Critical Thinking in Relationships

This is a treatise on the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. It is an objective analysis I put online in case it's useful to others. My focus is on personal relationships and how they work in objective and practical terms. I broke the subject down into the three sections below.


  1. Direct communication -- includes video
    Saying what you mean literally and plainly is the most effective way to communicate in cooperative relationships. The alternative, indirect communication, is designed to manipulate others or defend one's self (such as sarcasm, name calling, or defensiveness). You can be direct effectively even if others are not.
  2. Relationship contracts
    The expectations each person in a relationship has about the behavior or performance of the other forms a type of "contract" (although it's not usually thought of that way). The terms of the contract in each person's head can be determined by what they count on their parter to do and not do. Contracts (or expectations) that match the reality of the other person's behavior are less frustrating than expectations that go unmet.
  3. Emotional intimacy
    Emotional intimacy is the peak experience of being loved in a personal relationship. It occurs when we open up to someone, become vulnerable, and they understand how we feel and empathize. It brings people closer emotionally, and makes them feel better about themselves. Such intimacy occurs when two people who have a close, trusting relationship risk sharing feelings they normally are ashamed to share and are accepted.

Basic beliefs

This perspective of relationships is based on some general assumptions:

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This page last modified 2023-04-30