Relational Dialectics & Maintenance:

How have you seen maintenance behaviors (Canary, et. al) used in each of the three relational dialectics (Baxter, et. al.) as evident in a relationship that you are in currently, have had in the past, or are particularly familiar with? At the start of each paragraph/section, use the textbook to briefly define the dialectic for that section, thus setting up the analysis point, and apply the constructs of one or two relational maintenance behaviors used by the each of relational participants to manage that set of dialectics. Make sure to clearly identify ALL constructs – use bold font to emphasize the dialectic sets and the specific maintenance behaviors that you’re analyzing in each section.
You’ll have THREE major sections that will integrate the relational dialectics with some relational maintenance behaviors. You’ll need to carefully address these theory ideas but write this as an essay, not an outline:
I. Autonomy/Connection, II. Expressiveness/Privacy, and III. Change/Predictability. Use in whatever order works best for your analysis. In each section, you’ll use one or two of the “relationship maintenance behaviors” detailed in the textbook: positivity, assurances, sharing tasks, etc. – use the table in the Close Relationships chapter to choose the behaviors that help or hurt the dialectics.
“Set the scene” in your intro paragraph by giving at least a little background on the relationship or situation. Be specific when describing behaviors! You may analyze romantic relationships but may also choose to observe, describe, and analyze family dynamics, friendships, or work relationships instead. Did/do you two choose similar behaviors and attitudes for each of these dialectics, or were/are there distinctly different expectations? How are these communicated in the relationship? What did/do the relational partners (lovers, friends, family members, coworkers) have as influences? Is your (or their) cultural background a factor? For your conclusion, wrap it up with your “takeaways” from this analysis.

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