‘GETTING TO KNOW YOU’ Stages (Part 1)

I never want to let go!

‘The Relationship CONTINUUM– 8 stages

Communication Indicators of ATTACHMENT
 This series of posts deal with verbal & psychological markers of progressive attachment or dissolution, ie. moving toward or away from intimacy.  It covers all types of one-to-one relationships (friends, lovers, co-workers, additions to family…)
Each Cycle consists of INFO which is: 1. received 2. absorbed & contemplated  3. understood   4. replied to

• There are several theories about how people grow together over time, including ‘peeling the onion’ of each others’ personalities the more time we spend with them
• The NORMAL section for each level is based on the work of Mark Knapp & Anita Vangelisti (2000), from the Communication field
• For Section A there’s an additional term, in parenthesis, from the Inter-Personal Psychology field

ACTS of AFFILIATION ♥ indicated by types of Communication

1. INITIATING (Non-existent – beginning)1st level
a. Normal : With people we’re vaguely aware of – communications will be rote formulae:
“How are you?” <> “Fine, & you?” , “What’s with this weather?” <> “Too much!”

Hallmark: interest & curiosity.  If we notice someone we want to know more about – we use polite, socially appropriate statements to show interest:
“Hi my name’s George. Is this your first time here?” , “Would you like to dance?
– waiting to see how the other responds.  If it’s positive, we have time to form additional first impressions & evaluate each other.

Initial interest is governed by:
Self-concept, which includes sexual orientation, socio-economic class, race… (we rarely move toward someone too far ‘out of our league’)
Proximity, in person –  where we work, shop, live, go to school or church, MeetUps, meetings, dances… or in cyberspace, using social media, dating sites, forums, chat rooms ….
Similarity – studies show people tend to form connections with others of similar attractiveness, interest, intelligence values….

b. ACoAs –  Although some of us find it hard to initiate conversation with strangers because of fear, many ACoAs have learned to open a dialogue in similar ways, but as usual bring our own twist to it.

❄️ In any group setting, we unconsciously scan the room & without even realizing it, will be pulled to the ONE person who is the most damaged, usually angry, narcissistic, the least likely to be nice to or interested in us – another ACoA & probably an addict of some sort. We may not even have heard their voice – but we KNOW! & can’t wait to ‘make friends’ !

This is more likely to happen with Extroverts. The Introverts will also focus on that one unavailable, but at the other end of the room.

🏋🏼‍♂️ ACoAs also claim to hate the dreaded “Small Talk” in any social setting.  But that’s what this stage is all about! You’re sure you don’t know how?
Actually, our refusal to even try is:
• about our self-hate, disguised as Social Phobia (everyone is judging me!)
• and we’re bursting with complains & internal drama, so we despise chit-chat as a waste of time — too much like our shallow, drunk, distant family, who never expressed a deep thought in their life!

We want depth! Translation: just let me talk about all my aggravations & worries! & don’t bother me with trivia.
We don’t realize it’s mainly our narcissism (“see me”), which includes the belief that symbiosis is the only way to connect (be like me / stay with me), which we both long for & are terrified of.

✶✶ In early recovery one young woman decided her temporary rule was: “If I like him, he’s bad for me!” As she grew, her ‘picker’ got a lot better.

NEXT: Stages – Part 2 Experimenting, Intensifying

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