Stages of Interpersonal Relationships
An interpersonal relationship is the strong association among individuals who share the same goals and interest. The sense of commitment, loyalty and trust is very important in a relationship. Individuals should respect and trust their partners so as to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings in relationships. Relationships take time to grow and blossom. All relationships have to go through different phases, some stages are easy to pass by but some are very complicated. There are about five stages in relationships (Knapp, Vangelisti, & Caughlin, 2014). The first stage is known as acquaintance, forming relationships is preceded by knowing each other well first. Secondly, there is the build up stage and the individuals are no longer strangers because they have started to trust each other. The third stage is known as the continuation stage. In the third stage, the relationships blossom into lasting commitments. The fourth stage is the deterioration stage, here trust and compatibility begins to reduce and misunderstandings lead to serous troubles in the relationship. The final stage is the termination stage and it signifies the end of the relationship. However, it is possible to sustain relationships to extended periods by maintaining levels of trust with each other.
All through my life I have formed very important relationships but three of them stand out to me the most. The first relationship I would like to single out is the one I have with my mother. Secondly, my relationship with my bets friend John is also one that I appreciate very much. Finally, the relationship that I have with my girlfriend Mary is something that I have learnt to value very much through the years that we have been together. I think that I have learnt a lot about myself in the relationships that I have had with my mother. At times I am tempted to think that she knows more about me than I actually know. For example, there were times that I was struggling with my education she encouraged me and told me that I had it in me and it actually works. As a result, I knew that I have the potential to succeed but I have to work hard to unlock my potential. My relationship with John has taught me the value of loyalty. I have understood that friends are supposed to be there for one another despite the circumstances. In my relationship with Mary I have come to understand that trust is the cornerstone of relationships.
In the relationship with my mother I mostly expected support. In my relationship with John expected a lot of companionship and in my relationship with Mary I expected understanding and love. There are no communication rules between my mother and myself only that I have to accord her the requisite respect. I cannot use some words when I am around her because they might sound disrespectful. However, when am with John and Mary there are no reservations in my speech. When I am with my mother I only reveal my conservative side. On the other hand, I feel that I do not have anything to hide when I am with John. In the early days of my relationship with Mary I did not reveal myself completely. However, with time I feel that I have revealed my true personality to her bit by bit. In the case of Mary I thins that she also revealed her personality slowly but my mother and John have had the same personality since I knew them. In all my relationships, I have resolved my conflicts by apologizing first if I realize that I am the one in the wrong. If I am the one aggrieved I expect the other person to apologize and we can mend the relationship
The key to maintaining the best relationships lies with the
ability of an individual to understand the other individual. The rules of
engagement change depending on the personality of the partner and the type of
relationship that you have. However, there are common rules such as trust,
companionship and honesty. The stages of interpersonal relationship seem to
agree more with romantic relationships since they are more structured and
geared towards a certain outcome which is eventual marriage.
Knapp, M. L., Vangelisti, A. L., & Caughlin, J. P. (2014). Interpersonal Communication & Human Relationships. Pearson Higher Ed.