Interpersonal Communication and Relationships Essay
Communication itself has a wide range of ways it could be defined, but one isolating topic that concerns many people is “Interpersonal Communication and Relationships.” Interpersonal communication and relationships can be described in two ways, a contextual view and a developmental view. “An important point to note about the contextual definition is that it does not take into account the relationship between the interactants.” On the other hand, the developmental view involves people that know each other, and more importantly “view each other as unique individuals.” The contextual view and developmental view define interpersonal relationships well, but contact, involvement, intimacy, deterioration, repair, and dissolution are what make interpersonal relationships.
Contact can be thought of in many different ways, but as a stage of interpersonal relationships it is the “beginning.” From what the person sounds like even what the person smells like is all part of contact. Following the first moment of contact, interactional contact usually takes place this consists of “superficial and impersonal interactions.” Such as, something as simple as a self-introduction and exchange of basic information can be identified as nearing the final stages of contact. This in turn brings the relationship to the next stage, which is known as involvement.
At the stage of involvement a sense of knowing one another and being connected should start to develop. Throughout this stage you and the other person almost for a pattern of back and forth interaction, which is in other ways considered a method of getting to know one another. It is almost like a sense of self-check, because at the point of contact a person may or may not have decided to continue a relationship with the other individual, but involvement is almost like just making sure your first impressions prove for the better. Along with asking the person a numerous amount of questions how ever many it may be, if a person feels like they want to be more committed to getting to know the other individual then a person may begin or start to reveal his or herself.
Pending on the situation of relationship whether it be romantic or just friendship, a decision has to be made as to which sub-relationship they would like it to occur. If perhaps you make a decision then a person might start to meet with an individual under different circumstances. In the sense of a romantic desire, one, might decide to go on a date; but, on the other hand if it”s decided to be a simple friendship then maybe just partaking in activities relative to each others common interests. Although many people many not realize or have knowledge of their own actions taking place in a relationship, during the “involvement and early stages of intimacy, partners continue testing each other.” Reassuring themselves of their decision, this process may continue throughout the early stages of intimacy. This leads into the next stage of interpersonal relationships, of course being intimacy.
Although still not fully connected, intimacy is often the bridge that is taken when someone decides to turn up the notch on the relationship. This may lead to the blossoming of a best friend or even future spouse, but for now just lovers. Intimacy may not be a large period within the stages of a relationship, but it is still divided into two phases: one being interpersonal commitment and two being social bonding. The difference between the two of these phases is more than obvious. Interpersonal commitment is a more private and reserved commitment in which you abide to each other in a more personal way. Social bonding on the other hand almost speaks for itself. This phase is a way of making your relationship public. Unfortunately for some, everyone does not necessarily remain at the intimacy level. Deterioration is the next step in the trail of interpersonal relationships.
“The weakening of bonds between the parties and that represents the downside of the relationship progression,” this of course being what is called deterioration. Deterioration does not have to be defined by how severe the relationship turns but simple things too, like a lessened amount of eye contact or holding one another. Some deterioration may not even be noticeable by the other person or even the person initiating it. The first phase of deterioration takes place in your own mind. It is called intrapersonal dissatisfaction.
This is you second guessing and reevaluating all of the decisions made in this relationship. Most people get to the point and wonder whether their relationship is worth all of the hassle that it once was. Interpersonal dissatisfaction is the next phase, and all this means is that you disclose your dissatisfactions with your partner. “Communication patterns change drastically during the process of deterioration.” All of this occurs because of the way you feel about the deterioration. The stage following deterioration is often one looked forward to, repair.
Repair first takes place within you, and is called intrapersonal repair. This phase occurs after you have thought about your actions that took place in your relationship leading to deterioration, and are willing to make a change if needed. Another thought that takes place within both relational partners is weighing out the relationship, before or after, which of these would you prefer? And if preferred is it worth the trouble for the other partner.
The next phase in repair is interpersonal repair. This takes place when you approach your partner and discuss what can be fixed in and throughout the relationship to make it better or work. Even seeing what your is willing to do and what you want him or her to do. This can be almost seen as a stage of negotiation. Once the relationship is hopefully resolved or repair, the dissolution is the next stage in a interpersonal relationship.
Dissolution is the stage in which a final break up occurs. Whether you become an ex-lover or ex-friend the relationship is finally over. The stage is also known for guilt, anxiety, or resentment. Contact, involvement, intimacy, deterioration, repair, and dissolution are the six stages in which interpersonal relationships can be defined.