Interpersonal Communication: Evolving Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal Communication: Evolving Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal Communication: Evolving Interpersonal Relationships

Interpersonal Communication: Evolving Interpersonal Relationships

Synopsis

Interpersonal relationships are the core of our societal system and have been since before the dawn of civilization. In today's world, friends, lovers, companions, and confidants make valuable contributions to our everyday lives. These are the relationships whose members are not automatically participants as a result of their birth and kin affiliations. The focus is on these relationships that must be forged from the sometimes indifferent, and sometimes hostile world. Yet, there is still much that is not known about how these relationships evolve, how partners communicate in on-going relationships, how people keep their relationships together, and how they cope when they fall apart. Primary to the focus of this book is the underlying theme of evolving interpersonal relationships from the initial encounter to the mature alliance.

The contributors to this volume provide a contemporary perspective for the study of interpersonal relationships. Fresh areas of scholarly inquiry are presented and existing approaches are re-examined. Research in the introductory chapters breaks new ground, and appraises the ultimate question of what impact initial interactions have on further relational development. The mid-section of the volume concerns communication issues that confront the members of a relationship in process, focusing on how conflict and jealousy are communicated to a relational partner. This research considers relational development as well as obstacles and barriers to evolving relationships. The concluding chapters probe the question: Ultimately do all good things have to come to an end? Employing innovative techniques to examine maturing and disengaging relationships, the research presented here focuses on how interpersonal relationships become committed and mature.

Excerpt

Interpersonal relationships are the core of our societal system and have been since before the dawn of civilization. Our ancestors formed associations and alliances to insure survival in a hostile environment, and passed on this need for human companionship as an integral part of our physical and emotional composition. In today's world, friends, lovers, companions, and confidants make valuable contributions to our everyday lives. Yet, there is still much that is not known about how these relationships are formed, how partners communicate in on-going relationships, how people keep their relationships together, and how they cope when they fall apart. These are the central issues addressed in this book. Primary to the focus of this work is the underlying theme of evolving interpersonal relationships from the initial encounter to the mature alliance.

Contributions in the introductory chapters of this book tackle issues such as: (a) How do people make contact for the first time? (b) What do people say or do when they are trying to begin a relationship? (c) Does it matter if a woman makes the first move? (d) Does it matter if she doesn't? (e) Is the affable smile in an initial encounter just plain friendliness, or something more? and (f) What sorts of schemata are used when sizing someone up for the first time? This research breaks new ground and appraises the ultimate question of what impact initial interactions have on further relational development.

Once people have become part of a relationship, how do they deal with life's ups and downs? The midsection of this volume concerns communication . . .

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