People make every effort to establish relationships with other people in every possible sphere of life. Lack or destruction of those interactions is often associated with self-doubts, depression and self-destruct, as well as a lot of other personal problems. What is fascinating is that when people start the establishment of these relationships with other people, they often do not even realize that they go through a certain process with definite stages.
There are three basic stages of the interpersonal relationship. They are the contact stage when people actually meet. It is followed by the involvement stage when interpersonal connection is established. And finally, at the intimacy stage, people define the type and commitment level in their relationships (Pearson et. al, 2006).
The contact stage is associated with direct establishment of the contact when people meet for the first time. Also, during this stage they shape a certain impression about each other. In the majority of cases, the information that is communicated at this stage is superficial, since people do not self-disclose about themselves a lot during this stage. Some scholars have estimated that only four minutes of the interaction are required to make a decision whether people will continue their relationship in the future or not.
In the course of the involvement stage, a connection between people is being formed. During this stage information is being self-disclosed along with taking more risks. Involvement stage is associated with learning the partner with means of direct questions, jokes to reveal other party’s reaction, etc. (Kelley, 1983).
Finally, during the intimacy stage, the commitment about the type of the relationship is established. People decide what kind of interpersonal relationship they are involved into, whether it is friendship, business relationship, acquaintances or romantic relationships. During this stage, people continue self-disclosing their private information along with the creation of trust to the other person and a social bond.
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