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Relationship is the manner in which two or more people act towards each other. Most relationships are founded on friendship. Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between two or more people. Friendship is very essential in a relationship. The reason is that it prevents many illicit acts from happening. In this case, my friend’s name is Danny. Our friendship has begun in recent days. According to Knapp’s model of relationships, any relationship is based on mutual understanding, which can be established in interpersonal communication. It indicates that a relationship has to entail communication in order to move to the next level. Knapp also analyzes how relationships begin and the manner in which they end.
Knapp analyzes ten stages in which relationships begin and end. Five of the relationship stages describe when a relationship begins while the other five show the manner in which it ends (Knapp and Vangelisti). The first stage is the initiation stage. When people meet, they ask each other’s names, among other questions. They could even begin with greetings. For instance, when I met my friend, we had simple greetings, after which we exchanged our names. From that time, I knew Danny by his name.
The second stage is the experimentation stage. At this stage, individuals begin to get to know each other. After hearing Danny’s name, I could not pass him without exchanging a few words with him. He told me where he came from, his favorites, interests, among other personal aspects. Since I was in the same college, we began to know each other in detail. Our relationship went to the intensifying stage as it is depicted by Knapp. In this stage, we could tell our deep secrets. I began to know his family better. He told me his weaknesses and strengths as I told him mine. The relationship began to be less formal, and we spent most of our free time together. We could go out together and exchange gifts. Atthis stage, we were committed to developing the relationship since we had many things in common.
Knapp indicates that relationships grow day by day (Knapp and Vangelisti). Our relationship became much closer and moved to the integration stage. We could hardly spend a day without seeing each other. Everyone in our college knew that we were friends with Danny. Whenever one wanted to get me, he or she could always find me in the company of my friend. The relationship then moved to the bonding stage as it is depicted in Knapp’s staircase model. Everyone in our class was officially notified that we had become friends forever. It was confirmed by a firm handshake, after which we had a simple hug.
Knapp points out that most relationships are likely to reach a climax, which is the bonding stage, after which they begin deteriorating (Knapp and Vangelisti). When a relationship is in the termination level, it is possible to end. It is explained by the following levels as extracted from Knapp’s staircase model. Individuals who are in a relationship begin differentiating after a certain period of their friendship. This stage is brought about by external pressures. For example, individuals in a relationship could differ in a particular way, such as a hobby. One person may decide to do what the other does not want. The relationship could begin deteriorating from that moment. My relationship has not reached this phase. Alternatively, I have witnessed other relationships going through this phase. The situation is embarrassing, and, therefore, one would not wish to go through the same.
The second stage of falling apart in a relationship is circumscribing. When partners differ, they are likely to limit their conversations. They also set up boundaries in their communication. As it is noted earlier, a relationship that is not based on interpersonal communication is not possible to progress. These individuals may not have the prrevious talks and could hardly spend their time together. In this way, the relationship deteriorates slowly. Persons may not discuss problems in fear of arguments. They can also not have time for personal communication and other mutual activities. I have seen a friend going through this stage. The partners had disagreements with one another almost all the time.
When a relationship moves in the above mentioned manner, it is likely to stagnate. It is the decline of communication, which could lead to separation. Knapp indicates that relationships at this stage may not develop and continue as there is no communication (Knapp and Vangelisti). A gap is created in the relationship, leading to communication breakdown. The relationship then moves to the avoidance stage. At this stage, partners are likely to avoid each other. For example, a friend of mine used to spend time with her partner. When their relationship reached this phase, they were not seen together and never had contacts with each other anymore. In many of the relationships at this stage, parties restrict their communication in order to avoid arguments as it is noted earlier. It should be mentioned that individuals at this stage of a relationship may use different paths to avoid meeting the other partner as it was with my friend.
When relationships reach the avoiding stage, they may not be revived or continued as it is noted in the above context. They often lead to the terminating stage as it is depicted by Knapp and Vangelisti. It is the final stage of the relationship. When there is a communication breakdown, the relationship will definitely terminate. Partners take diverse paths and go on with their lives. Termination can occur when individuals leave college or change their subjects of study. In this case, they are not likely to see each other, leading to the breakdown of communication. Therefore, communication is the basis of any relationship and could prevent a friendship from terminating.
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