Read Communication in the Real World, Chpt. 6.1, 6.2 Interpersonal...

Read Communication in the Real World, Chpt. 6.1, 6.2 Interpersonal Communication Process and Chpt. 7 all sections 7.1-through-7.6 Communicating in Relationships

1. Define the three types of definitions for families from our reading.   Of the three types of definitions for families which is most important to you and why?

2. What is "Social network overlap" and in what ways, both positive and negative, does it effect a romantic relationship?

3. How do you weigh the costs and rewards in your relationships? What are some rewards you are currently receiving from your closest relationships? What are some costs?

4. Interview 3 people and ask them how they maintain their closest friendships or romantic relationship. What conscious, deliberate strategies do they use to ensure they will stay close to their friends or romantic partners? Also, what routine behaviors do they use to maintain closeness? Try to match their answers to the terms and concepts in the reading, even if they don't use those exact terms. Compare their answers, as well as your own experiences. Do people tend to use similar strategies or are there differences between the responses?      


Answer & Explanation
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1. Families engage in a variety of rituals that demonstrate symbolic importance and shared beliefs, attitudes, and values. Three main types of relationship rituals are patterned family interactions, family traditions, and family celebrations. Patterned family interactions are the most frequent rituals and do not have the degree of formality of traditions or celebrations. Patterned interactions may include mealtime, bedtime, receiving guests at the house, or leisure activities. Mealtime rituals may include a rotation of who cooks and who cleans, and many families have set seating arrangements at their dinner table. My family has recently adopted a new leisure ritual for family gatherings by playing corn hole (also known as bags). While this family activity is not formal, it's become something expected that we look forward to.


2. Romantic relationships distinguishes between premarital and marital couples. However, given the changes in marriage and the diversification of recognized ways to couple, I will use the following distinctions: dating, cohabitating, and partnered couples. The category for dating couples encompasses the courtship period, which may range from a first date through several years. Once a couple moves in together, they fit into the category of cohabitating couple. Partnered couples take additional steps to verbally, ceremonially, or legally claim their intentions to be together in a long-term committed relationship. The romantic relationships people have before they become partnered provide important foundations for later relationships. Romance has swept humans off their feet for hundreds of years, as is evidenced by countless odes written by love-struck poets, romance novels, and reality television shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Whether pining for love in the pages of a diary or trying to find a soul mate from a cast of suitors, love and romance can seem to take us over at times. As we have learned, communication is the primary means by which we communicate emotion, and it is how we form, maintain, and end our relationships. In this section, we will explore the communicative aspects of romantic relationships including love, sex, social networks, and cultural influences.


3. Communication is at the heart of forming our interpersonal relationships. We reach the achievement of relating through the everyday conversations and otherwise trivial interactions that form the fabric of our relationships. It is through our communication that we adapt to the dynamic nature of our relational worlds, given that relational partners do not enter each encounter or relationship with compatible expectations. Communication allows us to test and be tested by our potential and current relational partners. It is also through communication that we respond when someone violates or fails to meet those expectations and you will find a list of the communication stages. We should keep the following things in mind about this model of relationship development: relational partners do not always go through the stages sequentially, some relationships do not experience all the stages, we do not always consciously move between stages, and coming together and coming apart are not inherently good or bad. As we have already discussed, relationships are always changing they are dynamic.


4. We've all had friendships that have ended up a little pear-shaped and it's unfortunate that most of the time, we all have to get burnt before we can spot a bad friend from a good one. Some relationships are very close. Close relationships develop when two people love each other and like to spend time together. You can have close relationships with many people. Some close relationships involve romantic feelings. Healthy friendships and relationships also mean learning to respect and trust each other. People respect each other for who they are. People may disagree with each other. But with respect and trust, they can talk about how they feel and work things out. All friendships should be equal - which means that you should receive as much as you put in, it's all based on reciprocation and mutuality. If you're putting in more than you're getting out, you should think twice about what they are asking from you. Usually, people do this because they feel bad about themselves and want to use somebody else as a distraction. Draw a line through any friendships like this immediately. Sometimes it's difficult to analyze behavior, but your emotions never lie. Friends should make you feel good, empowered and uplifted. If you leave them feeling like crap then you should probably re-evaluate the benefit you're getting from the friendship. Some people, unfortunately, just like to bring others down. If it's on purpose and happening often, despite you bringing it up then we suggest you create some distance. It is important to remember that sometimes it can happen accidentally so try and talk to them about it before jumping to conclusions.

Step-by-step explanation

1. To determine conversation orientation, we determine to what degree a family encourages members to interact and communicate (converse) about various topics. Members within a family with a high conversation orientation communicate with each other freely and frequently about activities, thoughts, and feelings. This unrestricted communication style leads to all members, including children, participating in family decisions. Parents in high-conversation-orientation families believe that communicating with their children openly and frequently leads to a more rewarding family life and helps to educate and socialize children, preparing them for interactions outside the family. Members of a family with a low conversation orientation do not interact with each other as often, and topics of conversation are more restricted, as some thoughts are considered private. For example, not everyone's input may be sought for decisions that affect everyone in the family, and open and frequent communication is not deemed important for family functioning or for a child's socialization.


2. Family background, values, physical attractiveness, and communication styles are just some of the factors that influence our selection of romantic relationships.


3. 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. I have found, for example, that strangers sometimes feel the need to talk to me at the gym (even when I have ear buds in). Although I'd rather skip the small talk and just work out, I follow social norms of cheerfulness and politeness and engage in small talk.


4. We have as people is the need to feel connected with others. We experience great joy, adventure, and learning through our connection and interactions with others. The feeling of wanting to be part of a group and liked by others is natural. One way we meet our need for connection is through our friendships. Friendship means different things to different people depending on age, gender, and cultural background. Common among all friendships is the fact that they are interpersonal relationships of choice. Throughout your life, you will engage in an ongoing process of developing friendships. Rawlins suggests that we develop our friendships through a series of six steps. While we may not follow these six steps in exact order in all of our relationships, these steps help us understand how we develop friendships.