HDFS 1070 Week 11 Notes (Exam 3)
HDFS 1070 Week 11 Notes (Exam 3) HDFS 1070
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Tabacchini on Wednesday April 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HDFS 1070 at University of Connecticut taught by Ronald Sabatelli in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 55 views. For similar materials see Individual and Family Development in Human Development at University of Connecticut.
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HDFS 1070 4/4, Page 1 Communication and Intimacy 4/4/16 Lecture Notes Task for Couples: Establish Communication patterns that promote Intimacy and Manage Conflict Adults in the prime of their life have to deal with this Lifespan perspective: If you chart the factors that are most associated with life satisfaction over your lifetime, the factors most associated are the quality of your family, personal relationships, and your intimate relationships. Not your career and how much money you have. Definition of Communication Communication: the exchange of information in the form of messages o Exist on a content level and the symbols and words that we use o Also contained in patterns of interactions Information is contained in o Symbols o Transactional patterns Behaviors Critical Questions: Does communication lead to intimacy? YES! o When we dislike someone, we display transactional patterns that demotes intimacy with that person o Every interaction that we have with a person contains information that contributes to the emotional climate Does intimacy inform the communication process? o Form follows Function! (what the hell does that mean?) How we communicate with someone follows with how we feel about them o Verbal communication and non verbal behavior o Feelings about our partners and feelings about our life spill over into the transactional patterns Intentional Communication as opposed to the Ongoing Exchange of Messages Axioms of Communication (what we accept about being true about communication) One cannot NOT communicate all behavior contains messages/ all behavior is communication All behavior is communication ignoring someone is communicating, not speaking to someone is communicating All communication provides information simultaneously about self, others and the relationship when you communicate with someone, sending information about how HDFS 1070 4/4, Page 2 see self, how you see them, and how you define the relationship (byproduct of all transactions) Core Concepts Transactional: all behaviors, all communication Messages o The content that we use when we speak with someone o Content messages o Ex. “I like your hat”, “I’m disappointed in you” Metamessage: information conveyed through HOW we talk to someone (important to pay attention to this relevant information because the behavioral information leaks the true message more likely than the verbal) o Qualifying metamessages: whether the person really means what they are saying, whether the person really wants what they are saying o Identity metamessages: through the transactions, we send people information about whether they’re valued, respected, a source of joy, a person of worth, important, matter, competent, etc. This is sent all the time, you cannot can’t do it! o Relationship metamessages: how you talk to someone is a primary way in which they are communicated to about how you see them and your relationship Framing: how a person interprets the metalevel information that they’re receiving (interpretation) Ex. “She didn’t make eye contact with me she’s not interested in me.” o Influenced by a lot of factors including self esteem, views of selves, history of relationships, family of origin relationships o When it comes to framing, one of the things that we naturally do as social animals is introducing a lot of redundancy into our communications so we make sure the person who is framing gets what we are saying, because it can overwhelm the framing. Metacommunication Feedback: all transactions involve simultaneous communication of information and feedback (the information we get back from somebody that we get through transactional exchanges). A small percentage of the time about the actual words we use that are related to intimacy, and a huge percentage of the time through transactions on the metalevel. Transactional qualities send feedback continuously. o Confirmation I value, I respect you, you matter. o Rejection you did something that bothers me, there is something about you that is annoying me. Still acknowledge that you are an important person in my life though! HDFS 1070 4/4, Page 3 o Disconfirmation communicates that they don’t exist, don’t acknowledge their existence. Ex. Giving someone the silent treatment. o We can be more intentional if our goal is communication in controlling our transactions! Patterns that Promote Intimacy Self Disclosures we spend a lot of time in our intimate relationships revealing information about ourselves. Some are more personal, intimate than others. Ex. “This is what I did today…” The metamessage that is being sent to you is that they value you, trust you, respect you, trust you with this information. If you reciprocate to this, you communicate to them that the relationship is intimate. If you do not, communicate that the relationship is not intimate. o Rule of reciprocity if you don’t match disclosures with someone, you run the risk of them getting a metalevel message that you are not as intimate with them as they are with you. In intimate relationships, they follow this rule o Women are more comfortable than men are o These make men anxious because self disclosures are seen as a feminine behavior, not a masculine one This creates possible dilemmas for men and women because it creates a possible barrier to intimacy because the woman might frame the lack of reciprocity meaning that he is not viewing the relationship as intimate (not committed and as invested in the relationship as she is). When couples reciprocate, they communicate to each other that they have a special bond and a special connection. Transaction Management behaviors = emotional bids/relationship bids o “How was your day?” (a bid) “Look at this video I found on YouTube.” (a bid) “I’m having a hard time at work” (a bid) “I can’t choose what piece of furniture to buy” (a bid) o Simple little invitations for interactions o Bids are constant, are numerous, and are the microlevel exchanges that everyday interactions with someone are made up with These make or break relationships because they establish an emotional climate These are primary messages o Can respond to bids by: TM: turning towards our partner (should do this more of the time!) TM: turning away from partner TM: turning against o Situational adaptability subset of transactional management. We have a choice over when and where we talk about things that are private and personal. Talking about these things in inappropriate places operates against intimacy because it complicates the dynamic. Ex. See people fighting at a HDFS 1070 4/4, Page 4 party. This adds so much more emotion and conflict which creates more problems. Conflict management managing transactions. The presence of conflict doesn’t mean the absence of satisfaction!! (on exam) Conflict is inevitable. How we intentionally talk with one another when there are misunderstandings and disagreement. When we have conflicts we have to manage them in a way that leads to better understanding the reduction of conflict and the promotion of intimacy. People should use their conflicts as a better way to promote intimacy through conflict management. Sources of Conflict Misunderstandings comes from a disconnect between what one person intended to say on a metalevel/transactional and how that message was framed by the person who received the message. Occur all the time. Have to figure out how to repair the misunderstanding before it snowballs out of control. Necessary to learn how to meta communicate communicate about the communication, the transaction. To manage the misunderstanding. Ex. “I sighed because I was interested and frustrated, not because I was annoyed!”. Ex. Tell partner about something that is bothering you and partner sighs and you frame that as them being annoyed when they are really feeling sorry for you and are sad about it. o Connection versus control a lot of misunderstandings are really about connection and control. Ex. “Where were you?” might communicate that your partner is trying to control you. o Gender and Conversational Styles Contributes to misunderstandings because masculine individuals often times don’t understand that the response to a bid to talk about emotions and feelings should be responded to with a conversation about emotion and feelings. Masculine individuals think that the way to respond to bids is really about problem solving, solutions, giving suggestions, being masterful. Leaves the masculine individual feeling misunderstood. Ex. “This is what you should do” Gender patterns of communication follow what goals the individual has Feminine communicator has the primary goal of caring, emotion, connection. Responds to a bid often times saying “Talk to me.” People feel more intimacy from this rather than using should (people frame this as not being smart enough, or that the person doesn’t care and is impatient) Role Conflict – Identity Disruption: every day conflict that occurs and is about how various role tasks should be done and who should do them. o Ex. Who should do the shopping, how the shopping should be done, who should clean up after dinner and how it should be cleaned up, etc. o Role conflict occurs when someone’s expectations aren’t met by the partner HDFS 1070 4/4, Page 5 o When there is a lot of emotion invested in fighting about who or how because the disagreement is seen as an identity disruption Tensions around Separateness versus Connectedness o Conflict occurs when partners have different goals for separateness vs connectedness o I want to be with you and you don’t want to be with me creates conflict! o Instead of couples understanding that have different goals, they instead fight about which goal is the right goal. There is no right goal, just different goals. Equity/Fairness Complaints o Getting a better deal. Each of us has a tolerance for injustice, things not being fair. When that tolerance level is exceeded, then we get angry and we fight. o Things don’t have to be equal, they have to be fair and just. Sabatelli, Ronald. “Communication and Intimacy.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut, Storrs. 4 April 2016. Lecture. HDFS 1070 4/6, Page 1 Conflict Management and Gottman 4/6/16 Lecture Notes The Management (or Mismanagement) of Conflict If conflict is mismanaged it erodes the foundation of initmacy and if it is managed well the foundation of intimacy is built. Goals and the Management Strategies Avoidance Winning Intimacy Underlying reasons for conflict: role conflictidentity disruption separateness vs connectedness fairness/equity WHY is the underlying reason for fighting. It is not WHAT they are fighting about. There is an underlying role conflict (what and how). Role conflict spills over into emotional investment. Ex. Being a good cook, will fight about how something should be cooked if there is a disagreement. Role conflictIdentity Disruption: Mattering conflicts people feeling as if they don’t matter. Ex. If you don’t do things the way I think they should be done, the more I am emotionally invested in fighting about it. Fight to acknowledge that I matter. Separateness vs Connectedness: people have different goals. People get upset because the partner doesn’t conform to their view on what should be done and what is the goal. Ex. If you cared about me, you would compromise your desire to do things on your own to do things with me. Fairness/equity: when someone believes their partner is getting the better deal. When they think they are putting more into the relationship than they are getting out. They expect their partner to do their fair share. Each person has a different working model about what that fair share is. If it is violated, then they start to fight and become emotionally agitated with their partner because they think they are being taken advantage of. Communication and communication strategies come from the goals that come from our communication exchanges with people. For example, we talk in a different way with someone if we want someone to feel inferior to us. We interact with our intimate partners in conflicts with different goals that become evident when we interact with people. Goals of Conflict: Winning: attack and blame. Make the other feel inadequate and inferior. The goal is to win and have the person give in. Want the other person to give up their views and control in that situation. Ex. “You’re stupid!” HDFS 1070 4/6, Page 2 Avoidance: when anxious about conflict and what might happen as a result. Avoid it. Ignore things. Refuse to engage in the conflict. Do a lot of play cating (the other partner doesn’t feel heard by this): “you’re right, whatever you say.” Intimacy: your way of talking with someone is softer in tone. The start up of the conflict is softer in tone. There is way more acknowledgment of the importance of the other. Have disagreements while also communicating that the relationship is important and the goal is to get to a place of agreement without having to compromise who you are and make people feel bad about themselves. Dyadic Configurations Based on Goals (2 person intimate relationship with separate/similar goals) Goals that each person brings that creates the dynamic! Avoid/Avoid o Psuedomutuality Both partners appear as if they are getting along famously because they don’t bring up anything that bothers them. This is a false mutuality because the appearance of connection and intimacy is driven by an underlying anxiety about the destructiveness of conflict, the loss of the relationship if conflict were to occur, and all the bad things that were to happen if someone actually disagreed. Two people who are anxious about their capacity to sustain a relationship. They pretend that they don’t have any differences. They are forever vigilant and anxious and avoid things going wrong at all costs—not a joyful intimacy. This is an anxietyinfused relationship. Avoid/Win o Complementary Pattern The person who wants to win asserts themselves and projects blame onto their partner. The avoidant person just gives in. They compliment one another well doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Their GOALS compliment one another perfectly. The person who wins often feels discounted or disconfirmed. This is because the avoidant partner gives in right away. This is a form of disconfirmation. These don’t end quickly—the person who is invested in winning gets angrier and more aggitated the more the avoidant partner gives in. This is not a good pattern for intimacy because it doesn’t feel safe or intimate. Their understanding doesn’t promote intiamcy. Avoid/Intimacy o Pursue/distance One partner wants to know how the other feels and the avoident partner gives the intimate one disconfirmation. The goal of intimacy is HDFS 1070 4/6, Page 3 to engage in conversation about something. The avoidant partner just tells the intimate one to tell them what they want and don’t put a word in and the intimate partner feels disconfirmation from that. Mismatch: one has the goal of intimacy and the other has avoidant goal. The intimate partner’s frustration level goes up and his/her’s ability to regulate emotion becomes compromised by the tension in the relationship. When he/she gets to the point of not being able to handle the tension, he/she could cut off the exchange and walk away from the relationship or change to winning mode. Win/Win o Symmetrical Escalations of conflict Patterns that flow from the winwin scenario. One says to the other “You acted stupid” and other responds with “I didn’t do anything wrong, you’re the one who’s stupid”. They match attack and are equally invested in blaming each other. As the impasses proliferate over time, the emotioanl tension symetreically escalates. It becomes increasingly more destructive and argumentive. As this exhchange happens, the foundation of intimacy is eroded. These are often behind the tendency for couples to become increasingly more volatile, hostile and even violent with one another. Typically see both partners engaging in a process in building the conflict with one another leading to violence. Women are more vulnerable beause they are less capable of physically protecting themseves for the most part. Some women will preemptively protect themselves from violence by using weapons. This dynamic has a mind of its own in which they can’t stop engaging in conflict. Someone usually just leaves and cuts it off before it becomes violent. There is a big cloud of negativity that hangs over the relationship for a long time afterward. Win/Intimacy o Pursue/distance One person is interested in winning while the other person is interested in intimacy. The intimate partner doesn’t want to talk unless the win partner is calmed down. Often times, this doesn’t result in a successful resolution unless the win partner gives in and becomes invested in intimacy. Or what could happen is that the partner interested in intimacy feels attacked and switches into winning or avoidance mode. Could get to a point of leaving or switch into attack mode. Intimacy/Intimacy o Good enough – not perfect in how they manage conflict o Importance of getting around to talking about what really matters! HDFS 1070 4/6, Page 4 They eventually come around to talking about what needs to be talked about with the goal of having both partners feel confirmed and both partners feeling like they have a role in the discussion/resolution. They both come out of it feeling valued and respected. Communicate to one another that they are committed to the partnership. They both have better emotional regulation. o Sometimes it takes a while for a couple to get to this dyad. The most common goal that people have is winning. This is modeled through media with a win/win dyad. This creates a negativity around the relationship. Avoidance is not really better than winning. They are saying on one level that they don’t matter and also communicate to the partner that they don’t matter either. There is a profound sense of sadness with no real intimacy. People with the goal of intimacy are better more of the time. They get around to talking about what really needs to be talked about and are softer. Gottman Lecture Interactional Patterns Associated with Relationship Success or Failure His work distinguishes him as being a significant source of research and information that profoundly influences his work and field. He has been studying conflict for over 50 years in real couples and real settings. He set up apartments with listening devices and cameras to observe what people really do in their relationships. The process is really significant. In relationships destined for destruction, there is cascading negativity (negative sentiment override NSO). Mismanage conflict so much over time that the only experience they have is cascading negativity. Up to a certain point in time they will still insist that they love each other. There are no rewards or intimacy. It is overridden by negativity. o NSO it doesn’t matter if positive things happen, people still frame them as negative things. People have to experience a lot of negativity over time to experience this. Best thing that can be done is to have a counselor counsel them into getting a divorce or splitting. 1. Winning and The Four Horsemen of the apocalypse a consistent characteristic of distressed couples a. There is a pattern of criticism and counter criticism that result in people withdrawing and wanting to get away from each other. criticism vs complaints note on character attacks and global complaints o if start up a conversation with criticism, the other person immediately gets defensive. Eventually what happens in these destructive relationships is that HDFS 1070 4/6, Page 5 people get to the point of expressing contemptuous things to one another. They say things that cannot be taken back. Contempt o Say things that are very hurtful. They emotionally/physically withdraw (stonewalling/withdrawing) defensiveness stonewalling withdrawal and apparent indifference towards the partner o putting up a wall between them Difference between a criticism and a complaint: most conflict begins with a person expressing either a criticism or a complaint. Criticism is more likely to evoke negativity than a complaint is. Criticism: when you attack a person’s identity. You say something directly that makes them defensive about how you see them. Complaint: focuses in on a behavior (theoretically) that violates your expectations. Both create discomfort but complaints are a lot softer (goal is intimacy). Complaint— separate the problem behavior from a person: Ex. “This behavior is a problem for me.” 2. Emotional Disengagement a lack of positive affect. Demonstrate little interest, affection, humor, and concern for one another. 3. Flooding emotionally and physically overwhelmed physiological basis for this way more common in men “In a sea of emotion, women swim, men drown!” this is an emergency state during conflict and must be treated with respect and concern. The best antidote for flooding is to take a break (but this does not mean going to separate rooms and preparing for another attack!). males are more likely to flood—they get overwhelmed by emotion and physiologically shut down and feel paralyzed in that situation. Couples need to respect the flooding process and give their partners opportunities to get away, have a time out, and then have a discussion. 4. Negative Reciprocity negativity, per se is not as damaging as is symmetrical escalations 5. Solvable versus unsolvable problems happy couples are not necessarily able to solve all of their disagreements. unsolvable problems arise from fundamental personality, cultural, religious differences, or essential needs of each partner. Both happy and unhappy couples have these types of disagreements but handle them different. Happy couples may be irritated but learn to accept it this way avoiding a perpetual gridlock. 6. Accepting Influence this is a term used to describe EACH partner’s willing to yield (even if only a little bit) during an argument in order for the relationship to WIN. yielding to win is not the say as compromising oneself for the sake of the other which is the pressure that more anxious individuals tend to put on their partners. HDFS 1070 4/6, Page 6 7. Turning Toward emotional bids and the partner’s response to them turning towards is the respectable intimate thing to do turning away turning against 8. Rewriting the Past Negativity toward Partner Chaotic Perceptions Disappointment/Disillusionment When people are on the verge of blowing off their relationship, they rewrite their past in themes of negativity to justify their negativity. Characteristics of Happy Couples Fondness and Admiration Awareness or Love Maps Glorifying the Struggle Weness Future themes Sabatelli, Ronald. “Conflict Management and Gottman.” HDFS 1070. University of Connecticut, Storrs. 6 April 2016. Lecture.