How Conflict Can Be Normal In All Relationships
While conflict can be normal in all relationships, it should be a last resort by all means. Relationships should be a mutual effort and be based on communication. Reason being, it can lead to an unhealthy relationship, create a negative perception of the relationship, and lead to frustration along with a slew of other emotions. The interview I choose to do was with my fiancé. The interview came with perfect timing as I just recently purposed to her after a long-lasting relationship.
The first question I asked from the prompt was “How did the relationship get started? What was the first impression?” She quickly pointed to how we met in high school our freshman year. She had just moved to Columbia and she got transferred to my art class. She said I stuck out to her instantly and that she started watching my demeanor and the type of person I was. She said she quickly noticed how kind I was to her and how I always cracked jokes at an attempt to get her to laugh or smile. She said she knew it was genuine because I even made attempts at getting our less than likable teacher we shared together. Who occasionally enlightened me with a chuckle or two herself. She then went on to explain how I always made an effort to communicate with her and how big a deal that was to her. Explaining that taking the time to respect her and her wishes meant the world to her. It seemed it’s all been history since then, which would have been seven years ago. The second question was, “what is your biggest fear?” This one was a little bit shorter in terms of length. But pretty self-explanatory, for this relationship to end or fall apart in some way. She doesn’t like to go too in depth over it, because who wants to think of negative possibilities in the first place? But to go a little deeper into this question, she explained it’s like starting over. Like taking everything described in the first question and then just throwing it away. The best description of fear is simply the definition. “an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.” The third question asked was, “what are the advantages of the relationship?” Of course, with this one she immediately pointed to there being zero disadvantages, and that this is all she’s ever wanted. But after asking her to think a little more in depth about it, she came back with this. The advantages are endless in terms of always having someone to rely on, trust, spend time with, and grow with. Outside of that, always receiving the respect she felt she deserved. Always receiving the support necessary when unexpected life events happen. Lastly, being able to share the world with someone that you love. Which I couldn’t have agreed with more.
When going about listing the terms or concepts discussed in chapters eight through ten of this week’s readings, I found multiple definitions that directly related to our interview. Starting with respect. The book defines the term as “A response to cultural diversity in which one values others’ customs, traditions, and values even if one does not actively incorporate them into one’s life.” This one has affected our relationship the most by far. When I first met my fiancé this was the attribute that made her want to learn more about me and made her show the interest she had in myself. Without it, not only is there no communication. But we find that couples don’t take each other’s feelings into consideration, which comes into play when making decisions. This has to be the basis of the relationship or you can be sure to face problem after problem. The second term I picked was equity theory. Defined as “The theory that people are happier and more satisfied with equitable relationships than inequitable ones. In equitable relationships, partners perceive the benefits and costs of the relationship as about equal for each of them.” I picked this one because although we tease each other every now and then, this means a lot when not only positive things happen but how they are perceived. It’s easy for us to take a selfish approach when we are rewarded, but really, it’s how we share the wealth that truly represents the situation. Over the course of time, no matter how strong a relationship is. If one person involved is receiving an unfair amount of an exchange, the other will notice it, and then question why the split wasn’t even regardless of who did what. Or how much effort was put into place. With our relationship, what’s mine is hers and vice versa. The only time the thought of it being otherwise should come into your head, is when that’s being taken advantage of, and there’s no communication revolving that. Which is a case by case basis and has never been a worry in our relationship. Mostly due to the fact that both us were independent individuals and like to be financially accountable.
The last term I choose to pick was low context communication. Defined as “Language that is very explicit, detailed, and precise; generally used in individualistic cultures.” I picked this one last because it defined our communication style. Everybody we knew whether they be friends or family members, often always commented on how well we communicated. Often times wondering what was so different about us. It wasn’t just the fact that we did communicate, it was how. By being descriptive, always saying how we felt, describing everything detail to detail, was how we made it work. We both always wanted to keep each other in the loop and always wanted to be informed. Having that to me, is irreplaceable and one of the biggest reasons why I purposed to her.
In conclusion, conflict can be normal in all relationships, however, it’s how you respond to that and show it’s a mutual effort and based on communication that truly shows the strength of a relationship.
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