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Strengthening Relationships. A Life Skills Workshop Presented by Student Counseling Services. “To have a friend, be a friend.”. “Friendship is not won by the giving of things, but by the giving of the heart.” --- Roy Lessin. Relationship : the state of being related.

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Strengthening Relationships

A Life Skills Workshop

Presented by

Student Counseling Services



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“Friendship is not won by the giving of things, but by the giving of the heart.”

--- Roy Lessin


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Relationship giving of the heart.”: the state of being related.

Related: 1. connected by some understood relationship. 2. connected through membership in the same family.

The key is CONNECTION.


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Relationship Assumptions giving of the heart.”

  • Successful relationships are basic to successful living.

  • Keeping relationships healthy deserves a high priority.

  • Your marriage or significant other is your most important relationship.

  • You can learn to understand how to make your relationship work.


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Types of Relationships giving of the heart.”

  • Family relationships

  • Occasional (“anonymous”) relationships – clerks, waiters

  • Casual relationships (acquaintances) – some people at work, professors, classmates

  • Friendships – people with whom you seek interactions, whose company you enjoy

  • Romantic relationships – passionate, emotional connection, usually reciprocal


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Aspects of Friendship giving of the heart.”

  • Keeps confidence

  • Loyalty

  • Warmth/affection

  • Supportiveness

  • Frankness

  • Sense of humor

  • Willingness to make time for me

  • Independence

  • Good conversationalist

  • Intelligence

  • Social conscience


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Six Rules for Friends giving of the heart.”

  • Share news of success with a friend.

  • Show emotional support.

  • Volunteer help in time of need.

  • Strive to make a friend happy when in each other’s company.

  • Trust and confide in each other.

  • Stand up for a friend in his/her absence.


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Development of a Close Relationship giving of the heart.”

  • Zero contact

  • Stage 1: unilateral contact

  • Stage 2: bilateral contact

  • Stage 3: mutuality


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Intimacy in Communication giving of the heart.”

Person 1

Person 2

Cliché

Conversation


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Intimacy in Communication giving of the heart.”

Person 1

Person 2

Cliché Facts,

Conversation Other’s

Ideas


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Intimacy in Communication giving of the heart.”

Person 1

Person 2

Cliché Facts, Your Conversation Other’s Ideas

Ideas & Opinions


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Intimacy in Communication giving of the heart.”

Person 1

Person 2

Cliché Facts, Your Personal

Conversation Other’s Ideas Information

Ideas & Opinions


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Intimacy giving of the heart.” in Communication

Person 1

Person 2

Cliché Facts, Your Personal Feelings

Conversation Other’s Ideas Information About Each

Ideas & Opinions Other Now


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Close Relationships giving of the heart.”

  • Relatively long-lasting

  • Frequent interaction

  • Mutual activities

  • Impact of interactions is strong


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“Marriage is not just a ‘happily ever after’ ending, but a lifetime of

‘I choose to love you’ beginnings.”

--- Matt Anderson


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Why Marriages Succeed or Fail but a lifetime of

Dr. John Gottman


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“A lasting marriage results from a couple’s ability to resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”


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Styles of Marriages resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Validating

  • Volatile

  • Avoidant


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Validating resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Listen and understand each partner’s point of view

  • Value other while disagreeing

    • more like problem-solving discussions

    • negotiate compromises

  • Value “we-ness” of relationship

  • Risk: passionless arrangement


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Volatile resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Fight on grand scale--make up on grand scale

  • Highly engaged with each other

  • See selves as equal parties in relationship

  • Easily express feelings, opinions, & thoughts

  • Risk: slide into too much fighting


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Avoidant resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Conflict minimizers

  • Agree to disagree--shove it under the rug

  • Low level of companionship

  • High degree of autonomy

  • Risk: Encountering problem too big to avoid


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Emotional Ecology resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Need to strike a balance of positive/negative

    • magic ratio: 5 to 1

  • Healthy marriages represent three ways of adapting to achieve the balance

  • Unhealthy marriages which do not adapt can be recognized by warning signs:

    • “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”


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Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Criticism

  • Contempt

  • Defensiveness

  • Stonewalling


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Criticism resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Attacking someone’s personality rather than behavior

  • Blaming & accusing

    • “You…” statements

  • Different from Complaining

    • “I…” statements

  • Present to a degree in all relationships


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Contempt resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Criticism with intention

    • deeper, more personal attack

  • Includes

    • insults & name-calling

    • hostile humor & mockery

    • body language

  • Results in decay of admiration or positive feelings for partner


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Defensiveness resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Elicited by criticism & contempt

  • Includes:

    • denying responsibility --making excuses

    • disagreeing with mind reading --yes-butting

    • cross complaining --Rubber man/woman

    • repeating self --whining

  • Result: obstructs communication--conflict escalates


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Stonewalling resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Communication shutdown

  • Conveys disapproval, disgust, smugness

  • Found in men more than women


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Cycle of Negativity resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Four horsemen are hard to tame

  • If unchecked, downward spiral/cascade occurs

  • Flooding occurs--system overload

  • Chronic flooding leads to distance/isolation cascade


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Strategy for Improvement resolve the conflicts that are inevitable in any relationship.”

  • Calm down

  • Speak nondefensively

  • Validating Partner

  • Overlearning--try & try again


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