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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 7 Friendship 1 The Nature of Friendship
Friendships are based on the same building blocks of intimacy as romances are, but the mix of components is usually different. 2 The Nature of Friendship
Attributes of Friendship Friendships are characterized by three themes: – Caring and affection – Support and dependability – Enjoyment and fun – 3 The Nature of Friendship
Thus, friendship is: “a voluntary, personal relationship, typically providing intimacy and assistance, in which the two parties like each another and seek each other’s company.” (Fehr, 1996) 4 Attributes of Friendship
Compared to romances, friendships are:
– Less passionate – Less exclusive – Less confining, entailing fewer obligations to one’s partner 5 Attributes of Friendship
Still, rich friendships are intimate relationships, involving:
– respect – trust – responsiveness – capitalization – social support
6 Attributes of Friendship Responsiveness Capitalization Social support may be of three types: – Emotional support in the form of affection and acceptance – Advice support in the form of information and guidance – Material support in the form of money and goods
7 The Rules of Friendship
Rules for relationships are shared cultural beliefs about what behaviors friends should (and should not) perform. 8 The Rules of Friendship
Here are some examples of the rules: – – – – – – – – – – Volunteer help in time of need Trust and confide in each other Stand up for the other person in his or her absence Don’t criticize each other in public Show emotional support Strive to make him or her happy while in each other’s company Don’t be jealous or critical of each other’s relationships Share news of success with the other Ask for personal advice Don’t nag
9 Friendship Across the Life Cycle Infancy – Toddlers play together cooperatively and take evident pleasure in each other’s company. Childhood – Children’s friendships gradually become richer and more complex as they age. – Robert Selman recognized three stages of childhood friendships: Fairweather cooperation Intimatemutual sharing Autonomous interdependence
10 10 Friendship Across the Life Cycle
Different interpersonal needs may be preeminent at different ages:
– Acceptance during elementary school – Intimacy during middle school – Sexuality during high school 11 11 Adolescence Teens spend less and less time with their families and more and more time with their peers. Their social networks change over time, as samesex cliques are gradually replaced with romantic partnerships. Peer pressure reaches a peak around the age of fifteen. 12 12 Young Adulthood & Midlife
“Intimacy vs. Isolation” (E. Erikson)
A pattern of dyadic withdrawal occurs when people settle into romantic relationships: As they see more and more of a lover, they see less and less of their friends… 13 13 Old Age
Elderly people have smaller social networks than younger people do: They have just as many close friends, but they spend less time with casual friends. The best explanation comes from socioemotional selectivity theory, which holds that – because they’re focused on the present instead of the future – elderly people seek quality, not quantity in their close relationships. 14 14 Differences in Friendship Gender Differences in Samesex Friendships – Women’s friendships are characterized by emotional sharing and selfdisclosure. – Men’s friendships revolve around shared activities, companionship, and fun. 15 15 Differences in Friendship Individual Differences in Friendship
– Selfmonitoring – Need for intimacy – Depression 16 16 Is Friendship akin to kinship?
Fig. 2. A model of close relationships involving discrete mechanisms. This model conceptualizes close others as processed by distinct relationship modules, which, in turn, regulate distinct sets of programs related to altruistic behavior and sexual attraction for kin, friends, or mates. Positive associations are indicated by solid paths and negative associations by dotted paths, with the thickness of path lines indicating relative strength of association.
17 17 What’s Love got to do with it? Cross gender friendships, friends with benefits relationships (FWBR), Flovers While benefits are obvious – there are no explicit rules No guiding scripts Exchange relationship 18 18 ...
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- Spring '09