Everyone remembers his or her first relationship because it is a chapter in your life. I can look at my first relationship, recognize and apply the class material and analyze the relationship. Every interpersonal relationship involves some degree of emotion, both facilitative and debilitative with both people constructing and improving the weak points. I will be discussing a two and one half year relationship I had with an ex-boyfriend whom I will call John. This relationship was my first and only long-term relationship that I feel is perfect for this assignment because we went through various stages of Knapp’s model.
I will be analyzing our relationship using Mark Knapp’s model of relationship development, the transactional model of communication, and the Johari Window. I decided to use this relationship as an attempt to analyze the relationship and not let my perception; self-serving bias or personal constructs get in the way, which is difficult to do when you can take a cognitive complexity approach. During the process of analyzing our relationship and writing this paper I realized that was I was at fault at times and saw my flaws. Since taking this class I can only improve my communication for the future.
My junior year of high school, I moved to a new town in Rhode Island. I was sad and my parents felt guilty for they finally gave me the independence I craved when I got my license and car. I joined sports teams, made friends with the “popular crowd” got a job and had a positive self- esteem. I found a place in my high school and was truly happy with my life. My reference group in school was a “popular jock” since I excelled in sports and made friends with the in crowd, my impression management led me to believe that and identify with that crowd. I would not consider the term “ popular jock” as a stereotype, but rather an identity circle since the majority of my time was spent practicing or hanging out with other student athletes at my school. With my new circle of friends I met John, he was the typical good-looking football player, popular, liked by all and surprisingly very smart. Because of his physical appearance I had instantly given him the halo effect. He was always in the newspaper for honor roll or starring in his games so I assumed he must have positive attributes that go along with perceptual schema. After winning the homecoming game we went to Friendly’s to celebrate and I took advantage of the chance to introduce my self to John. I took the seat directly across from him because I thought this would be the best to get noticed. His interaction style was similar to my own style; he was outgoing, witty and polite. I admired his psychological traits of confidence and happiness; he just radiated a sense of influence. From his nonverbal ques, eye contact, personal distance, touching my arm (haptics) his smile, I could feel myself becoming attracted to John (kinesics). According to Knapp’s model this is the initiating stage of the relationship, the initial attraction because we were just starting to “hit it off”. I had a hunch that the attraction was mutual because he asked if I wanted to eat lunch with him the next day and hugged me goodbye. My interpretation of his behavior was correct because John and I began to have lunch everyday and seeing each other outside of school. According to the transactional model of communication, people communicate and convey messages through channels. Channels are not face-to-face and John and I started text messaging and talking on the phone. Looking back I see our breadth and depth of disclosure only occurring the most through texting and phone conversations than face to face interaction. He asked me out on our first date through a text message which was weird, but I was still excited. He had a great presenting self-image by being clean cut and well mannered. He even brought flowers for my mother and myself. My parents are very concerned with first impressions, but were...
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