Since people are social beings, they establish unique relationships that make it easier for them to pursue their common goals. Sociologists have offered diverse concepts and theories to describe how such interactions develop or die. The relationship type intended for this discussion is friendship. The participants selected for the analysis include one of my allies and me. In terms of history, the relationship has been developing within the past four years. Currently, the friendship has been developing positively since we share ideas, secrets, and even personal belongings. The three major concepts that I will consider to analyze this personal relationship include trust, the influence of culture, and social exchange theory.
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Analysis of the Relationship
Human relationships develop or deteriorate depending on the emerging issues, challenges, and opportunities. Individuals should be willing to engage one another, maintain the highest level of trust, and respect. Various concepts are essential since they describe and dictate how people interact and address their common problems. The concept of trust has remained a critical determinant of the success or failure of any given human relationship. This attribute dictates whether an individual will promote or avoid any action decision that will harm his or her counterpart (Rodriguez, DiBello, Øverup, & Neighbors, 2015). When the level of trust increases, the individuals involved in a given relationship will be willing to share adequate information and be ready to help when necessary. The parties will remain free and willing to resolve most of the challenges they encounter in their lives. However, when this concept lacks in a specific friendship, the involved people will start to doubt each other or avoid sharing critical information. Consequently, trust remains one of the fundamental aspects that influence the development of relationships and how individuals chose to communicate.
The second concept that has the potential to dictate and influence how people share their experiences is that of culture. This attribute revolves around the norms, beliefs, languages, ideas, and practices that people from a specific group or ethnicity tend to promote (Hendrickson, 2018). When people from the same culture speak the same language, the chances of increased misunderstandings will reduce significantly. The presence of barriers would also disorient the way people share information and apply the acquired or presented messages. The presence of challenges might affect the development of a relationship and ensure that positive results are never realized. People from the same culture will share similar moral values and norms that reshape or support the way they interact, solve emerging issues, and focus on the best ways to achieve their goals. Relationships established between individuals from the same culture will enable sharing more information with ease and focusing on each other’s wellbeing (Hendrickson, 2018). The opposite will be true when people with diverse backgrounds try to establish such interactions. They might even take longer before starting to understand each other more effectively.
The social exchange theory is another powerful framework for describing how human interaction and interpersonal relationships develop. According to this concept, individuals will consider the potential risks and benefits they stand to gain after establishing specific interactions (Chernyak-Hai & Rabenu, 2018). When people promote new relationships, the important aim is to reduce costs while maximizing their overall benefits. Similarly, the individuals would choose wisely the formation and ideas they would be willing to share with others. When they compare the anticipated costs and rewards, human beings find it easier to make the most appropriate decisions and promote a specific relationship or end it. When the level of stability increases, two people in a given relationship will start to communicate effectively and share more ideas and resources. Throughout the process, the value of rewards should remain high to avoid heartaches or challenges. Similarly, such individuals might start to destroy the established relationship when the level of trust diminishes (Wang & Gruenewald, 2019). Consequently, this theory remains one of the powerful conceptions for analyzing and describing human interactions and communication processes.
Application to My Relationship
The descriptions presented above explain why the selected concepts are applicable in interpersonal relationships and friendships. Human interactions take several stages that determine whether the participants would continue promoting it or focus on better objectives in life. The first one is that of initial attraction or meeting and it forms the foundation of every friendship (Wang & Gruenewald, 2019). We began to communicate with each other five years ago. Within a period of twelve months, we found ourselves greeting each other and sharing stories. My friend was the first one to borrow a disclosed item from me. During this first stage, the level of communication was extremely low. Consequently, we could only disclose less important information and messages to one another in accordance with the social exchange theory (Chernyak-Hai & Rabenu, 2018). The level of trust remained quite low since we were not used to one another. Additionally, the concept of culture appeared to guide us in the right direction since we had minimum differences or challenges when trying to communicate with each other.
The second stage of interest and curiosity emerged within two years after we began communicating. I started to view my new friend as someone I could share ideas with and offer personal support. We remained optimistic and the level of trust began to increase. We could dislike additional information about each other while considering the requirements and issues connected with our culture (Rodriguez et al., 2015). During this phase, the focus revolved around our hobbies and academics. I realized that we were compatible and capable of taking the relationship to the next level. We were willing and ready to maintain the highest levels of respect and trust. The primary target was to make the interaction more productive and successful.
The third stage was that of stability and it became a reality in the fourth year. After several months of trust and support for each other, we realized that we could share additional information and personal belongings. We started to borrow movies and share a wide range of items, such as bicycles and handheld devices. The level of trust had improved significantly since no one was afraid of sharing sensitive information with one another (Rodriguez et al., 2015). For example, there was one time when my friend narrated to me the challenges he was going through in life. He also identified some of the predicaments his family members were experiencing. Throughout the process, I chose to provide relevant encouragement and support. We could even engage in deep meditation and prayer to receive God’s healing and intervention. The social change theory is applicable in such a scenario since we focused on the best approaches to benefit one another and eventually achieve our goals.
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Currently, the friendship is in the stable stage since I believe that my partner is someone I can always count on in all situations. We have attained a high level of trust because no one has difficulties when communicating with one another. There are more rewards associated with this form of friendship in comparison with the anticipated costs (Chernyak-Hai & Rabenu, 2018). The established culture has made it easier for us to solve differences that might emerge while focusing on the best experiences. We remain supportive and expect the best for each other. I can always ask for help from my friend whenever I am in need. These examples reveal that the relationship has benefited significantly from the nature of communication. We remain dedicated and willing to support one another when challenges emerge. These initiatives and practices will continue to reshape our friendship in a positive manner and eventually make us successful.
The above discussion has revealed that diverse concepts will always dictate and influence the rate at which human beings develop their relationships. The identified attributes of trust, culture and social exchange are essential since they have made it easier for my friend and me to associate positively and focus on our common goals. When individuals fail to consider these concepts, chances are high that their associations will deteriorate and result in additional losses. People should, therefore, consider most of the theories described in class to analyze their relationships if they are to record positive outcomes.
Chernyak-Hai, L., & Rabenu, E. (2018). The new era workplace relationships: Is social exchange theory still relevant? Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 11(3), 456-481. Web.
Hendrickson, B. (2018). Intercultural connectors: Explaining the influence of extra-curricular activities and tutor programs on international student friendship network development. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 63, 1-16. Web.
Rodriguez, L. M., DiBello, A. M., Øverup, C. S., & Neighbors, C. (2015). The price of distrust: trust, anxious attachment, jealousy, and partner abuse. Partner Abuse, 6(3), 298-319.
Wang, D., & Gruenewald, T. (2019). The psychological costs of social support imbalance: Variation across relationship context and age. Journal of Health Psychology, 24(12), 1615-1625.