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CONTEXT(S): Circle 3

OTHER(S): This will involve primarily Role-relationship(s), hopefully with clearly articulated expectation(s) which are negotiated fairly and without undue conflict(s). Emphasis here is upon using correct communication skill(s) effectively to delineate respectful boundaries in the perception and understanding of ROLE(S).

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CONTEXT(S): Circle II-4

Uniqueness of Relationships

Relationships, including friendships, are unique and personal. We are each different in taste when it comes to interpersonal attraction and interaction. We react differently to new persons, and typically prefer others perceived to be similar in skills, opinions, values, interests, tastes, appearance or possessions. (See E. Aronson, THE SOCIAL ANIMAL)

We each have favorite patterns of relating and responding to express our sexuality and aggression, and usually find these patterns difficult to change quickly. We can examine our own patterns to look at successes or failures, and this evaluation can lead to positive change.

How we express kindness, anger, trust, mutuality, fears, likes and dislikes determines whom we prefer and who chooses to spend time with us. But each person does this in his or her own way, and it is often quite difficult to explain why or how, or to predict which persons will choose each other. It is often true that the seemingly obvious, apparent or stated reasons are not always the most important ones, and that we are pretty good at fooling ourselves about our own real motives in dealing with other persons (See Sidney Jourard, DISCLOSING MAN TO HIMSELF).

Maybe that is why "getting to know" someone else better and being physically and psychologically close to another becomes threatening, resulting in a decision to terminate a relationship before it has progressed very far. Some persons never really allow themselves to be truly known, thus they never really know themselves or anyone else, even though they can spend much time together.

There are both non-repetitive and cumulative aspects to our experiences and relationships. Different individuals establishing new, unique relationships or coming together from various backgrounds have separate expectations which influence their relating. Each relationship is unique and new, and cannot be fairly compared with any previous one. There is not a true "group personality" for there are only collections of individual personalities who are together by circumstance or choice.