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Chapter 9, Interpersonal Communication

Interpesonal Communication in Friendships and Professional Relationships
by

Kelsey Burrell

on 9 April 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 9, Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal Communication in Friendships and Professional Relationships
Conclusion
Thank you for your attention!
And one more thing...
is here
We form relationships because we need to belong

Communication scholar Mac Parks wrote:

"We humans are social animals down to our very cells. Nature did not make us noble loners."

The main reason social relationships matter is that it's in our nature to form them.

Researchers argue (strongly) that our motivation towards social relationships is innate rather than learned.
We form Relationships because we need to belong

This is all part of the NEED-TO-BELONG theory that states that each of us is born with a drive to see, form, maintain and protect strong social relationships.

To fulfill that drive, we use interpersonal communication to form social bonds with others at work, school, in our neighborhood, the community, religious organizations, sports teams and online communities.

All of these relationships and groups help us to feel as though we aren't alone.
Subject 1
Subject 2
Subject 3
Why do social relationships matter?

Today we will discuss why we feel the need to form social relationships

and

We will examine some benefits of our social relationships as well as costs we may incur by maintaining them.
We form relationships because we need to belong

The NEED-TO-BELONG theory also suggests that for us to satisfy our drive for relationships we need social bonds that are both interactive and emotionally close

Being cut off from social interaction can be both physically and psychologically devastating.
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We form Relationships because we need to belong

By the same token, interacting only with people who have no real feelings for us would be largely unrewarding.
Subject 5
We form Relationships because we need to belong


These relationships are coined TASK-ORIENTED relationships because they help us fill various needs such as transportation, buying food or dry-cleaning.

However, they don't fill our need for feeling emotionally close or belonging.

Therefore, this feeling of "needing to belong" is a vital part of our relationships and lives.
Subject 6
Social Relationships Bring Rewards

EMOTIONAL REWARDS

Friends provide us with at least two types of emotional rewards.

The first is emotional support or encouragement during times of emotional turmoil.

This means support through all types of issues.

Most commonly we turn to our friends for support because of:
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Break ups
Death
Social Relationships Bring Rewards


The second reward we get from our friendships is HAPPINESS.

We enjoy interacting with our friends because they entertain us.

They are our friends typically because we have things in common with them.
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Social Relationships Bring Rewards


Social relationships also bring material rewards such as money, food, shelter and transportation.

For example, when you need help moving, you are going to ask your friends to help out.

If your car is in the shop, you are going to ask your friend for a ride to work.
Subject 9
Social Relationships Bring Rewards


Social relationships bring health rewards.

One study shows that those with strong social networking skills are twice as likely as those without them to survive a heart attack.

Further more, those that lack strong social skills are at a premature risk for obesity, elevated blood pressure and heart attack.
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Social Relationships Bring Rewards

There are at least two reasons why having good friends may help keep us healthy.

The first is that having good friendships helps us to relax.

We all face stress, grief and headaches in our lives everyday. But research shows that having healthy, stable friendships helps by acting as a buffer between our stress and our mental state.

Examples?
Subject 11
Social Relationships Bring Rewards

The second reason is that our friends look out for our well-being and safety.

Good friends will encourage us to participate in healthy behaviors such as wearing our seat belt and going to the doctor when we don't feel well.

Examples?
Subject 12
Social Relationships also Carry Costs

A friend may call us looking for emotional support when all we really want to do is relax at home.

A friend may ask us to go to a new restaurant that we really cannot afford to eat at.

A friend may ask to stay with us at our home for a few weeks and we allow them to. (Even if we don't want to)

Examples?
Subject 13
Forming and Maintaining Social Bonds

ATTRACTION THEORY describes why we are so drawn to others.

There are several parts that make up the attraction theory.

1. INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION is any force that draws people together.

2. PHYSICAL ATTRACTION is being drawn to someone because of his or her looks.

3. SOCIAL ATTRACTION is being attracted to someone's personality.

4. TASK ATTRACTION is being attracted to someone's ability.
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Forming and Maintaining Social Bonds


We are attracted by appearance. Humans are highly visually oriented people so when we see something we like, we want to know more about it.

One reason we do this is because we place value on things and people that we consider attractive.

It is also in our nature to seek out "healthy and attractive" mates because we know that our children will be healthy and attractive as well.
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Now I know what you are thinking:

"Professor B, I value all people and I am NOT shallow. I think that people that I don't find attractive are just as valuable as those that are attractive."


NO YOU DON'T, BUT GUESS WHAT, IT'S OKAY THAT YOU DON'T!!
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What makes one person more physically attractive than another is a combination of social and genetic characteristics.

What is also considered "beautiful"varies by culture as well.

In North America and Europe this is what we consider to be "good looking":
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However, in countries like Africa, Australia and Brazil, beauty is considered something extremely different, particularly for women:
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Typically men are attracted to women that are younger because their ability to produce strong, healthy babies is higher than older women.


Women are typically attracted to strong and powerful men because they feel their children will have the same qualities.
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We are attracted by Proximity

We are more likely to form relationships with people that we see everyday or on a regular basis.

We want to know our neighbors, classmates and co-workers.

The internet has changed this a bit and allowed us to form personal relationships with people we have never met. However, the true test of the friendship comes when the two meet for the first time.
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We are attracted to Similarity

When we meet people with values, interests and beliefs similar to ours we find them comfortable and familiar to be around. Sometimes we often feel as though we already know them.

We find similarity attractive for two reasons:

1. We find social validation in people who are similar to us. When we like people similar to us, we are essentially liking ourselves.

2. It is in our genetic history to do so. In primitive times, identifying if someone was part of your circle or tribe was often done by appearance.
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We are attracted to complementarity

While we seek out partners that are similar to us, we also seek out those that compliment us or, rather, that have qualities that we lack.

Someone that procrastinates may be interested in someone that gets the job done right away.

A shy person may want to be with someone that is outgoing and loud.
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Uncertainty Reduction Theory

When you first meet someone new, you don't know anything about them. Therefore, your uncertainty about them is going to be high. Based on the UNCERTAINTY REDUCTION THEORY we will find that "not knowing" to be unpleasant and we will be motivated through communication to reduce that uncertainty.

Each new piece of information you learn about that person helps to reduce your uncertainty and makes you feel more comfortable.
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Predicted Outcome Value Theory


The PREDICTED OUTCOME VALUE THEORY states that when we first communicate with someone we try and determine whether continued communication with them is worth our effort.

If we like what we learn about the person initially, we predict positive outcomes for our future communication with them.

If we do not like what we learn about the person initially, we predict negative outcomes about future communication with them and may not want to peruse it.
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Understanding Relationship Formation

After we apply Attraction Theory, Uncertainty Theory or/and Predicted Outcome Value Theory we come to an understanding that we do or don't want to continue communication with this person.

If we do, we will engage in APPROACH BEHAVIORS which is our way of gathering more information on a person.

We will smile, ask questions and maybe even express our desire to get to know the person better.
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Understanding Relationship Formation

If we decide to not continue communication, we will engage in AVOIDANCE BEHAVIORS.

We will avoid eye contact, not be in places where we know that person will be or simply asked to be left alone.

Remember: Just because we form relationships does not mean that we will wan to maintain it or keep it for a long period of time.
That is OKAY!
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Theories about Cost and Benefit

So we have met a new person, decided we like them and now we are going to try and understand the costs and benefits to maintaining this relationship.

THE SOCIAL EXCHANGE THEORY states that people seek out relationships where the benefit far outweighs their costs.

For Example: Is it beneficial to know your next door neighbor?
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PRO'S TO KNOWING THE NEIGHBOR

??????



CON'S TO KNOWING THE NEIGHBOR

????????
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An important concept in the social exchange theory is the COMPARISON LEVEL or your realistic expectation of what you want and think you deserve from a relationship. Your expectations are based on both your experiences with social relationships and the prevailing culture norms for such relationships.


We were able to list all those things about knowing the neighbor because we view those things as the norms of being a neighbor.
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comparison LEVEL FOR ALTERNATIVES

This theory refers to the belief concerning how good or bad your current relationship is compared with your perceived option.

Are you happy with your current neighbors, or could you find better ones in a different neighborhood?

Simply put, we compare relationships based on our options and what our perceived norms for that relationship are.
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Social exchange theory does help to explain something that most of us have a hard time understanding; why people stay in abusive relationships.

For someone being abused the choice between maintaining or ending the abusive relationship is not that simple.

They often times look at the abusers positive qualities as ones that outweigh the bad ones.

Often the person being abused would rather be with their abuser than be alone.
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EQUITY THEORY AND relationship FORMATION


Imagine you have a friend that calls you at least once a week for advice. You listen endlessly, offer good advice and before you have a chance to ask for their advice, they hang up the phone!

Your friend in this situation is OVER-BENEFITED and you are UNDER-BENEFITED.

According to the EQUITY THEORY both partners in a relationship should be receiving the same amount of cost and benefits.
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Relational Maintenance Behaviors


In our relationships, we all have things that we do in order to make sure they stay healthy, strong and connected.

The following are some RELATIONAL MAINTENANCE BEHAVIORS that most of us practice everyday:
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Openness
Sharing Tasks
Shifts and Costs and Benefits


Remember: Over time, the costs and benefits in our relationships are going to change. We may not need the same things we needed from a person in present day as we needed the first time we met them.

Examples?

Subject 34
Characteristics of Friendship

There are five common Characteristics of friendships.

1. Friendships are voluntary, we choose our friends and our friends choose us. That's the great part about being in a friendship, you know that the person has CHOSEN to spend time with you.

This does mean that friendships will not flourish on your own. They take work and effort on both participants parts.

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Characteristics of Friendships

2. Friendships are Usually Between Peers

A PEER is someone similar in power or status to oneself.

Your parents, teachers and bosses are NOT your peers.

Put plainly, someone that has some type of power over you is NOT your peer.

You can be friends with teachers or bosses, but it is often difficult to distinguish between the professional and personal side of things.
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Characteristics of Friendships

3. Friendships are Governed by Rules

In some ways, a friendship is like a social contract between two people. Each friendship has it's own boundaries and "taboo" topics.

Examples?
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Characteristics of Friendships

4. Friendships Differ by Sex

Same- Sex Friends- Men and women value different things in their friendships. Women like to disclose information and talk about most things.

Friendships amongst men usually surround an activity.

These are typical findings and don't mean every male to male and female to female relationship will be the same.
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Characteristics of Friendships

Opposite -Sex Friends

Research suggests that both men and women value those relationships as a chance to see things from each other's perspectives. Men can be emotionally expressive and women can enjoy a shared activity they might not with their women friends.

It is reported that most opposite-sex friends have some degree of physical or romantic attraction to one another.
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Characteristics of Friendships

Interesting Fact:

In Study of 500 American College Students, it was found that more than half have reported having a sexual encounter with a friend of the opposite sex and it did not change the nature of their relationship.

Most actually reported it made it a more comfortable experience because the two were friends.
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Characteristics of Friendships

5. Friendships have a life span.

As important as friendships are to us, most of them are NOT permanent. Most have a life span. They are initiated, maintained and then end.

It has been proposed that friendships have 6 different stages to them:
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Characteristics of Friendships

1. Role-Limited Interactions- Your first meeting. You are strangers so you will be civil and polite.

2. Friendly Relations- After getting to know each other you may start to share personal stories and anecdotes. This is often an invitation for friendship.

3. Moves Towards Friendship-You ask that person if they might like to do something mutually enjoyable.

4. Nascent Friendship- As you get to know the other person, you begin to think of them as a friend.
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Characteristics of Friendship

5. Stabilized Friendships- Feelings of trust are formed and you may even begin to adjust your views to be more in line with each others.

6. Waning Friendship- After many years of close friendship, the relationship becomes more distant or casual. This may be due to a move, new job or changes in your personal situation.
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Characteristics of Friendships

Friends can grow to dislike each other for several reasons including:
1. Constant nagging or criticizing
2. Betrayal of trust
3. Behaves violent or hostile
4. Begins abusing alcohol or drugs
5. Fails to provide support
6.Becomes intolerant of the other's romantic partner
7.Feel you don't have anything in common anymore
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Characteristics of Friendships

Friends' Life Circumstances Can Change

The most common thing to change a relationships is physical separation.

Marriage, children and careers often change friendships as well.

Remember, we don't always WANT our friendships to change, but sometimes they just do.
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Social Relationships in the Workplace

Friendships at work can be double-edged swords. They provide us comfort in our working environment but they can also cause conflict and controversy.

It is difficult to work in a place you don't get along with someone because you have to see them all day, everyday.

Here are some explanations of workplace relationships.
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Social Relationships in the Workplace

Social relationships with Co-workers

You usually hit it off instantly with co-workers because they are peers. They are not bosses or superiors. You also share the same experiences like working for the same company and maybe even doing the same job.

The tricky part about relationships with co-workers is that they have two dimensions.

The SOCIAL DIMENSION is your personal relationship.

The TASK DIMENSION is your professional relationship.
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Social Relationships in the Workplace

Social Relationships between superiors and subordinates.

Friendships with a boss can be very challenging. For starters, they are not your equal. They have more power and pull than you at work.

It is stressful for both the boss and employee because both will feel pressure from the other.

Research does show that people that are friendly with their boss have a much happier work environment.
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Social Relationships in the Workplace

Being friendly with your boss can also lead to legal matters that may arise.

Propositioning may seem harmless such as:

"If you have a drink we me tonight, I will give you tomorrow off."

However, that is considered sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is a serious issue in the workplace and should not be overlooked.
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Social Relationships in the Workplace

Social Relationships with Clients or Customers

Most jobs involve working with clients or customers. Relationships with them can be rewarding and make your days go by quickly and happily.

However, these relationships can have severe costs as well. If you are friends with your customers, they may expect you to do favors for them that may not be within the company's "protocol". They may also expect to get inside information and "first dibs" on sale items.
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Social Relationships in the Workplace

The separation of personal and professional relationships is particularly important in both the medical and legal professions.


Medical doctors professional judgement may be swayed when a patient is a friend or family member. The doctor may be impaired to make the right decision in these cases.

The same goes for lawyers and judges. A judge or lawyer will be "pardoned" from a case if they have ties to the person/persons on trial or looking for legal counsel.
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Having friendships enriches us in many ways. The poet Samuel Taylor once wrote, "Friendship is a Sheltering Tree."

Friends make our lives happy, full and help us deal with stress.

Be good to your friends!
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