Interpersonal Communication Relating Others 7th Edition By Beebe Redmond – Test bank
Friendship: Friendship is a relationship of choice that exists over time between people who share a common history. A friend is someone we like and who likes us. We trust friends and share both good and bad times with them. Qualities of friendship include: self-disclosure, openness and honesty, compatibility, self-concept support, acceptance, respect, helping behaviors, positive evaluations, trust, and concern. There are also a number of values of friendship and common principles of friendship. We also make friends based on several factors. Additionally, there are differences among friendships at four stages in life, from childhood, to adolescence, in adulthood, and in old age. Generally, same-sex friendships have both expectations and functions. Cross-sex heterosexual, adult friendships can be a challenge because of underlying sexual attraction. Diverse friendships can include intergenerational as well as intercultural and interracial.
Romantic Relationships: The closest relationship you ever develop with another human being will probably be a romantic one, perhaps a marriage. This closeness is reflected in a variety of behaviors – romantic couples are more likely than friends to talk about what attracted them to each other, to celebrate anniversaries, and to mark milestones in the relationship. At a rudimentary level, romantic relationships are about mating and creating a family. However, the complex process of seeking a mate begins with fairly innocuous interactions with the opposite sex. Accordingly, romantic relationships develop along a continuum that reflects increasing commitment, love, sex as emotional expression, exclusivity (fidelity), and self-disclosure. Romantic relationships also exist both between both cross-sex and same-sex couples. One partner’s desire for a more intimate, romantic relationship than the other partner would like creates unrequited romantic interest.
Relationship Strategies: There are specific strategies and skills for initiating, escalating, and maintaining relationships. Some skills are better suited for developing friendships and others for romance, but the foundations for both are similar.
(All key terms appear in bold)
Friendship is a relationship of choice that exists over time between people who share a common history; with someone we like and who likes us, someone we trust, and with whom we share good as well as bad times.
Qualities of friendship include: self-disclosure, openness and honesty, compatibility, self-concept support, acceptance, respect, helping behaviors, positive evaluations, trust, and concern.
Values of friendship include helping us cope with stress, contributing to our social support networks, providing material help when needed, helping shape our attitudes and beliefs, helping us cope with uncertainty having a profound influence on our behavior, helping us manage the mundane, and bolstering our self-esteem.
Common principles of friendship include that we usually form friendships with our equals, we tend to expect equality and equity in our friendships, and we are happiest when we are in the company of our friends.
The first requirement to making friends is to interact with new people; meeting people at school, work, in your neighborhood, and in your existing social networks.
An important rule of making friends is to be yourself
One factor that helps in making friends in college is that you already share similarities with the people you meet there.
Friendships at Different Stages in Life
We have different needs for intimacy at different times of our lives.
Howard Markman found that self-disclosure did not seem to change in either depth or amount from young adulthood through age ninety-one.
As we age we develop a more complex view of friendship.
Relationship scholars examine the differences among friendships at four stages in life:
From ages 3-7 we have momentary playmates, so we interact with those in our presence.
From ages 4-9 our friendships involve one-way assistance; we still view friendships from a “take” perspective.
Ages 6-12 comprise the fair-weather friend stage during which there is more give and take, but the reciprocity occurs when things are going well.
Ages 9-14 is called the mutual intimacy stage, during which relationships become more possessive.
The final stage of childhood friendships (ages 12-adulthood) allows for greater independence.
From about puberty on (age 12), we move away from relationships with parents and other adults and toward greater intimacy with our peers.
During this time, peer relationships significantly influence our identity and social skills.
We explore values, negotiate new relationships, discover romantic and sexual opportunities, become more other-oriented, and seek increased intimacy.
Adolescents place more value on personality (character, trustworthiness, similarity) and interpersonal qualities (companionship, acceptance, intimacy) in both same-sex and cross-sex friendships.
We develop cliques of friends and form friendship networks.
Young Adult Friendships
Young adult friendships (late teens through early thirties) are linked to a succession of changes in our lifestyles and goals.
Those who go directly into the workforce after high school have different friendship experiences than those who continue formal education.
Young adults and adolescents share some similar friendship values, such as loyalty, warmth, and having shared experiences.
Young adults particularly value friends who reciprocate their caring, trust, commitment, self-disclosure, helpfulness, and support, while also having strong character.
Friendships during this period of our lives hone our skills for successful romantic relationships.
Adult friendships are those we have from our thirties through our sixties; the relationships during the prime of our work and family lives.
Adult friendships are among our most valued relationships, providing emotional support, partners for activities, and socializing opportunities.
Marriage can lead to an expansion of friendship networks.
Late Adulthood Friendships
Older adults report greater relational satisfaction and less relational conflict, have a more positive perspective on conflicts that occur, express more positive messages to each other, and are more forgiving of each other.
Although people make new friends during their late adulthood, they value their long-established friendships the most.
Older adults are less likely to form new friendships; instead they tend to maintain a small, highly valued network of long-established friends.
Friendships often provide richer interactions than those older adults experience with their own family members, although family relationships remain an important part of their lives.
• There are various ideas about how men and women approach friendships in same-sex friendships.
One claim is that women define their female friendships by intimacy, whereas men define their male friendships in terms of activities.
Men report having more “best friends” than women.
Women spend more hours than men talking with their best friends.
Both men and women report that self-disclosure, emotional support, loyalty, and trust most contribute to a sense of intimacy in their same-sex friendships.
Although men understand what contributes to intimacy, women appear to have a stronger need or desire for intimacy in same-sex friendships.
Close same-sex relationships serve similar functions for both men and women.
Both men and women value intimacy, trust, interpersonal sensitivity, emotional expressiveness, and authenticity in their same-sex friendships.
Both men and women also value engaging in activities, conversing, having fun, and relaxing with their same-sex friends.
Overall, men’s and women’s same-sex friendships appear to differ not in the qualities they possess, but in the degree to which they possess these qualities.
Compared to men, women see their same-sex friendships as more satisfying, more enjoyable, and more intimate or close.
Women’s same-sex friendships also involve more talk about talking (metacommunication), and are more person-centered and expressive.
Females in same-sex friendships have more physical affection for each other and complement each other more, whereas men are more openly competitive.
While very close male friends are not extremely interpersonally competitive, one study did find that same-sex male friends are more competitive than either same-sex female friends or cross-sex friends.
Men act less interpersonally competitive in their friendships with women, but women’s competitiveness increased in their friendships with males.
For all friendships, being more competitive related to less friendship satisfaction.
Although we can make generalizations, individuals have their own friendship preferences and expectations that they use to judge the values of each of their female and male friendships.
Adolescents often develop opposite-sex, or cross-sex, friendships that are not romantic.
Despite Harry’s conclusions in the movie When Harry met Sally, we can develop cross-sex adult friendships with minimal sexual attraction or redefine romantic relationships as friendships.
Adult cross-sex relationships are facilitated by opportunities for men and women to interact non-romantically—in college, at work, and in leisure activities.
Communication researcher Heidi Reeder found that romantic attraction and physical/sexual attraction diminished as cross-sex relationships progressed over time, while friendship attraction increased.
Not all cross-sex friendships are devoid of sex; people in relationships labeled friends with benefits (FWB) have both sexual and nonsexual interactions but value their friendship above all.
FWB friendships can include instances in which going out with a mixed-sex group leads to “hooking up” at the end of the night.
Reasons for engaging in FWB relationships include the avoidance of relational commitment, a desire to engage in sex with a friend, a perception that such relationships are simpler and less problematic than romantic ones, a desire to feel closer to the friend, and finally just a general desire to have a friends-with-benefits experience.
Cross-sex friendships can help us better understand the opposite sex.
In interacting with people of either sex, focus on working toward a mutual understanding and acceptance of what your expectations are for a friendship.
• Most of our friendships are with people who are fairly similar to us; similarity can make communication easier.
Intergenerational Friendships: The impact of a 10-year age difference between friends is minimal if you both have the same interests and values.
Intercultural and Interracial Friendships: The qualities and expectations associated with being a friend differ among cultures, ethnic groups, and racial groups.
• Four factors specifically affect the development of intercultural friendships:
Prior intercultural experiences
Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians are more likely than whites to have an interracial friend.
Whites who live in communities with more diversity were more likely to have interracial friends.
While there are similarities between forming intercultural friendships and forming interracial ones, a unique issue confronting interracial friendships is the fact that usually both people are from the same culture.
White people have difficulty seeing themselves from a racial perspective, whereas black people have both a racial identity and feelings of being marginalized and demeaned by whites.
Finally, friends of different races need to guard against either overaccommodating or overassimilating—each person needs to retain his or her own racial identity while appreciating that of the other. II. Romantic Relationships
The closest relationship you ever develop with a human being will probably be a romantic one, perhaps a marriage
At a rudimentary level, romantic relationships are about mating and creating a family; starting the complex process of seeking a mate begins with fairly innocuous interactions with the opposite sex.
A. Qualities of Romantic Relationships 1. Love
• Love differs from friendship in the identity of interest that the partners share.
Love exists to the extent that the outcomes enjoyed or suffered by each are enjoyed or suffered by both.
People describe love relationships as more passionate and intimate than friendships.
Interestingly, people like their romantic partners only slightly more than they do their friends.
Women distinguish more between love and liking than do men.
• The triangular theory of love identifies three dimensions that can be used to describe variations in loving relationships: intimacy, commitment, and passion.
Passionate love is romantic love that serves to establish attraction to, interest in, and focus on one person. This usually, but not always, declines in the early years of marriage.
Companionate love is romantic love that involves feeling deeply intertwined, mutually responsive to needs, and attached, and feelings of trust and caring increase.
• Sociologist John Alan Lee created a scheme that defined six types of love found in both romantic and nonromantic relationships:
Eros: sexual love based on the pursuit of beauty and pleasure.
Ludis: love as a game; something to pass the time.
Storge: solid love found in friendships and family, based on trust and caring; selfishness is low.
Mania: a love relationship that swings wildly between extreme highs and lows.
Pragma: practical love based on compatible and mutual benefits.
Agape: selfless love based on giving of yourself for others, expecting nothing in return.
Commitment is our intention to remain in a relationship related to six sets of behaviors:
Being supportive and encouraging
Reassuring our partner of our feelings
Offering tangible reminders
Creating a relationship future
Behaving with integrity
Working on the relationship
Women, more than men, showed commitment by being supportive, creating a relationship future, and behaving with integrity.
Men showed commitment by offering tangible reminders more than women.
Having divorced parents was found among college students to relate to having a less positive attitude about marriage, which in turn related to a weaker sense of commitment in dating relationships.
Physical Affection and Sex
Physical affection is the use of touch to convey emotional feelings of love and caring for another person.
More affectionate touching occurs in the earlier parts of a relationship.
Touch is one way we establish intimacy.
The stronger a person’s commitment, the more affection he or she expressed, and the more affection that was expressed, the more relationally satisfied the partner was.
The ultimate goal of many romantic relationships is producing children and a family; sex is obviously the way to accomplish this goal.
However, humans frequently engage in sexual intercourse with no intention of producing children.
Motivation to engage in sex has been linked to people’s attachment styles, with attachment anxiety related to engaging in sex to please a partner and express love.
Traditionally, sexual activity was reserved for marriage.
Romantic relationships today most often involve and are even defined by sexual activity; sex occurs even outside the bounds of romantic relationships.
• Talking to your partner about sex, self-disclosure, and discussing previous sexual activity all affect both sexual and relational satisfaction. Talking about sex was found to increase sexual and relational satisfaction.
Explicit communication surrounding first sex creates a more accurate shared perception, reduces uncertainty about both sexual and relational expectations, and is considered a safe-sex practice.
In exclusive romantic relationships, especially marriage, infidelity is a form of deception that puts a partner at risk.
From Friendship to Romance
Many romantic relationships begin as friendships—friendships can be a testingground for a more passion-based relationship.
The transition to a romantic relationship is accompanied by “turning points” such as disclosure, shared interaction, or the occurrence of sex.
Expending extra effort at sustaining the relationship; increasing talk, interactions, and activities; offering support; engaging in positive behaviors; flirting; and talking about the relationship are ways we signal interest in moving to a romantic relationship.
A secret test is a behavior strategically chosen to indirectly determine a partner’s feelings.
Other secret tests include making indirect suggestions, separation tests, endurance tests, and triangle tests.
• Calling an interaction a “date” changes expectations, roles, and the relationship; when you label something a “date” it signals openness to a romantic relationship with the other person.
College students see dates as more social, more public, and more about attraction.
Single adults see dates as being more about immediate enjoyment and a future relationship, initiated by one person, and involving someone’s paying for the activity involved.
Sociologist Kathleen Bogle writes that recent college graduates have abandoned “hooking up” for dating, which for many was the first time they had been on a date.
Requests for a Date
Moving from being friends to going on a date involves different issues and concerns than does requesting a date with an acquaintance, including feelings of anxiety, fear, and discomfort, but also excitement, a sense of pride in taking a risk, and a positive feeling for finally making the attempt.
To help reduce some of the uncertainty involved, secret tests about the other person’s interest in a date might include finding out what your mutual friends know about him or her, using affinity-seeking strategies, or simply getting better acquainted before seeking a date.
Dates and Nonverbal Confusion
The indirect manner in which we often communicate, particularly when dating, causes misperceptions and awkwardness.
When women confirm their attraction and affection toward their dates with smiles and other positive nonverbal affiliative cues, men may read these behaviors as cues of sexual interest.
People bring to dates expectations about how the date will proceed; how the date will go depends on your relationship with the other person prior to the date, the event that is the focus of the date, the cost of the date, and who initiated the date.
One study found that respondents shared many of the same expectations for a first date and that culture provides a “dating script” regarding talking on a date, because both partners understand the need to begin self-disclosing and gaining information about each other to reduce uncertainty.
Expressions of interest by both parties can contribute to clarity and understanding.
Hooking Up as an Alternative to Dates
Bogle found that “hooking up” has essentially replaced dating on college campuses and although the term has a lot of meanings, generally students use it to describe a nonromantic, short-term physical encounter; hooking up is like being friends with benefits, but without the friendship requirement.
Bogle further found that most hookups were not one-night stands or “randoms” with strangers, but rather encounters between friends or classmates, often preceded by the consumption of alcohol.
Unrequited Romantic Interest
• Unrequited romantic interest describes feelings created when one partner desires a more intimate, romantic relationship than the other partner.
When this happens between friends, it can lead to feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment.
What you might do to preserve a friendship if your expression of romantic interest is not reciprocated:
Affirm the importance of the friendship.
Tell your partner you accept their position and then drop the issue.
Try to go back to old relational patterns.
Avoid pressuring your partner.
Don’t complain about the difference in feelings.
Don’t suggest that the relationship may become romantic in the future.
Don’t tell other friends about what happened.
c) People use several strategies to handle someone’s overtures if they don’t feel the same:
Direct strategy of blaming themselves while stating a lack of mutual interest (“I’m not ready right now”).
Direct strategy of blaming external factors while indicating lack of interest.
The indirect strategy was found to be the least desirable.
People tend to accept rejection of their attempts to escalate friendships better than rejection of their attempts to escalate romantic relationships.
III. Interpersonal Relationships Strategies
A. Strategies Used Primarily During the Initiation Stage
Observe and Act on Approachability Cues
Ways we can signal approachability include: sustaining eye contact, turning toward another person, smiling, being animated, taking an open body posture, winking, and waving.
Conversely, the absence of these cues generally conveys a desire to be left alone.
Identify and Use Conversation Starters
We all give off a certain amount of “free” information that others can easily observe.
You can use that information as a starting point for a conversation and being direct is probably your best bet.
Follow Initiation Norms
Many of the early interactions in a relationship are almost ritualistic, or at least scripted.
Following the script provides some comfort and security.
Asking questions shows your interest in the other person and promotes reciprocity of liking, allowing you to gain information, reduce uncertainty, and improve your ability to adapt to your partner.
Starting with impersonal, specific questions, ask open questions that invite elaboration and discussion, and learn to ask meaningful follow-up or probing questions without appearing to interrogate the other person.
Short responses without any reciprocal questions may be a signal that the person you’re talking to is not particularly interested in interacting.
Recognize that the same question might evoke different thoughts and feelings in different people.
Be sensitive to how the other person responds to your questions, and be prepared to use your other-oriented communication skills to help you adapt to any unusual response or nonverbal cues.
Don’t Expect Too Much from the Initial Interaction
One goal we have in initial interactions is self-protection.
To protect ourselves and our positive face, we might withhold information that could make us vulnerable, act aloof and uninterested, or behave in ambiguous ways.
Initial interactions do not always predict the future of the relationship.
B. Strategies Used to Initiate and/or Escalate Relationships
1. Communicate and Cultivate Attraction
Communicating your attraction to someone increases the likelihood that your partner will reciprocate, thus cultivating his or her attraction to you.
When we are attracted to people, we use both indirect and direct strategies to communicate our liking through nonverbal and verbal cues.
Nonverbal immediacy represents those nonverbal cues we display when we are attracted to someone.
We also indirectly communicate our attraction verbally.
We may use first names and informal and personal language.
We may ask questions to show interest, probe for details, and listen attentively.
We can also directly communicate our attraction verbally.
We might tell someone we like a particular trait, ability, or attribute.
We may compliment someone’s outfit, hairstyle, or jewelry.
We may use affinity-seeking strategies to get people to like us.
Displaying nonverbal immediacy cues and verbally confirming the other person not only communicates your attraction but also increases the probability that he or she will like you.
Be Open and Self-Disclose Appropriately
Your self-disclosure helps your partner make informed decisions about initiating or escalating a relationship with you.
The depth of self-disclosure needs to be appropriate to the intimacy level of relationship.
Restricting self-disclosure is one way to control the development of a relationship.
Gather Information to Reduce Uncertainty
Uncertainty reduction theory is based on the assumption that we like to have control and predictability in our lives; therefore, when we are faced with uncertainly, we are driven to gain information to reduces that uncertainty.
We reduce uncertainty by gathering either cognitive or behavioral information about others.
Technology can play a role in reducing our uncertainties; for example, we use Facebook to learn about people.
We also are likely to seek out information when others behave in unexpected ways, such as asking other people or conducting secret tests.
Uncertainty about the very nature and definition of our relationships and our partners’ regard for us can hamper the development, escalation, and maintenance of those relationships.
In general, the less relational uncertainty you have, the greater the relationship satisfaction.
Listen Actively and Respond Effectively
Listening clues helps us to know people’s needs, wants, and values.
Stop, look and listen: Your confirming responses increase your partner’s sense of self-worth and communicate the value you place on him or her and the relationship.
Socially Decenter and Adopt an Other-Oriented Perspective
Social decentering helps you better understand your partner, and that understanding allows you to choose effective strategies for accomplishing your communication goals, adapting to your partner’s current behavior, and anticipating his or her responses.
Even individuals weak in general social decentering can develop relationshipspecific social decentering—decentering skills based on the knowledge and understanding they have gained in a specific intimate relationship.
Underlying intimate relationships is the expectation that our partner understands us and treats us in a manner that reflects that understanding.