member who determines what you meant (he/she is the decoder).<br />
  15. 15. Does it really matter whether we confirm our partners?<br />Marriage Researcher John Gottman:<br />A significant predictor of divorce was neglecting to confirm or validate one’s marriage partner during typical, everyday conversation.<br />Just a few seconds of confirmation goes a long way.<br />
  16. 16. Six Types of Confirming Responses<br />Direct Acknowledgment<br />Agreement about Judgments<br />Supportive Responses<br />Clarifying Responses<br />Expression of Positive Feelings<br />Compliments<br />See Handout<br />
  17. 17. A Direct Acknowledgment<br />Just a simple direct acknowledgment of what your partner says to you.<br />You’re not just responding to the statement.<br />You’re also acknowledging that your partner is worth responding to.<br />Sue:<br />Hey, it’s a nice day for a bike trip.<br />Mark:<br /> Yea it is Sue. It’s a great day to be outside.<br />It’s so easy – but we get stuck in ruts & forget to acknowledge what our partners say.<br />This message validates & confirms acceptance.<br />
  18. 18. A Direct Acknowledgment<br />Mike:<br />“Gee, it’s really getting cold outside!<br />Sue:<br />
  19. 19. Agreement about Judgments<br />You don’t have to lie, but you have to demonstrate that you understand what your partner thinks/feels.<br />You confirm his/her evaluation of something.<br />
  20. 20. Agreement about Judgments<br />Nancy: I think the band was great tonight.<br />This message is GOOD – it affirms the other person’s sense of taste or judgment about something.<br />William: <br />Well, they were OK I guess. I know you like their music – so I can see why you thought they were great.<br />
  21. 21. Supportive Responses!!!!<br />Sometimes all it takes is some reassurance & understanding.<br />You confirm your partner’s right to his or her feelings.<br />Sam: I’m disappointed that I only got a C on my math test.<br />Sarah: I’m sorry. Gee, I hate to see you so frustrated. I know the test was important to you.<br />Supportive Responses are Critical to Relational Maintenance!!!!<br />
  22. 22. Clarifying Responses<br />If you’re tired, confused, or just don’t understand what your partner is talking about:<br />Show that your partner is worth your time & effort.<br />Encourage the other person to talk so that you can better understand his/her feelings!<br />Larry: I’m not feeling very good about the way things are going in my family these days.<br />Mike: Is it tough for you and Margo working different shifts?<br />Clarify Responses Help you to Learn More about your Partner’s Feelings/Concerns.<br />
  23. 23. Positivity: Expressions of Positive Feelings<br />In marriages – this is an important relational maintenance strategy!!<br />Let your partner know that you value what he or she is feeling.<br />Be positive!!!<br />Linda: I’m so excited! I was just promoted to manager.<br />Larry: Wow! Congrats! I’m really proud of you. You deserve it.<br />
  24. 24. Compliments:To compliment someone is to confirm that person’s self-worth.<br />When you tell people you like what they have done or said, what they are wearing, or how they look:<br />You’re confirming their sense of worth.<br />We all want to feel that we’re important.<br />Jean: Did you get a copy of the report I did?<br />Manny: Yea. It really looked professional. I didn’t know you were so good at organizing information.<br />With your partner – you don’t have to lie. But if you’re an effective listener – you’ll know lots of things you can praise him/her for!<br />
  25. 25. Confirming Responses Validate Your Partner’s Self-Worth<br />Directly acknowledge something your partner has said.<br />Agree with your partner’s judgment.<br />Be supportive; let the other person know you are trying to understand how he/she feels.<br />Ask questions to help clarify.<br />Express positive feelings to echo those of your partner’s.<br />Compliment (only if you can be sincere).<br />
  26. 26. The “Other” Side of Confirming Responses<br />Disconfirming those you Interact With<br />[Remember: It’s in the interpretation.]<br />
  27. 27. Rejecting Responses<br />Your message doesn’t validate the other person.<br />“You’re lazy; impossible …. “<br />“Oh get a life, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”<br />You ignore the other person; you don’t respond to what the other person said.<br />Messages invalidate or reject the family member.<br />Individual begins to feel rejected & that he/she is of little importance to you or the family system.<br />
  28. 28. Disconfirming Responses<br />Undermine another person’s self-worth.<br />Can be very detrimental to a marriage, family and social relationships.<br />May have learned it was “OK” to use these in your family-of-origin.<br />They are the exact opposite of validation and acceptance.<br />
  29. 29. Impervious Responses<br />You might be tired or not interested in listening to the other person.<br />You fail to acknowledge what the other person said.<br />It makes the other person feel embarrassed or awkward.<br />Rose: Charlie, I really liked the dinner you made.<br />Charlie: (No response; verbal or nonverbal).<br />To be impervious is to be incapable of being affected by something or someone.<br />You may know this response as “rude.” Someone doesn’t choose to recognize what you are saying.<br />
  30. 30. Interrupting Response<br />How do you feel when someone interrupts you?<br />If someone interrupts you, they’re implying that what they have to say is more important than what you have to say.<br />“I’m more important than you are.”<br />Anna: I just heard that our rent is …<br />Sharon: Oh yea. I just heard it’s going up $45!<br />If your partner interrupts you, it makes you feel like you don’t count in the conversation. Like – why are you even there???<br />Interrupters tend to be ineffective listeners – they’re more concerned with talking rather than listening.<br />
  31. 31. Irrelevant Responses <br />Your partner responds to you with nothing at all to do with what you were saying.<br />This can lead to trouble real fast: because your partner is in effect saying: you’re not worth my time to listen to what you’re saying.<br />Arnie: First we’re going to dinner, then to the game, and then to ….<br />Judy: They’re predicting a freeze tonight.<br />The real message Judy is sending to Arnie:<br />“I have more important things on my mind.”<br />“What I have to say is more important than what you’re talking about.”<br />
  32. 32. Impersonal Responses!!!<br />These responses drive me crazy!!<br />The person responds with a sense of superiority and distance.<br />It’s like they’re trivializing what you just said.<br />Diana: Hey, Bill. I’d like to talk with you for a minute about taking my vacation next month.<br />Bill: Well I’m sure one does begin to think about recreational pursuits about this time of the year.<br />The real message:<br />“Bill could care less about what I just said. He just wants to prove that he’s better than I am.”<br />
  33. 33. Incongruous Response<br />Verbal message is inconsistent with nonverbal behavior.<br />Like a malfunctioning traffic light with red & green flashing at the same time.<br />Sue: Honey, do you want me to go grocery shopping with you?<br />Steve: (SHOUTING) OF COURSE! WHY ARE YOU EVEN ASKING ME?<br />Incongruous responses are confusing to understand.<br />You’re not sure what the other person means. We usually believe the nonverbal message instead of the actual words spoken. Can you see how this kind of response can lead to problems?<br />
  34. 34. Tangential Response<br />The person acknowledges you, but what he/she says is only minimally related to what you are talking about.<br />Richard: In our family, it’s OK to say we love each other directly.<br />Susan: Yeah. In my family we went camping on weekends.<br />Tangential Responses Disconfirm the Importance of what the Other Person Said.<br />The person is in effect saying: “Well, I don’t much care what you have to say; I’m not really listening to you; I’d rather talk about my family.”<br />
  35. 35. Disconfirming = Disrespecting<br />To disconfirm what your partner says can be devastating to your relationship.<br />It’s impossible to eliminate all disconfirming responses from your conversations.<br />But words have power.<br />Monitoring your conversations for offensive phrases can help to maintain your relationships.<br />

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