Chapter 9, Relational Maintenance
I find it difficult to maintain friendships even with like minded people. I don’t like communicating over the internet and I rarely like going out or having face to face interactions. These things make me uncomfortable. With my closest friends, I am the biggest fan and meanest critic. I tend to go to the extremes. I think maybe the reason I still have friends is because I am honest and trustworthy and my friends know I will not criticise them unless I genuinely feel that they are messing up. I often wish I was better at maintenance. This is definitely an area I hope to improve on in the near future.
- Forgiving Transgressions
I recently learnt that I have trouble forgiving. This is because I have trust issues. If someone does something to hurt me, even if they genuinely mean it when they apologise, we are not likely to ever be as close as we were before. I strongly believe in forgive and forget but I think God is the only one who has the luxury of forgetting. My version of forgiveness looks like this, “me ceasing to care”. Depending on what you may have done I can either, stop being friends with you all together and we maintain a polite relationship, casual “hellos and goodbyes” or I will pretend like nothing ever happened until I am in a situation when I feel that you could betray my trust again. In which case I take that power out of your hands. We maintain our normal friendship but you are never again in a position close enough to betray me. I forgive but I never forget. I think it would be foolish and that we would be doomed to repeat past mistakes, if we thought forgetting about the situations where we were betrayed was a good idea. I am definitely not perfect and sometimes I do wonder if my method of protecting myself is too strict but I realise it is not, so I will not apologise for it. The things that I think are inappropriate in a friendship, apparently many people are completely clueless on. Common decency and consideration should be a given in any relationship. If you wouldn’t like it to happen to you, do not do it to anyone else.
Chapter 10, Manage the Connection-Autonomy Dialectic
I think its all about independence and gaining a sense of self outside of the family or people you grew up with. Figuring out if the feelings you have about certain topics or people are really your own or that of those most influential around you. That phase of life when you are trying to get to know yourself and figure everything out can take a long time to get through, if you are unable to gain the necessary amount of distance you need. I think it is important for families to be aware of this phase of life and be self-aware so they do not overwhelm each other. If anything be helpful allow each other to grow in a way that may contradict who you are. It is never helpful or productive to repress personal thoughts. They eventually become problematic. Obviously, you never want to share just anything with anyone and you certainly do not want to be offensive but it is important to find a safe space to express your feelings. To lay your mind out on the floor and make connections. This helps you understand who you are at your core because as you grow and experience life, your views change. For better or worse and it is important to acknowledge those changes. To choose to change back or move forward based on who you want to be as a person. This is why I believe that everyone should go to therapy. It is such an important tool. The advantages of having someone who is required to be unbiased but always on your side to be a sounding board are endless.
- Strive for Closeness While Respecting Boundaries
The best thing to do is to not invade a persons personal space. Have conversations, observe what they like and dislike. Be there when needed but give them room enough to need or want you around. Listen to understand, not to respond. Spend time with each other without your devices. If it is something that makes you uncomfortable, unless told otherwise assume it makes others uncomfortable as well and do not pry. Personally, I understand the need to want to share everything with someone but It is also important to keep things to yourself. I think it is more important to become as close as possible to yourself and to not open up in such a way that will bring you unnecessary hurt. Self-sufficiency is extremely important. You need boundaries for everyone else but you are you and that is the only person you can be and so breaking down the boundaries you have with yourself is most important and setting reasonable boundaries between yourself and others in useful for protecting all involved. Not everything is meant to be shared, no matter how close you are with a person and that is ok. The only one who needs to know everything about you, is you! Once you are fully aware of yourself and have built that close connection with yourself , it will help you maintain and build close and healthy relationships with others that include the necessary boundaries.
- What types of friendships are presented in most TV episodes? Long term friends
- Do you or your friends sometimes find yourself comparing your relationships to the ones you see on television? Sometimes but I think I do that more than any of my friends.
- Is there anything useful about observing friendships on television? I suppose if you are watching a show that involves a healthy friendship it gives you something to compare your friendship with, to see if you are in a healthy one but it is also wise to acknowledge the fact that the relationship on screen, while it does portray real friendship scenarios, that you are different people and things may not turn out the way you expect it.
- What would you say that you have learned about friendships from television? That it doesn’t require a compromise of your personality to fit anyone else’s.
- How accurate were Turkle’s observations regarding the impact of social media on relationships? She hit the nail on the head.
- To what extent are these observations true from your experience? Do you agree that all of the texts, or SIPs, do not add up to a real
conversation? How can we use technology to improve our lives and relationships? I think a conversation includes face to face interaction. I think that when we use technology to communicate it doesn’t completely fill the need for interaction. There is always a space that didn’t get filled and I think most people can feel that especially when it’s a relationship that has significant value to them. I think technology helps us stay organised, send and receive information quickly and maintain relationships. However, it is meant to help us along, not live our lives for us. When organising anything, even when emails and calls are made, there are still things that are missed unless they are done in person. Technology cannot do everything and we should not want it to. Especially when it comes to relationships, we should use it for maintenance not as the main connection to our friends and family. Relationships are deeper and more significant when there is more face to face interaction. Not over the phone or through a screen but directly within physical reach of each other. The fact is when people spend their time connecting through devices, they become desensitised to one another. It makes it easier to be selfish and to not care about other people. The more advanced technology becomes is the more self absorbed our society becomes as well and I think many people are realising this and are actively trying to improve that. Not by spending less time with their technology but by spending more time with people in person without their devices.
- Given that this TED talk was filmed in 2012, does it still hold true today, more or less? It is even more true now than ever and I think it will continue to be true as long as technology keeps advancing and people keep responding to it the way they have been.
Can Men & Women Just Be Friends?– Science of Love Video: https://youtu.be/XsFJFfegkj4 – Yes but it takes a certain level of maturity and self-awareness.
1.What experiences do you have with cross-sex friendships? I have had good and complicated cross-sex friendships with the same male friends. All the male friends that I have had in the past have at some point tried to move pass the friend-zone.
2.What problems can arise in cross-sex friendships? What challenges can arise with being in the “friend zone” (or being in a “desires romance” or “rejects romance” friendship)? I think it is best to be friends with people you are not physically attracted to. At the same time, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you won’t have a complicated relationship because if you are not the kind of person that focuses on looks, the fact that you are friends means you already are attracted to this person based on their personality and that can be an even bigger problem than physical attraction. The awkwardness of making your feelings known and then getting rejected or becoming romantic with a friend and then not knowing how to go back to just being friends after can be a real problem. I think there is the need to over compensate for the state of vulnerability you put yourself in, by moving into a place where they know how you feel about them whether or not they feel the same and I think the over compensation is what makes it hard to go back to the way things were before.
3. Have you considered what you and your friend’s needs are in the friendship? How can you effectively communicate your needs? I often ask my friends what they need so that I can avoid being over bearing in a situation. I have a “fix it” personality and so sometimes I get a little controlling in an effort to help a friend when they just need me to “sit and listen” without offering input. Which I find very irritating because I just want to fix the problem. I have no problem listening as long as I know at the end we will have solved the problem. In general, I have friends for different parts of my personality, so I think I definitely get what I need from the relationship and I do my best to give them what they need from it as well.
- What were some of the family narratives mentioned (perhaps not overtly) in the article on the boomerang generation that you read? Did they come into conflict with the child moving back in with his/her parents? No, most parents were happy to welcome their kids back home.
- What are some potential benefits of the impact of being part of the boomerang generation? Some potential drawbacks? Are they evenly balanced? More parents found that they have a better connection with their children since they moved back home than before. Their children are more responsible. Probably because they are now starting to see things from their parents perspective and so now they have more of an appreciation for everything they have done for them having to now grow up an see it for themselves. Becoming more mature and responsible has helped.
- How do the people who wrote, or who were mentioned in the articles, manage this new wrinkle in the connection-autonomy dialectic? The boomerang generation tend to be young people with goals and dreams who responsibly have a job and pay their own bills but prefer living with their parents instead of on their own. They maintain their independence by being responsible and not burdening their parents. They have lives separate and a part from their parents as though they lived on their own.
- Using the guidelines in “Effective Communication in Families” what advice would you give to members of a family experiencing the boomerang effect? Respect each other’s time and space. Everyone in the household is now an adult and should be treated with the respect that follows in terms of making their own decisions and how and who they spend their time with. There should be rules that everyone has to follow in order to maintain peaceful and harmonious living.
Commitment: decision to maintain Relationship
1. Love is a welcomed boredom…
- Aristotle: “Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies”
- Plato: “Love is a serious mental disease”
What is your Love Language? An assessment to determine the love language that you respond best to. – Quality time.
QUESTION: Can couples have a happy relationship if they have different love languages? Yes, they just need to be mindful of the others love language in the way they treat each other to ensure that both are benefiting from the relationship.
Quiz: What’s Your Intimacy IQ? A test to explore your knowledge of the concept of intimacy. I got the one about whether or not sex gets better, wrong.
Couples Communication Quiz: a quiz designed to help those involved in a romantic relationship find the difference between their partners typical communication behavior and the desired behaviour. – Overall score 4