Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

Developing Relationships
Thomas Gordon
PSYC 2103
Dr. Tori Kearns
East Georgia State College

When it comes down to interacting between one another, there is variety of possibilities in the information being exchanged. Whether it is small talk, the bland and vague notions of communication just to pass the time, or meaningful conversations where as thoughts, ideas, feelings, and emotions are being sent back and forth via both parties. The sociocultural aspect of developing interpersonal relations with others brings people closer together or furthers them apart because of the deeper acknowledgement of one another’s morals, values, beliefs, goals and dreams.

First, every relationship starts with an initial interaction, of course. Some form of greeting is involved such as a gentle “Hello”. This may be exemplified as an individual seeking employment. In order to be acknowledged by said employer, the individual must meet face to face with their employer at some point in time. In this scenario, a first impression is very vital. Does the said individual present himself accordingly upon the first encounter? Does the said individual appear to care less about being beneficial towards the remainder of the staff of their potential job/career? Does the said individual know to behave formally in a professional setting? The slightest flaw, even if not recognized by the individual themselves, may jeopardize their probability of being employed. In the work environment, it is important to build good rapport with anyone one the line of staff whether it is the other employees or the employer. The mutual liking between the said individual and everyone else is undoubtedly more beneficial than being despised by everyone.

Outside of the workplace environment comes the development of actual friendships. At different ages, people make friends for different reasons. An elementary school student may say that somebody is friend because they both like the same activities or playing the same games. A young adult, for example, aged 18, may say that someone is their friend because they remained as a member of there social circle through good and bad times. “Witnessing another’s misfortune may provoke a shared sadness in one observer and a feeling of schadenfreude in another, a compassionate response, linked with the desire to help, in one or indifference, and no emotion altogether in another” (Kanske, 2018). Two important aspect of friendship are trust and honesty. Typically, an individual who genuinely cares for the emotional and physical well-being of another person would hope for the same in return, or at least not expect anything contradictory in return. Once a relationship has built up strength over time, both parties may begin comfortable to share thoughts and feelings that they would not just share with anybody they currently do associate with. Often, peers may share an embarrassing or sensitively viewed event that no other person previously had knowledge of. Confiding in one another displays the true strength of relationship.
On the other hand, it is still possible for these secrets to make their way out towards other people, unintentionally, from the start of the secret-holder their self. An event as such may result in the immediate termination of the relationship. In addition to the death of the relationship, the individual may also suffer rejection from their other peers and groups. Rejection sensitivity (RS) is described as “a cognitive-affective disposition that predisposes an individual to anxiously expect, readily perceive, and intensely react to rejection” (Downey ; Feldman, 1996). Different individuals are more, less, or about equal in sensitivity when it comes to being rejected Not all, but some individuals face rejection sensitivity in their daily lives.
It is more common for members of the same group be friends than with members of another. These groups may be categorized by race, ethnicity, religion. Younger individuals typically form friendships which “are more common between children and adolescents from the same race or ethnic group than between those from different groups, reflecting racial segregation in American society” (Cavanaugh, Kail 2016). Even if there is no racial tension present in the setting, an adolescent is likely to feel more comfortable to begin interacting with another member belonging to the same race due to the matter they are easily able to identify themselves with the other person. Scenarios as such are often induced by the way certain adolescents are raised by their parents. It is even more unlikely for a friendship to form between members of the opposite sex “because children typically play with same-sex peers, boys and girls rarely become friends” (Cavanaugh, Kail 2016).

Meanwhile, during the young adult stage, individuals may develop friendships via mutual interests. At this period of developing as a person, interpersonal relationships may be formed off the strength of mutual interests. This process also applies to adolescents, but at this point in an individual’s life, they are more mature and able to think more for themselves as opposed to dealing with a stricter regulation of social activity by parents. A hobby, for example, is one of my many activities than build and develop relationships between one another. Teammates in sports build bonds that may ultimately last for a lifetime. Take two teammates who have a passion for a sport that want to develop skills. Outside of practice, as opposed to where they are obligated to be with the group, they are likely to work on the skills together, while at the same time they strengthen their relationship each time they choose to get together. On the other hand, a mutual interest in a genre of music or even an artist, can bring two individuals closer together. A liking for a certain type of music can be viewed by others as how they feel. When two people feel similarly, they are more apt to be able to vibe with one another. As far as means of living is concerned, religion comes into play. Religion is usually placed upon adolescents by their parents and some other members of the family as well. Those who unify together in church services aim to connect with their higher power. As one can see, it is more likely for two individuals seeking the same higher power to develop a relationship with each other. In contrast, one individual who is deeply vested into their religion is less likely to develop a relationship with another person who does not believe in the same or any other religion at all.

Previously, the aspect of forming interpersonal relationships was discussed, but how are these relations maintained over time? Hard times can bring people together, yet they can also tear people apart, and in some cases, forever. Friends of those who show signs of support often represent socioemotional support. This is characterized by the perspective of one person being cared for by either just one other person, or many people. This aspect of support can be displayed in different forms, depending upon the race of the individual receiving support and the outside individual(s) providing support. “The idea is that beginning in early adolescence, many African American and Hispanic American teens take pride in belonging to a distinct social and cultural group, an accomplishment that raises their sense of self-worth” (Cavanaugh, Kail, 2016). Regardless of just having a support system, often these systems may be represented by individuals who join cliques, posses, gangs, and clubs. The general idea is that nobody inside the circle feels left out, and that they feel comfortable to have a group where they feel that they belong.

Overall, interpersonal relationships are developed via different scenarios and means of communication from one to another. Hobbies such as sports, leisure activities and other events unite people together whether it be by participation or entertainment. Also, other factors like a mutual taste in music or, belonging to the same religion are areas where two individuals first begin to get to know each other. Although, friendships are made along the path of life at different stages. These different stages of life often portray that individuals make friendships for different purposes. The development of interpersonal relations with others may either bring people closer together or furthers them apart because of the deeper acknowledgement of one another’s morals, values, beliefs, goals and dreams.

References
Bamford, J., ; Pollard, L. (2018). Developing Relationality and Student Belonging: The Need for Building Cosmopolitan Engagement in Undergraduate Communities. London Review of Education, 16(2), 214–227. Retrieved from http://proxygsu-egc1.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true;db=eric;AN=EJ1185788;site=eds-live;scope=site
Cain, N. M., De Panfilis, C., Meehan, K. B., ; Clarkin, J. F. (2017). A Multisurface Interpersonal Circumplex Assessment of Rejection Sensitivity. Journal Of Personality Assessment, 99(1), 35–45. https://doi.org/10.1080/00223891.2016.1186032Downey, G., ; Feldman, S. I. (1996). Implications of rejection sensitivity for intimate relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 1327–1343.

Kail, R. V., ; Cavanaugh, J. C. (2016). Human development?: a life-span view. Boston, MA?: Cengage Learning, ©2016. Retrieved from http://proxygsu-egc1.galileo.usg.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true;db=cat06550a;AN=ega.991553093702942;site=eds-live;scope=site
Kanske, P. (2018). The social mind: disentangling affective and cognitive routes to understanding others. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 43(2), 115. https://doi.org/10.1080/03080188.2018.1453243Oldenburg, B., Van Duijn, M., ; Veenstra, R. (2018). Defending one’s friends, not one’s enemies: A social network analysis of children’s defending, friendship, and dislike relationships using XPNet. PLoS ONE, 13(5), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194323Updegraff, K. A., McHale, S. M., & Crouter, A. C. (2002). Adolescents’ sibling relationship and friendship experiences: Developmental patterns and relationship linkages. Social Development, 11(2), 182–204. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00194

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