Critical Thinking in Relationships
This is a treatise on the dynamics of interpersonal
relationships. It is an objective analysis I put online
in case it's useful to others.
My focus is on personal relationships and
how they work in objective and practical terms.
I broke the subject down into the three sections below.
- Direct communication
-- includes video
Saying what you mean literally and plainly is the most
effective way to commuincate in cooperative relationships.
The alternative, indirect communication, is designed to
manipulate others or defend one's self (such as sarcasm,
name calling, or defensiveness). You can be direct
effectively even if others are not.
- Relationship contracts
The expectations each person in a relationship
has about the behavior or performance of the other forms
a type of "contract" (although it's not usually thought of
that way). The terms of the contract in each person's head can be
determined by what they count on their
parter to do, or not do. Contracts (or expectations)
that match the reality of the other person's
behavior are less frustrating than expectations that go unmet.
- Emotional intimacy
-- includes video
Emotional intimacy is the peak experience of being loved
in a personal relationship. It occurs when we open up to someone,
become vulnerable, and they understand how we feel
and empathize. It brings people closer emotionally,
and makes them feel better about themselves. Such intimacy
occurs when specific, but difficult, steps are followed by
two people, working together.
This perspective of relationships is based
on some general assumptions:
- People are basically good (lovable);
- People are social animals with social needs;
- Human emotions are not bad; all people have feelings,
it's how we handle them that's important;
- Unmet social needs cause loneliness and isolation, which
is inherently stressful and unpleasant;
- Fulfilling our social needs results in
feeling close to others, feeling loved, and being happy;
You can post comments or
reach me by email at the address below.
This is a personal website expressing the opinions and observations of the author.
Last modified: 2011-11-24