Letting Go: A Practical Theory of Relationship Disengagement and Re-engagement

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SUNY Press, Jul 1, 1987 - Philosophy - 243 pages
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While many books in the popular press deal with relationships, Letting Go is among the first to draw upon scholarly research to offer a theoretical perspective with practical implications. Cahn examines interpersonal relationship disengagement and reengagement by tapping the resources of social science literature. The result is a model for communication which seeks to achieve and maintain interpersonal understanding, while promoting communication behaviors that encourage growth of the individual and relationship satisfaction.

The author’s integrated approach combines three models of relationship development; namely, quality communication, recognition and availability of more desirable alternatives, and degree of personal investments. He also surveys the literature on friendship, mateship, supervisor and subordinate relationships, and teacher-student relationships, and demonstrates that a quality communication environment, as measured by the Perceived Understanding Instrument, is crucial for understanding relationship disengagement and reengagement.
 

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Contents

Feeling Understood in Interpersonal Relationships
9
Feeling Understood as a Measure of the Normative Force of A Rule
10
The Lack of Feeling Understood in Relationship Disintegration
12
The Need for More Meaningful Interpersonal Relationships
14
The Measurement of Perceived Understanding
20
Summary
21
On Maintaining Ones Integrity in Developing Relationships
23
The Nature and Scope of SelfConcepts
24
A Quality Friendship Communication Environment
112
Friendship SelfConcept Support in General
113
Males and Females
118
Friendship Development and Communication Competence
119
Key Communication Factors in Friendship Development
125
Summary
127
Marital Relationships Marriage Divorce and Remarriage
129
A Quality Marital Communication Environment
130

Interpersonal Communication and The Role of SelfConcept Support
30
SelfConcept Support and Types of RoleTaking
35
Guides to Communication and Relationship Development
41
Specific Recommendations
44
Summary
45
Communication Skills
47
Key Communication Skills and the Communicators Mental and Emotional Outlook
48
Behavioral Orientations
51
Advantages and Phases of The Collaborative Behavioral Orientation
56
Specific Recommendations
63
Summary
68
Commitment Versus Letting Go
71
Quality Communication and the Nature of Relationship Satisfaction
72
Availability of Alternatives and the Nature of Commitment
73
System Constraints
78
Investment Size
79
When to Stay and When to Let Go
81
Specific Recommendations
84
Summary
86
Part Two
89
Overview of Part Two
91
Interpersonal Relationships as RuleBound Communication Systems
99
Relationship Stages
104
Implications of a Rules Analysis for Relationship Growth and Deterioration
106
Summary
107
Friendship
111
Marital SelfConcept Support in General
133
SelfConcept Support in Traditional and Nontraditional Marriages
139
Mateship Development and Communication Competence
144
Key Communication Factors in Marital Development
148
Summary
150
SupervisorSubordinate Work Relationships
153
A Quality Work Communication Environment
155
SupervisorSubordinate SelfConcept Support in General
158
SelfConcept Support in Traditional and Nontraditional Organizations
159
Key Communication Factors in Relational Development
161
Paradigm Tests
163
Summary
167
TeacherStudent Relationships
169
Quality TeacherStudent Communication Environment
170
SelfConcept Support in Traditional and Nontraditional Classrooms
172
The Role of Perceived Understanding in Teacher Evaluation by Students
174
Summary
182
The Renegotiation of Interpersonal Relationships A Theory of Reengagement and Relationship Development
187
An Integrated Approach to the Study of Human Communication
188
An Interpersonal Communication Model of Relationship Development
194
Key Communication Factors in Relationship Development
200
Summary
204
References
205
Author Index
235
Subject Index
241
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About the author (1987)

Dudley D. Cahn, Jr. is Associate Professor of Communication at State University of New York at New Paltz. He is co-author of Communication in Interpersonal Relationships, also published by SUNY Press.

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