Chapter 5: Communication in Relationships

We have spent the first few chapters exploring general communication concepts that can be applied to each of the four major branches of the communication discipline: Group, Public Speaking, Intercultural, and Relational. Moving forward, we will begin to explore specific communication concepts and theories applicable to our interpersonal relationships.

More than 2,300 years ago, Aristotle wrote about the importance of friendships to society, and other Greek philosophers wrote about emotions and their effects on relationships. Although research on relationships has increased dramatically over the past few decades, the fact that these revered ancient philosophers included them in their writings illustrates the important place interpersonal relationships have in human life. But how do we come to form relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, and coworkers? Why do we develop, maintain, and end relationships? Why are some of these relationships more exciting, stressful, enduring, or short-lived than others? Are we guided by fate, astrology, luck, personality, or other forces to the people we like and love? We’ll begin to explore those questions in this chapter.


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