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Why didn't you offer to make dinner? Yet the solution is so simple. Would you mind making dinner? It is a common assumption that prophetic power is proof of your spouse's undying love and devotion.

Michelle Miller-Day

Let's destroy that myth right now. Tell your spouse what you want. His or her thoughtful response to your explicitly expressed needs is a sign of commitment. While we're on the topic, don't ask for signs or proofs. It will get you in trouble. Everyone expresses their caring and develops their love in differing ways and at varying rates.

A confrontation over "do you love me? Express yourself in a way that shows understanding of your spouse's personality and he will respond in kind. Perhaps the most essential quality for good communication in any relationship, and particularly in a marriage, is to be a good listener. Take a minute to ask yourself if you listen attentively when your partner speaks. Or is your mind on tonight's dinner, tomorrow's business meeting, Bloomingdale's sale Do you comprehend clearly what you mate is saying?

Best marriage communication books and workbooks for couples

Sometimes when my husband and I are quarreling, he'll stop me in the middle to say: "What am I saying, and what are you saying, and what's the difference? Frequently I find that I've been so caught up in hearing myself talk or the passion of the moment that I haven't really been listening. I'm amazed to discover that our positions aren't that far apart, in fact they're not apart at all. If this is a difficult issue for you it sometimes helps to establish structure.

You could set aside a time where you are required to listen to your mate without interrupting for 10 minutes. Don't plan your defense or rebuttal. Just listen. You'll be surprised at how much you'll learn and when it's your turn you'll realize a unique pleasure in being able to express yourself freely. Another technique psychologists favor is called active listening. There are many variations on this theme but the basic style is mirroring back what your partner says.

Keep doing it until you get it right. Maybe many of your misunderstandings are because your heard your partner wrong the first time, or you didn't hear your partner at all. We have numerous distractions in our lives today -- telephones, televisions, and now the Internet. If we want to be listened to with concentration, we must provide the same. Hang up the phone when your spouse walks in the door.

Turn off the TV. Escape from the Web. Otherwise your mate feels like second best, and when you have something to say it will also fall on deaf ears. We have to remember that marriage creates a unity, a oneness. We can use our powers of communication to solidify that unity or, God forbid, to tear it asunder. As the Chazon Ish, a great Jewish scholar, wrote "Treat your wife as a left hand protecting the right one My husband and I have been married for 5 months.

We have three children. He is a great person. But, our biggest issue is I do most of work with the kids. I have social life. How can i communicate that to him without yellng and getting upset? He clearly don't understand my frustration about how I am feeling. Me and my hubby have been living together for a year and 2 months I do feel second best at times. I share interest in his soccer games and what not but he doesn't seem to try and share interest in anything I'm into.

We are planing on getting married and I want to know if there is any way to her him to show interest in the things I do? Spot on. Communication is the key to an effective and loving relationship. As you say, it's better to be honest and open from the beginning. Open communication is crucial, especially nowadays. I found this article by chance, and read it at the perfect time. It's much clearer now what I need to do in order to achieve effective communication in my life.

Thank you! Thank you for this post. I esppecially liked the line,"express yourself in a way that shows understanding of your spouse's personality and he will respond in kind. I also have a blog and write about marraige and family issues. It is: letsthinkhealthy. Before i thought keeping quiet mean nothing in relationship not until i entered the business. Indeed, if you really want to save your home,you got to communicate. There must be a mutual rapport between the couple if not the marriage is as good as scatter. May God save our home. Good communication is the thermometer of a marriage. In just about 60 or so odd days time, my wife and I will be celebrating our 20 th Wedding Anniversary!

Women need to be talked to all the time and listened to also. I make it a point to talk to my wife the first instance I have an opportunity when I travel abroad. I also try to speak to her even if I have nothing in the world to talk about. Women expect men to talk to them. Adams first words to Eve were," Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.

And communication is more than words, its a lot of action! We are just married recently and I have found out that mostly I do the talking and share everything with him. I told my husband to share somethings with me and treat me like your friend and be open to me like I am with him. He is a good listener but he hardly share anything.

I get bored. Communication is important in marriage but it has to be both sides. Please tell me what I should do. I have been married for 1yr. I love my husband and apericiate his listing ability. Sometimes I just need to vent. However, I have recentially talked with him about the disconnet i feel becaue we don't have conversations that involve his exchange of ideas or opinion. I want to connect with him and feel that we are missing something that is truly special, an opportunity to share an experience about life.

You husband may not know how to do this. I would suggest getting with aprogesinal who can help you discover a way to improve this area before it creats bigger problems in your marriage. I am an introvert. Good communication keeps relationship. I agree with you that in every relationship communication network must be left opened always.

Key Themes In Family Communication Series

Being honest without being offensive or critical - that's more important. Also to communicate with love, thro' love The main problem is that you end up talking to yourself simply because women some , do not care about what you have to say, they are allways right!! These types of patterns are unhealthy and must be broken if a couple is looking to sustain a healthy relationship with good understanding.

Therefore, individuals must be honest with themselves about realizing compatibility rather than disregarding your feelings in order to only make your partner happy. Situational milieu can be defined as the combination of the social and physical environments in which something takes place. For example, a classroom, a military conflict, a supermarket checkout, and a hospital would be considered situational milieus.

Similarly, this includes the season, weather, current physical location and environment. In order to understand the meaning of what is being communicated, context must be considered. External noise consists of influences around the reception that distract from the communication itself. Channels of communication also contribute to the effectiveness of interpersonal communication.

A communication channel can be defined as the medium through which a message is transmitted. There are two distinct types of communication channels: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous channels involve communication are present. Examples of synchronous channels include face-to-face co chats, and telephone conversations.

Asynchronous communication can be sent and received at different points in time. Examples of this type of channel are text serve as reminders of what has been done and what needs to be done, which can prove to beneficial in a fast-paced health care setting. Some of the disadvantages associated with communication through asynchronous channels are that the sender does not know when the other person will receive the message.

Mix-ups and errors can easily occur when clarification is not readily available. On the other hand, when an urgent situation arises, as they commonly do in a hospital environment, communication through synchronous channels is ideal. Benefits of synchronous communication include immediate message delivery, and fewer chances of misunderstandings and miscommunications. A disadvantages of synchronous communication is that it can be difficult to retain, recall, and organize the information that has been given in a verbal message.

This is especially true when copious amounts of data have been communicated in a short amount of time. When used appropriately, synchronous and asynchronous communication channels are both efficient ways to communicate and are vital to the functioning of hospitals. When mistakes occur in hospitals, more often than not, they are a result of communication problems rather than just errors in judgment or negligence. Linguistics is primarily the study of language that is divided into three broad aspects including the form of language, the meaning of language, and the context or function of language.

The first aspect, form is based on the words and sounds of language and uses the words to make sentences that make sense. The second aspect, meaning, focuses on the meaning and significance of the words and sentences that human beings have put together. The third aspect, function, or context is based on recognizing the meaning of the words and sentences being said and using them to understand why a person is communicating.

Culture is a human made concept that helps to define the beliefs, values, attitudes, and customs of a group of people that have similarities to one another in relation to language and location that have helped the people to survive more throughout time. High-culture is seen as the part of culture that includes a set of cultural aspects mainly focusing on the arts, such as music, drama and others. Those that are of higher esteem and can access these aspects mostly are a part of this. Low-culture in contrast, has a massive audience and is a term more for popular culture.

Culture has a strong dependence on communication because of the help it provides in the process of exchanging information in the objective to transmit ideas, feelings, and specific situations present in the person's mind. It is stressed that there is an importance of cultural safety which is the recognition of social, economic and political positions of individuals before beginning communication. After the initial understanding of culture then communication takes place. Communication between cultures can be done through Verbal communication or Nonverbal communication with a sender and a receiver present.

There is emphasis on acknowledgement and understanding of values, beliefs, emotions and behaviours of culturally competent individuals so you are able to adapt and decode the message and respond appropriately. Culture has influenced Verbal communication in a variety of ways. Linguistics is a large factor in relation to this because different cultures have different language barriers. If there is a language barrier between the sender and receiver attempt to seek clarification, do not try not to interpret the meanings of the message.

We live in a multicultural time, and this plays an important factor in considering that each individual has their own languages, beliefs and values that are allowed to be expressed. Culture has an influence on our Nonverbal communication in a variety of different factors. For example, in some cultures eye contact is not essential, therefore those who do use eye contact may find it hard to talk or listen to someone who is not looking at them.

An example is that culture has a strong process of dependence on communication in the professional field. Still, language can be expressed in different aspects although the most common process is the verbal and nonverbal communication. Hence, body language does a key factor in the process to communicate and interact which other. For example, the nurse-patient relationship is primarily mediated by verbal and nonverbal communication, so both aspects need to be understood.

The development of communication throughout one's lifetime is crucial because it is required in almost every aspect of human life. Majority of language development happens during infancy and early childhood. It is very important that infants learn the principles of communication earlier on in their development. The following information can be used to adapt to the specific attributes in each level of development in order to effectively communicate with an individual of these ages. Uncertainty reduction theory comes from the sociopsychological perspective. It addresses the basic process of how we gain knowledge about other people.

According to the theory, people have difficulty with uncertainty. They want to be able to predict behavior, and therefore, they are motivated to seek more information about people. The theory argues that strangers, upon meeting, go through certain steps and checkpoints in order to reduce uncertainty about each other and form an idea of whether one likes or dislikes the other. As we communicate, we are making plans to accomplish our goals. At highly uncertain moments, we become more vigilant and rely more on data available in the situation. When we are less certain, we lose confidence in our own plans and make contingency plans.

How To Improve Communication With Your Spouse

The theory also says that higher levels of uncertainty create distance between people and that non-verbal expressiveness tends to help reduce uncertainty. Constructs include level of uncertainty, nature of the relationship and ways to reduce uncertainty. Underlying assumptions include that an individual will cognitively process the existence of uncertainty and take steps to reduce it. The boundary conditions for this theory are that there must be some kind of outside social situation trigger and internal cognitive process.

Uncertainty Reduction Theory is most applicable to the initial interaction context, and in response to this limited context, scholars have extended the uncertainty framework with theories that describe uncertainty manangement , more broadly, and motivated information management. These subsequent theories give a broader conceptualization of how uncertainty operates in interpersonal communication as well as how uncertainty motivates individuals to seek information. Social exchange theory falls under the symbolic interaction perspective.

The theory predicts, explains, and describes when and why people reveal certain information about themselves to others. The social exchange theory uses Thibaut and Kelley's theory of interdependence. Social exchange theory argues the major force in interpersonal relationships is the satisfaction of both people's self-interest. Theorists say self-interest is not necessarily a bad thing and that it can actually enhance relationships.

According to the theory, human interaction is like an economic transaction, in that you may seek to maximize rewards and minimize costs. You will reveal information about yourself when the cost-rewards ratio is acceptable to you. As long as rewards continue to outweigh costs, a couple will become increasingly intimate by sharing more and more personal information. The constructs of this theory include discloser, relational expectations, and perceived rewards or costs in the relationship.

Levinger , discussed marital success as dependent on all the rewarding things within the relationship, such as emotional security and sexual fulfillment. He also argued that marriages either succeed or fail based on the barriers to leave the relationship, like financial hardships, and the presence of alternative attractions, like infidelity. Levinger stated that marriages will fail when the attractions of the partners lessen, the barriers to leave the spouse are weak, and the alternatives outside of the relationship are appealing. The underlying assumptions include that humans weigh out rewards versus costs when developing a relationship.

The boundary conditions for this theory are that at least two people must be having some type of interaction. Symbolic interaction comes from the sociocultural perspective in that it relies on the creation of shared meaning through interactions with others. This theory focuses on the ways in which people form meaning and structure in society through interactions.

People are motivated to act based on the meanings they assign to people, things, and events. Symbolic interaction argues the world is made up of social objects that are named and have socially determined meanings. When people interact over time, they come to shared meaning for certain terms and actions and thus come to understand events in particular ways. There are three main concepts in this theory: society, self, and mind. Constructs for this theory include creation of meaning, social norms, human interactions, and signs and symbols.

An underlying assumption for this theory is that meaning and social reality are shaped from interactions with others and that some kind of shared meaning is reached. The boundary conditions for this theory are there must be numerous people communicating and interacting and thus assigning meaning to situations or objects. A dialectical approach to interpersonal communication was developed by scholars Leslie Baxter and Barbara Montgomery. Their dialectical approach revolves around the notions of contradiction, change, praxis, and totality. Influenced by Hegel, Marx, and Bakhtin, the dialectical approach is informed by an epistemology that refers to a method of reasoning by which one searches for understanding through the tension of opposing arguments.

Utilizing the dialectical approach, Baxter and Montgomery developed two types of dialectics that function in interpersonal relationships: internal and external. These include autonomy-connection, novelty-predictability, openness-closedness. In order to understand relational dialectics theory, we must first understand specifically what encompasses the term discourse. Therefore, discourses are "systems of meaning that are uttered whenever we make intelligible utterances aloud with others or in our heads when we hold internal conversations".

This theory also poses the primary assumption that, "Dialogue is simultaneously unity and difference". However, it also shows how the meanings within our conversations may be interpreted, understood, and of course misunderstood. So, if we assume the stance that all of our discourse, whether in external conversations or internally within ourselves, has competing properties, then we can take relational dialectics theory and look at what the competing discourses are in our conversations, and then analyze how this may have an effect on various aspects of our lives.

Numerous examples of this can be seen in the daily communicative acts we participate in. However, dialectical tensions within our discourses can most likely be seen in interpersonal communication due to the close nature of interpersonal relationships. The well known proverb "opposites attract, but birds of a feather flock together" exemplifies these dialectical tensions.

In order to understand relational dialectics theory, one must also be aware of the assumption that there are three different types of relational dialectics. These consist of connectedness and separateness, certainty and uncertainty, and openness and closedness. Most individuals naturally desire to have a close bond in the interpersonal relationships we are a part of. However, it is also assumed that no relationship can be enduring without the individuals involved within it also having their time alone to themselves.

Individuals who are only defined by a specific relationship they are a part of can result in the loss of individual identity. Individuals desire a sense of assurance and predictability in the interpersonal relationships they are a part of.


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However, they also desire having a variety in their interactions that come from having spontaneity and mystery within their relationships as well. Like repetitive work, relationships that become bland and monotonous are undesirable. In close interpersonal relationships, individuals may often feel a pressure to reveal personal information. This assumption can be supported if one looks at the postulations within social penetration theory, which is another theory used often within the study of communication.

This tension may also spawn a natural desire to keep an amount of personal privacy from other individuals. The struggle in this sense, illustrates the essence of relational dialectics. Coordinated management of meaning is a theory assuming that two individuals engaging in an interaction are each constructing their own interpretation and perception behind what a conversation means. A core assumption within this theory includes the belief that all individuals interact based on rules that are expected to be followed while engaging in communication. There are two different types of rules that individuals can apply in any communicative situation.

These include constitutive and regulative rules. An example of this can be seen if one thinks of a hypothetical situation in which two individuals are engaging in conversation. If one individual sends a message to the other, the message receiver must then take that interaction and interpret what it means. Often, this can be done on an almost instantaneous level because the interpretation rules applied to the situation are immediate and simple. This simply depends on each communicator's previous beliefs and perceptions within a given context and how they can apply these rules to the current communicative interaction.

Important to understand the constructs of this theory is the fact that these "rules" of meaning "are always chosen within a context". The authors of this theory believe that there are a number of different context an individual can refer to when interpreting a communicative event. These include the relationship context, the episode context, the self-concept context, and the archetype context.

Furthermore, Pearce and Cronen believe that these specific contexts exist in a hierarchical fashion. This theory assumes that the bottom level of this hierarchy consists of the communicative act. Next, the hierarchy exists within the relationship context, then the episode context, followed by the self-concept context, and finally the archetype context.

Developed by Irwin Altman and Dallas Taylor, the social penetration theory was made to provide conceptual framework that describes the development in interpersonal relationships. This theory refers to the reciprocity of behaviors between two people who are in the process of developing a relationship. The behaviors vary based on the different levels of intimacy that a relationship encounters. This theory is best known as the "onion theory".

This analogy suggests that like an onion, personalities have "layers" that start from the outside what the public sees all the way to the core one's private self. Often, when a relationship begins to develop, it is customary for the individuals within the relationship to undergo a process of self-disclosure.

There are four different stages that social penetration theory encompasses. These stages include the orientation, exploratory affective exchange, affective exchange, and stable exchange: [56]. If a person speeds through the stages and happens to share too much information too fast, the receiver may view that interaction as negative and a relationship between the two is less likely to form.

Altman and Taylor believed the social exchange theory principles could accurately predict whether or not people will risk self-disclosure.

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The principles included, relational outcome, relational stability, and relational satisfaction. This theory assumes that the possible outcome is the stance that which the decision making process of how much information an individual chooses to self disclose is rooted by weighing out the costs and rewards that an individual may acquire when choosing to share personal information. Due to ethical egoism , individuals try to maximize their pleasure and minimize their pain; acting from the motive of self-interest. An example of the social penetration theory can be seen when one thinks of a hypothetical situation such as meeting someone for the first time.

The depth of penetration is the degree of intimacy a relationship has accomplished. When two individuals meet for the first time, it is the cultural expectation that only impersonal information will be exchanged. This could include information such as names, occupations, age of the conversation participants, as well as various other impersonal information. However, if both members participating in the dialogic exchange decide that they would like to continue or further the relationship, with the continuation of message exchanges, the more personal the information exchanged will become.

Altman and Taylor defined these as the depth and breadth of self-disclosure. According to Griffin, the definition of depth is "the degree of disclosure in a specific area of an individuals life" and the definition of breadth is "the range of areas in an individual's life over which disclosure takes place. Altman and Taylor discussed the process of four observations that are the reasons a relationship occurs:. Also important to note, is the fact that due to current communicative exchanges involving a high amount of computer mediated contexts in which communication occurs, this area of communication should be addressed in regard to social penetration theory as well.

Online communication seems to follow a different set of rules. Rather than slowly disclosing personal thoughts, emotions, and feelings to others, anonymous individuals online are able to disclose personal information immediately and without the consequence of having their identity revealed. Ledbetter notes that Facebook users self-disclose by posting personal information, pictures, hobbies, and messages. The study finds that the user's level of self-disclosure is directly related to the level of interdependence on others. This may result in negative psychological and relational outcomes as studies show that people are more likely to disclose more personal information than they would in face to face communication, primarily due to the heightened level of control within the context of the online communication medium.

In other words, those with poor social skills may prefer the medium of Facebook to show others who they are because they have more control. The reason that self disclosure is labeled as risky, is because, individuals often undergo a sense of uncertainty and susceptibility in revealing personal information that has the possibility of being judged in a negative way by the receiver. Hence, the reason that face-to-face communication must evolve in stages when an initial relationship develops. Their theory became the foundation from which scholars in the field of communication approached the study of relationships.

The Palo Alto Group maintains that a person's presence alone results in them, consciously or not, expressing things about themselves and their relationships with others i. This ubiquitous interaction leads to the establishment of "expectations" and "patterns" which are used to determine and explain relationship types. Individuals enter communication with others having established expectations for their own behavior as well as the behavior of those they are communicating with.

These expectations are either reinforced during the interaction, or new expectations are established which will be used in future interactions. These new expectations are created by new patterns of interaction, established expectations are a result of established patterns of interaction. Established patterns of interaction are created when a trend occurs regarding how two people interact with each other.

There are two patterns of particular importance to the theory which form two kinds of relationships. These relationships are established when the pattern of interaction is defined by two people responding to one and other in the same way. This is a common pattern of interaction within power struggles. These relationships are established when the pattern of interaction is defined by two people responding to one and other in opposing ways. An example of such a relationship would be when one person is argumentative while the other is quiet.


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  • Relational control refers to who, within a relationship, is in control of it. The pattern of behavior between partners over time, not any individual's behavior, defines the control within a relationship. A complementary exchange occurs when a partner asserts a one-up message which the other partner responds to with a one-down response.

    When complementary exchanges are frequently occurring within a relationship, and the parties at each end of the exchange tend to remain uniform, it is a good indication of a complementary relationship existing. Symmetrical exchanges occur when one partner's assertion is countered with a reflective response. So, when a one-up assertion is met with a one-up response, or when a one-down assertions is met with a one-down response, a symmetrical exchange occurs. When symmetrical exchanges are frequently occurring within a relationship, it is a good indication of a symmetrical relationship existing.

    Socionics has proposed a theory of intertype relationships between psychological types based on a modified version of C. Jung 's theory of psychological types. Socionics allocates 16 types of the relations — from most attractive and comfortable up to disputed. The understanding of a nature of these relations helps to solve a number of problems of the interpersonal relations, including aspects of psychological and sexual compatibility.

    The researches of married couples by Aleksandr Bukalov et al. The study of socionic type allocation in casually selected married couples confirmed the main rules of the theory of intertype relations in socionics. Cupach, identity-management theory explains the establishment, development, and maintenance of identities within relationships, as well as changes which occur to identities due to relationships. People establish their identities or faces , and their partners, through a process referred to as "facework".

    This desired identity can be both threatened and supported by attempting to negotiate a relational identity the identity one shares with their partner. So, our desired identity is directly influenced by our relationships, and our relational identity by our desired individual identity.

    Identity-management pays significant attention to intercultural relationships and how they affect the relational and individual identities of those involved. How partners of different cultures negotiate with each other, in an effort to satisfy desires for adequate autonomous identities and relational identities, is important to identity-management theory.

    People take different approaches to coping with this problem of cultural influence. Showing support for oneself, indicating positive aspects of one's cultural identity, and having a good sense of humor are examples of coping mechanisms used by people who feel their identities are being frozen. It is also not uncommon for people in such positions to react negatively, and cope by stereotyping their partner, or totally avoiding the tension. When tension is due to a partner feeling that their cultural identity is being ignored, it is referred to as a nonsupport problem.

    This is a threat to one's face, and individuals often cope with it in the same ways people cope with identity freezing. Self-other faceground, giving in, alternating in their support of each identity, and also by avoiding the issue completely. Identity management is an ongoing process which Imahori and Cupach define as having three relational stages. The trial stage occurs at the beginning of an intercultural relationship when partners are beginning to explore their cultural differences. During this stage, each partner is attempting to determine what cultural identities they want for the relationship.

    At this stage, cultural differences are significant barriers to the relationship and it is critical for partners to avoid identity freezing and nonsupport. During this stage, individuals are more willing to risk face threats to establish a balance necessary for the relationship. The enmeshment stage occurs when a relational identity emerges with established common cultural features. During this stage, the couple becomes more comfortable with their collective identity and the relationship in general.

    The renegotiation stage sees couples working through identity issues and drawing on their past relational history while doing so. A strong relational identity has been established by this stage and couples have mastered dealing with cultural differences. It is at this stage that cultural difference become part of the relationships and not a tension within them.

    Of the socio-cultural tradition, communication privacy management theory is concerned with how people negotiate openness and privacy in concern to communicated information. This theory focuses on how people in relationships manage boundaries which separate the public from the private. An individual's private information is protected by the individual's boundaries. The permeability of these boundaries are ever changing, and allow certain parts of the public, access to certain pieces of information belonging to the individual.

    This sharing occurs only when the individual has weighed their need to share the information against their need to protect themselves. This risk assessment is used by couples when evaluating their relationship boundaries. The disclosure of private information to a partner may result in greater intimacy, but it may also result in the discloser becoming more vulnerable. When someone chooses to reveal private information to another person, they are making that person a co-owner of the information.

    Co-ownership comes with rules, responsibilities, and rights which the discloser of the information and receiver of it negotiate. Examples of such rules would be: Can the information be disclosed? When can the information be disclosed? To whom can the information be disclosed? And how much of the information can be disclosed? The negotiation of these rules can be complex, the rules can be explicit as well as implicit, and they can be violated. What Petronio refers to as "boundary turbulence" occurs when rules are not mutually understood by co-owners, and when a co-owner of information deliberately violates the rules.

    This usually results in some kind of conflict, is not uncommon, and often results in one party becoming more apprehensive about future revelation of information to the violator. The theory of cognitive dissonance, part of the Cybernetic Tradition, explains how humans are consistency seekers and attempt to reduce their dissonance, or discomfort, in new situations.

    When individuals encounter new information or new experiences, they categorize the information based on their preexisting attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs. If the new encounter does not coincide with their preexisting assumptions, then dissonance is likely to occur. When dissonance does occur, individuals are motivated to reduce the dissonance they experience by avoiding situations that would either cause the dissonance or increase the dissonance. For this reason, cognitive dissonance is considered a drive state that encourages motivation to achieve consonance and reduce dissonance.

    An example of cognitive dissonance would be if someone holds the belief that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important, but they don't regularly work out or eat healthy. They may experience dissonance between their beliefs and their actions. If there is a significant amount of dissonance, they may be motivated to change their attitudes and work out more or eat healthier foods. They may also be inclined to avoid situations that will point out the fact that their attitudes and beliefs are inconsistent, such as avoiding the gym or not reading health reports.

    According to cognitive dissonance theory, there are three types of cognitive relationships: consonant relationships, dissonant relationships, and irrelevant relationships. Consonant relationships are when two elements, such as your beliefs and actions, are in equilibrium with each other or coincide. Dissonant relationships are when two elements are not in equilibrium and cause dissonance.

    Irrelevant relationships are when two elements do not possess a meaningful relationship with one another, they are unrelated and do not cause dissonance. Attribution theory is part of the sociopsychological tradition and explains how individuals go through a process that makes inferences about observed behavior. Attribution theory assumes that we make attributions, or social judgments, as a way to clarify or predict behavior. Attribution theory assumes that we are sense-making creatures and that we draw conclusions of the actions that we observe. An example of this process is when a student fails a test, an observer may choose to attribute that action to 'internal' causes, such as insufficient study, laziness, or have a poor work ethic.

    The action might also be attributed to 'external' factors such as the difficulty of the test, or real-world stressors that led to distraction. We also make attributions of our own behavior. As we make attributions, we may fall victim to the fundamental attribution error which is when we overemphasize internal attributions for others and underestimate external attributions. Similar to the fundamental attribution error, we may overestimate external attributions for our own behavior and underestimate internal attributions. Expectancy violations theory is part of the sociopsychological tradition, and explains the relationship between non-verbal message production and the interpretations people hold for those non-verbal behaviors.

    Individuals hold certain expectations for non-verbal behavior that is based on the social norms, past experience and situational aspects of that behavior. When expectations are either met or violated, we make assumptions of the behavior and judge them to be positive or negative. When a deviation of expectations occurs, there is an increased interest in the situation, also known as arousal. There are two types of arousal:. When an expectation is not met, we hold particular perceptions as to whether or not that violation is considered rewarding. How an individual evaluates the interaction will determine how they view the positive or negative impact of the violation.

    The study of proxemics was originated by Edward T. The study of proxemics focuses on the use of space to communicate. According to Edward T. Hall's Theory of Personal Space, there are four spaces in which we situate our bodies to communicate. Dyadic communication is the part of a relationship that calls for "something to happen". Partners will either talk or argue with one another during this point of a relationship to bring about change. When partners talk or argue with one another, the relationship may still survive at this point. Bochner stresses inherent dialectic in interpersonal communication as the key to healthy marital dyads.

    He proposes that people in intimate relationships are looking to find an equilibrium point between needing to be open with their partner and needing to protect their partner from the consequences of this openness. Therefore, the communication in romantic, long-term relationships can be viewed as a balance between hiding and revealing.

    Taking this theory even further, communication within marriages can be viewed as a continuing refinement and elimination of conversational material. The partners of the marriage will still have things to discuss, but as their relationship and communication grows, they can decide when to not speak about an issue, because in complex relationships like marriage, anything can become an issue.