Interpersonal relationships

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Transcript Interpersonal relationships

Chapter 7:
Interpersonal Relationships
Verderber, Sellnow, and Verderber
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcomes
LO7-1 Identify the major types of relationships
LO7-2 Explain how disclosure and feedback affect
LO7-3 Examine levels of communication at various
stages in relationships
LO7-4 Identify the sources of tension in relationships
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Interpersonal Communication
• Interpersonal communication is all the interactions
that occur between two people to help start, build,
maintain, and sometimes end or redefine our
interpersonal relationships.
• Interpersonal relationships are defined by the sets
of expectations two people have for each other
based on their previous interactions.
– We form interpersonal relationships as we communicate
overtly and covertly through face-to-face and online
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-1
• Acquaintances are people we know by name and
talk with when the opportunity arises, but with
whom our interactions are limited.
• Most conversations with acquaintances can be
defined as impersonal communication, which is
essentially interchangeable chit-chat.
• Communicating with acquaintances usually entails
reducing uncertainty and saving face—attempting to
maintain a positive self-image in a relational
© 2011 Cengage Learning
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-1
• Friends are people with whom we
have voluntarily negotiated more
personal relationships.
• As friendships develop, people move
toward interactions that are more
interpersonally satisfying.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-1
• Intimates are those close, personal friends
with whom we share a high degree of
interdependence, commitment, disclosure,
understanding, affection, and trust.
– A platonic relationship is one in which the
partners are not sexually attracted to each other
or do not act on an attraction they feel.
– A romantic relationship is one in which the
partners act on their sexual attraction.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-1
• Trust is placing confidence in another in a way that
almost always involves some risk.
• As we share private information and feelings, we
monitor how well our partner keeps our confidence.
– If our partner keeps our confidence, we share more and
the relationship becomes more intimate.
– If our partner proves untrustworthy, we share less and, as
a result, and over time intimacy decreases.
– When there is a severe breach of trust, we may abruptly
end the relationship altogether.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-1
Culture and Intimacy
• Research suggests that our cultural identity may
influence which type of interactions we are most
likely to engage in to foster intimacy:
Physical touch
Sharing of ideas
Sharing of feelings
Participating in shared activities
• Intimacy development norms vary across cultures,
but cultural differences are becoming increasingly
less pronounced.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-2
• Disclosure is the process of revealing
confidential information, and feedback, which
includes the verbal and nonverbal responses
to such information.
• Disclosure can come in the form of:
– Self-disclosure, the confidential information we
deliberately choose to share about ourselves
– Other-disclosure, the confidential information
shared about someone by a third party
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-2
Social Penetration
• Social penetration theory describes the
different kinds of self-disclosure we use in our
• Not all self-disclosure is equally revealing.
– Breadth has to do with the range of different
subjects you discuss with your partner.
– Depth has to do with the quality of information
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-2
The Johari Window
The Johari window consists of four
panes that comprise all
information about you. You and
your partner each know some (but
not all) of this information.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
The Johari Window
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-3
Coming Together
• Communication during the stages of coming together
focuses on reducing uncertainty.
• You begin by communicating very generally about
noncontroversial topics and asking questions about
surface information.
• Based on what you learn, you make inferences about
the person. If you decide you have enough in
common, you will choose to develop the relationship
by disclosing more about yourself.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-3
Coming Apart
• When one or both partners fail to engage actively in
relational maintenance strategies, the relationship
may begin to come apart and could eventually end
• The communication in declining relationships is
marked by four stages:
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-3
Mediated Communication and
Interpersonal Relationships
• Internet technology and social media have
changed how we build and maintain our
relationships in several important ways.
• When people meet online, they experience
hyperpersonal communication, whereby
senders have a greater capacity to strategically
manage their self-presentation because
nonverbal and relevant contextual cues are
more limited.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-4
Dialectics in Interpersonal
• A dialectic is a tension between
conflicting forces.
• Relational dialectics are the
competing psychological tensions
that exist in any relationship.
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-4
• Autonomy is the desire to do things
independent of your partner.
• Connection is the desire to link your
actions and decisions with your
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-4
• Openness is the desire to share
intimate ideas and feelings with your
• Closedness is the desire to maintain
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-4
• Novelty is the desire for originality,
freshness, and uniqueness in your
own or your partner’s behavior or in
the relationship.
• Predictability is the desire for
consistency, reliability, and
© 2014 Cengage Learning
Learning Outcome 7-4
Managing Dialectical Tensions
• You may be wondering how you can cope
with dialectical tensions in relationships.
Common strategies include:
– Temporal selection
– Topical segmentation
– Neutralization
– Reframing
© 2014 Cengage Learning