Relationship Development and Relationship Maintenance - Book Report/Review Example

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Chapter nine to eleven in Griffin (111-150) covers relationship development, encompassing social penetration, uncertainty reduction, and social information processing theories. The interpersonal penetration theory shows how interpersonal closeness grows over time. Of course, the…
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Relationship Development and Relationship Maintenance
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Relationship Development Summary Chapter nine to eleven in Griffin (111-150) covers relationship development, encompassing social penetration, uncertainty reduction, and social information processing theories. The interpersonal penetration theory shows how interpersonal closeness grows over time. Of course, the process is subject to influential variables that either break down or enhance social relations. The present is used to predict future interpersonal closeness outcomes. This theory takes into account the issues, concerns, and complexities surrounding interpersonal closeness. This enhances the relational outcome between the interacting parties.
Mutual vulnerability and self-disclosure are two aspects covered in the social penetration theory. These two aspects apply to my personal life in one way or another. Mutual vulnerability was said to inform lasting intimacy. Personally, I have interacted with family and friends whose main agenda goes beyond mutual interests to become exploitative. The underlying relationship presents mutual interest for friendship or family ties, although it is hard at a personal level to determine when mutual vulnerability is in play, and the extent to which it informs self-disclosure.
The social penetration theory critically addresses interpersonal relations and how lasting intimacy is realized in the relational context. However, the applicability of mutual vulnerability and the realization of self-disclosure are somehow inadequately addressed. Mutual vulnerability in interpersonal closeness does not address aspects where mutual interests are mistakenly held for something different. In the example above, when I feel exploited, self-disclosure within the interpersonal closeness context ceases. Consequently, there cannot be lasting intimacy then, but this is relatively overlooked by the social penetration theory.
Relationship Maintenance
Griffin (151-190) covers relational dialectics, communication privacy management, and the interactional view. The social aspect of human life is highly characterized by diversity and dynamism. What works between people today will not necessarily work tomorrow. In this respect, opposing tendencies are highly expected under the relational dialectics of social interactions. Essentially, stability and change are intertwined when it comes to the issues addressed by the relational dialectics theory.
The relational dialectics theory highlights that quality relationships are constituted through dialogue (Griffin 153). To what extent can this emphasis be held valid? For instance, I have had issues with family and friends that are relationship-based. There have been instances where my relationship with family and friends faces critical hardships, with dialogue being employed without success. In such a case, who is to blame? When and where was a mistake committed? How come the dialogue aspect failed to enhance the quality of the underlying relationship?
Relational dialectics theory overlooks some reality aspects. Dialogue is not necessarily the recipe for quality relationships. My dialogues with different people have ruined or enhanced relations. In this respect, this aspect is not fully fitting into the real world scenario. Moreover, the stability and change aspect of social life dynamics does not always constitute an opposing tendency. Personally, the social life dynamics is a complex factor that the relational dialectics theory cannot full or adequately address.
Works Cited
Griffin, Em. A First Look at Communication Theory (8th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2011. Print. Read More
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