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Love and Emotions. HPER F258 – Marriage and Family Interaction. What is Love? Who Could You Love?. In your small groups, List at least 10 ideal characteristics for a mate and 10 characteristics that would be “deal breakers.” Answer these questions:

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Love and emotions

Love and Emotions

HPER F258 – Marriage and Family Interaction


What is love who could you love
What is Love? Who Could You Love?

  • In your small groups,

    • List at least 10 ideal characteristics for a mate and 10 characteristics that would be “deal breakers.”

    • Answer these questions:

      • How did you choose the qualities of your ideal? What influenced your choices and decisions?

      • How does your ideal reflect your upbringing, including both family and cultural influences?

      • In what ways do your parents contribute to your ideal image?

    • How would you know when you have found your ideal partner?



Attachment and how it relates to our view of love bowlby
Attachment and how it relates to our view of love (Bowlby) Influence Us

  • Attachment theory “an affectional tie with some other differentiated and preferred individual who is usually conceived as stronger and/or wiser”

  • Individuals have a tendency to build strong emotional bonds to specific others

  • If you have not formed a secure bond as a child, it affects your ability to form solid relationships later in life


Non rational bonds
Non-rational bonds Influence Us

  • Bonds that are based on a feeling or feelings, not logic- based

  • The lack of rationality makes them powerful

    • Remember that anything that is “hidden” from rational/ intellectual processing can influence us without our knowing that it’s there


Invisible loyalties boszormenyi nagy
Invisible loyalties Influence Us (Boszormenyi-Nagy)

  • Generational loyalties (not necessarily positive)

  • Holding onto ideas of “how things should be” because of family experiences

  • Being unable to break patterns

  • Not culturally based, but inherent to family relationships (accd. to B-N)

  • Ethical loyalties – a “family ledger” where everyone has obligations to the family – can be unhealthy


Chronic family anxiety
Chronic Family Anxiety Influence Us

  • Different from individual anxieties

  • Chronic family anxiety is long-term negative emotions in the family’s emotional system.

  • Result from

    • low tolerance for intimacy and individuality

    • High levels of conflict

    • Animosity

    • Anxiety among family members


Family ties and love relationships
Family Ties and Love Relationships Influence Us

  • Think back to the Epigenesis Principle and when we as individuals first begin to relate to

    • the idea of loving

    • preferring one person over another

    • expectations for relationships


Article facilitation tues relationships and romantic expectations
Article facilitation (Tues.) – Relationships and Romantic Expectations

  • In your small group, discuss article #6, “This Thing Called Love”


Distance regulation
Distance Regulation Expectations

  • In families, a balance must be found between being too close and too distant

  • Differentiation – to become separate and unique

    • Not same as cut-off

  • Undifferentiated = fusion


Differentiation fusion principle
Differentiation/Fusion Principle Expectations

  • Families with higher levels of negativity, hostility, and animosity are more likely to have unhealthy levels of connectedness (fusion) in family life.

  • This spirit of contention and control in families impairs children’s ability to develop a strong inner identity.

  • They remain overly connected to their family of origin (enmeshed).


So… Expectations

  • Emotionally healthy family environment allows for individuation of family members

  • An emotionally unhealthy family environment results in family members who are emotionally fused…even if they appear disengaged.


Balancing closeness and distance process
Balancing closeness and distance (process) Expectations

  • Families exist in perpetual confrontation between the quest for autonomy and jointness (Sprey)

  • Efforts to balance autonomy vs. inclusion

  • Balancing between connection and partition


Distancing and pursuing
Distancing and pursuing Expectations

  • Relational space

    • Metaphoric, not concrete space

    • Sense of closeness vs. distance in relationship

    • Tied to comfort level with that level of closeness


The mating game
The Mating Game Expectations

  • Your discussion leader will give you the instructions – they’re complex)

  • After you’ve played the game:

    • What has this game taught you about your expectations, attitudes and standards?


Final thoughts on lecture material
Final Thoughts on Lecture Material Expectations

  • Identify at least one important point in the class. Give this to your discussion leader.

  • If anything was unclear, write that down, too.


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