Interpersonal relationships are social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. They vary in differing levels of intimacy and sharing, implying the discovery or establishment of common ground, and may be centered around something(s) shared in common. The study of relationships is of concern to sociology, psychology and anthropology.
Stages of Relationship Formation
- a) Uncertainty reduction – through eye contact, identification, opening disclosure, etc.
- b) Perceptual – notice how a person looks at the other and their body language.
- c) Interactional cues – nodding, maintaining eye contact, etc.
- d) Invitational – encouraging the relationship (ex. asking if they want to meet up later for coffee)
- e) Avoidance strategies – if one person discloses and the other does not, minimal response, lack of eye contact, etc.
- a) Feelers – hints or questions (ex. asking about family)
- b) Intensifying strategies – further the relationship (ex. meeting old friend, bringing the other to meet family, becoming more affectionate, etc.)
- c) Public – seen in public together often (ex. if in a romantic relationship, may be holding hands)
3) Intimacy -very close, may have exchanged some sort of personal belonging or something that represents further commitment. (ex. may be a promise ring in a romantic relationship or a friendship necklace symbolizing two people are best friends)
4) Deterioration – things start to fall apart. In a romantic relationship, after six months people are out of the “honeymoon stage” and start to notice flaws. The way this is dealt with determines the fate of the relationship.
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