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Healthy Relationships, Objectives, chapter 5 Be able to describe ways to improve communication. Define social wellness Objectives continued: Be able to describe characteristics of healthy relationships and how to effectively maintain them. Describe barriers to intimate relationships. Describe factors that are important in determining the success of an intimate relationship. Describe when to get help for relational problems. Brett’s story: Having his mom be worried about…..could have affected how she raised him. What other issues did Brett discuss? Violence and its influence on social circles Being grateful to have his father, a male role model in his last four years of life. Do men-boys need male role models? Do women-girls need male role models? Healthy relationships Humans are social animals and need to belong, feel loved, appreciated and wanted. All relationships involve some degree of risk. By taking some risks, we grow. By looking at how we relate to others, we learn about how to be better human-beings. Communication, is a major key: We communicate uniquely according to family influences, gender, culture, race and personality. Communication is “a shared process of symbolic meaning”: every action, word, facial expression, gesture, body posture becomes a part of a shared history. Improving communication: There is no “right way”. Sometimes silence is the best way. Some pointers include: learning how much, when and who you can trust to share information, thoughts, feelings and frustrations. Sometimes the real message is not in what is said, but in the non-verbal message, and what is not said. Learning to listen: Focus on the speaker, maintain eye contact, ask questions. Avoid interruptions, try not to be thinking about your response. Avoid focusing on speaker quirks. Paraphrase Use non-verbal cues to demonstrate understanding. Listening well: Ask for clarification Avoid snap judgments and “trying to set the other person straight”. Try to stay focused on the subject, even if the speaker tends to wander. Sometimes a person just needs to feel heard before they can listen to another opinion or change their position. Assertive Communication: Get your point across, while being respectful of the other person. It involves verbal and nonverbal skills (showing body language that is confident). Speaking calmly directly, using “I” statements. Formula: I feel…when….because would like….. Or DEAR….. Non-assertive communication * being shy, doormat * passive-aggressive * aggressive Characteristics of intimate relationships: Behavioral interdependence-daily activities intertwine. One may feel a great void when the other is gone. Needs fulfillment: Emotional attachment Emotional availability-give and receive without fear of being hurt or rejected. Each of these can be related to family, close friends and romantic partners. What is a family?: Is it who you live with? What is the family of origin? What are characteristics of a healthy family? Establishing friendships: “A friend is one who knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts who you’ve been and still gently invites you to grow”. Author unknown You like people who like you. Similarity in attitudes, opinions, and background. A sense of equity, that allows the sharing of confidences and actions to maintain the friendship. Characteristics of healthy relationships: Enjoyment, most of the time Acceptance Mutual trust Respect Mutual assistance Confiding Understanding-not puzzled by actions Spontaneity-feel free to be themselves Group: Please do exercise on page 110 What do you think? What is love? Many social scientists say that there are two kinds: passionate and companionship (compassionate). Companionship: secure, trusting, feel for family and friends. Passionate, high arousal, ecstasy, agony of being rejected. Researchers: Hatfield + Walster passionate love will not occur unless: Person must live in a culture where “falling in love” is idealized. A “suitable” love object must be present; what we have learned about partner’s appearance, socioeconomic status, racial background… Physiological arousal, sexual excitement Triangle theory of love, Sternberg: Intimacy, feelings of closeness Passion- romantic sexual attraction Decision/commitment- the cognitive component, decisions about the degree of commitment. The higher degrees of the above, the more likely that the person is involved in a healthy, positive, love relationship. Attraction, falling in love, Anthropologist: Helen Fisher: Imprinting- our evolutionary patterns, genetic predispositions, and past experience trigger romantic reactions. Attractions-neurochemicals produce feelings of euphoria and elation. Attachment-endorphins cause lovers to feel peaceful, secure and calm. Cuddle chemical-oxytocin, feelings of satisfaction. Love chemicals: Produce – flushed skin, sweaty palms, heavy breathing (similar to a stress response). Due to: Dopamine Nor epinephrine Phenyl ethylamine or PEA All these are chemical cousins of amphetamines. Gender Issues in communication: Tannen’s work has described women as being more “expressive, relationship oriented, concerned with creating and maintaining intimacy”. Men are more concerned with “tasks, concerned with gathering information or with establishing or maintaining social status or power”. Rapport vs. Report Barriers to communication/ intimacy: Differences in background, age, culture, education, social status, political beliefs, and many other variables. Remember the goal of good communication is not to have everyone agree, it is to have everyone understand each other. “Jealousy: is not a barometer by Which the depth of love can be read. It merely records the depth of the lover’s insecurity” Margaret Mead Do you agree or disagree? What factors play a role in jealousy? When to get help for relational problems: Problems with feeling secure in the relationship, lots of mistrust. Problems with passion. Problems with commitment. Summary: One of our biggest challenges in life are relationships and if we haven’t experienced “role-modeling” of healthy relationships it is extremely difficult to have one ourselves. Finding excellent role-models and communication is KEY! Take classes in communication!!