Relational dialectics - Wikipedia
comparing what i get with what i think i could get in another relationship autonomy vs connection, novelty vs predictability, openness vs closedness. autonomy. C. Contradictions in relationships are in constant movement, flux, and change Ex: My wife expects predictability out of me, yet welcomes a little novelty and. Relational dialectics is an interpersonal communication theory about close personal ties and . Novelty and predictability suggest that there is a desire for the relationship to be predictable versus the desire for it to be original and new.
The relationships may be familiar, social, or intimate. This theory states that contradiction and change are fundamental in the life of a relationship.
Our development within relationships is always changing. It is not linear, yet it can be up and down, it can be close and far. Partners develop relationships through a series of contradictions that are essential, yet sometimes opposing to each other. These tensions lean toward different needs we have in our relationships and in our life. There are four primary assumptions relating to the dialectical approach to relationship maintenance.
Relationships are not cycles in which things repeat themselves over and over. They are not linear, or always moving in one forward direction. Partners in the relationship have different needs. Since the needs may be opposites, and you cannot satisfy both needs simultaneously, tensions are created.
The communication we use to satisfy each of our needs is the way we sustain our relationships. The last assumption is totality. A relationship cannot exist with a tension that you feel may eventually affect your relationship partner or yourself, and it can not exist without interdependence.
With these four assumptions in mind, we know that in a relationship, we will always fluctuate and we will always be discovering and trying to manage these different contradictory needs. We also can have corresponding external dialects. Those that still take part in your life, like parents, close friends, sisters, brothers, grandparents, co-workers, are who would be considered in the external dialects.
Within our internal dialects, the following pulls may occur: This pull or dialect leans toward your desire for independence or if you are wanting a union with your partner. I noticed when it comes to me working I am extremely independent. I want to be alone. When we are with family, friends being on vacation, planning activities and trips I want my husband by my side and for us to do everything together. These are two different kind of dialects we both have in our relationships. He wants to be autonomous when it comes to watching sports, and wants me with him when we are out with friends.
Or we are wanting privacy. I find closeness to be one dialect I never lean towards with my husband. I never ever feel like there is anything that I have to keep from my husband or anything I want to keep from him. Although sometimes it seems like there are things my husband would rather not talk about and keep to himself. Knowing what will happen, how things will turn out, and always having a sense of what to predict. Novelty in a relationship refers to having spontaneity.
I feel like I go back and forth between these dialects often. Refers to an individual's self-disclosure of information to another. In this idea, three types of information are shared: Often this form of openness is labeled as being attentive or responsive.
People respond in cognitive, affective, and behavioral ways. Describes the type of nondisclosive talk that occurs between individuals. It is most often identified as "small talk", being primarily superficial.
The talk is oriented around conversation that requires little or no self-disclosure, allowing for a controlled level informational privacy. Some people experience stress and discomfort when listening to others' problems. In response to this, some individuals attempt to distance themselves in order to discourage others from confiding in them.
In Erin Sahlestein and Tim Dun's study they found that, "participants' joint conversations and their breakup accounts reflect the two basic forms of contradiction. Both antagonistic and non-antagonistic struggles were evident in these data". A study  measuring the display of symbols by lesbian couples, revealed that while same-sex couples experience similar challenges that opposite-sex partners do, there are unique challenges that arise to these same-sex couples.
These unique problems in turn give rise to unique dialectical tensions within the relationship. Re-marriage[ edit ] In a study  that focused on dialectics in second marriages, six tensions unique to remarriages emerged.
Three tensions related to the remarried dyad: Old-new - Many participants found that within their new marriage, the individuals brought with them ideas and expectations based on their previous, or "old," marriages. However, participants recognized that they had since entered a "new" marriage, which would not necessarily carry over the previous old expectations or experiences.
Novelty vs. Predictability: Relationship Tensions in Close Relationships | CURVE
Emotional closeness-distance - Participants expressed feelings of both emotional closeness and emotional distance with their new partners. While participants found that they experienced emotional closeness with their second spouse, they also found that either they or their new spouse had other close friends or family with whom they were close to.
Past-present - Many participants found that they do not discuss prior relationships, or other things that relate to the past, with their new partners. Yet, the new couples remained open about issues and topics related to their present life. Three tensions also emerged from the remarried dyad and their social networks: Their time frame-our time frame - Many participants expressed feeling tensions between adhering to a time frame that felt right to the individual, while acknowledging the expectations that they sensed from their friends and family members in regards to what an appropriate relationship and re-marriage time frame would be.
Dyadic revelation-network revelation - Participants found that they desired to share information with their social network, however, sometimes their partner did not desire them to share such information with that particular network, resulting in tensions among participants to decide between revealing to their partner and revealing information to their social network.
Old-new - Participants identified the tension that was created through interactions with friends and family from the "old" marriage while being in the "new" marriage. Participants managed this tension primarily through recalibration and reaffirmation, where participants recognized that both sides had to be present in order for the relationship to exist.
Long distance relationships[ edit ] Based on research by Sahlstein,  the uncertainty v. Her work exposed uncertainty v. In interviews conducted with couples engaged in long distance relationships, contradictions emerged. For example, couples were found to plan interactions in order to obtain a level of spontaneity. Within this, three different forms of the praxis of relational dialectics emerged: Segmentation - referred to the partners' ability to live separate, independent lives when they were not together.
Balance - referred to the couple's ability to plan conversations about the future of the relationship. Denial - referring to the couple's refusal to admit the effect distance is having on the relationship.
Friendships[ edit ] William Rawlins has examined the role of relational dialectics in regard to friendships. The tension of instrumentality v. Aristotle 's "friendship of virtue" notion of caring for friends without instrumental purposes exemplifies this point.
The dichotomy of instrumentality v. This interweaving of concepts is what distinguishes different types of friendships.
While this remains true, the subjectivity of the friends in question ultimately determines the outcome of how heavily instrumentality v.
In the workplace Blended Relationships are close friends that are a part of the same work environment. Dialectical tensions occur in organizations as individuals attempt to balance their roles as employees while maintaining established friendships within their occupations.
It is not necessary, however, to have a friend in organizations to experience dialectical contradictions. Stress occurs frequently on the individual level as human needs and desires oppose.
Friends within organizations desire to provide each other with special support and assistance but organizations strive for equitable treatment and discourage bias. It is a tendency of close friends to be open and honest with one another, but organizations often expect a level of confidentiality that places strain on friendships that value the sharing of information. Feeling excited about a restructuring of your organization but anxious since it may interrupt your routine and put stress on your current relationships.
Inviting a coworker to lunch with the intention of asking for support on a project at work. Two specific discursive struggles were identified: Old relationship-new relationship - For many siblings, family rituals were not continued upon moving out, resulting in a change in relationship and a feeling of missing out, emphasizing the changes that occur during the transition from an old relationship into new ones.
Children and stepparents In a study  focusing on the adult stepchild perceptions of communication in the stepchild- stepparent relationship, three contradictions were found to be experienced by the stepchildren participants: Dialectics of emotional distance-closeness - While many stepchildren expressed feelings of emotional distance, the participants had varying reasons for keeping the distance.
- Novelty vs. Predictability: Relationship Tensions in Close Relationships
- Dialectical tensions in marital couples' accounts of their *relationships
- Relationship Maintenance - Managing Dialectical Tensions
Some participants who still had a positive relationship with their nonresidential parent kept an emotional distance from their stepparent as an act of loyalty that they felt toward their nonresidential parent. Other participants equated emotional distance to the fact that they had little in common with their stepparent.
However, many participants expressed feeling some closeness with a stepparent while maintaining an amount of emotional distance. Stepparent status - Many of the stepchildren in the study also experienced a dialectical tension between desiring for the family authority position to be designated to their one residential parent along with a desire for both the residential parent and the stepparent to share parenting authority. Many participants felt that legitimating their stepparent as a parent would result in the formation of closeness.
Expression - The participants expressed a desire for open communication with their stepparent, while at the same time, expressing resistance to openness and instead favoring a more careful form of communication due to the fact that the participants often sensed a lack of familiarity with their stepparent. In another study,  researchers aimed to identify the contradictions that were perceived by stepchildren when characterizing the ways that familial interactions caused them to feel caught in the middle between parents.
The participants expressed that they wanted to be centered in the family while, at the same time, they hoped to avoid being caught in the middle of two opposing parents. The main contradiction identified in the study was similar to the autonomy-connection dialectic; stepchildren desired the freedom to communicate and enact the desired relationship with their parents.