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RELATIONAL DIALECTICS THEORY Maintains that what characterizes relational life is ongoing tensions between contradictory deires Although we are not always able to resolve contradictions, we can be comfortable believing inconsistent things about relationships Assumptions of Relational Dialectics Theory Relationships are not linear Relationships that progress are pictures as having elements (intimacy, self-disclosure, certainty) than those that don’t progress Relational life is characterized by change Two people are different today than at the start of the relationship Contradiction is the fundamental fact of relational life Tensions between opposing desires never go away Communication is central to organizing and negotiating relational contradictions Autonomy and connection Openness and protection Novelty and predictability Central Dialectical Tensions Refers to our simultaneous desire to be independent and to be bonded with significant others Relational life is filled with conflicting desires to be both close to and separate from relational
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Unformatted text preview: partners Openness & Protection Focuses on our conflicting desires to be open and vulnerable to our relational partners while at the same time to be strategic and self-protective in our communication “intrapersonal dialectic” of disclosure – gradual and incremental process of disclosure, ranging from concealment to full reevaluation Novelty & Predictability Our desire for both the comfort of stablity and excitement of change Interplay of certainty and uncertainty in relationships 4 main management strategies for Coping with Dialectical Tensions Cyclic alternation People alternate between 2 opposites at different times in their relationship Segmentation Identifying separate arenas for emphasizing each of the opposites Selection Making a choice between the opposites Integration Synthesis 3 forms: Neutralizing Compromising between the polarities Disqualifying Exempting certain issues from the general pattern Reframing Transforming it so it no longer seems to contain an opposition...
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  • Spring '12
  • LarryNadler
  • Marxism, Dialectic, Relational dialectics, relational dialectics theory, Assumptions of Relational Dialectics Theory Relationships, relational life Tensions

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