sj: pondering Schultz

i am reading a book that i found at Mckay’s a while back called A Rhetoric of Interpersonal Communication and Relationships. One of the things that I was reading about today is a model created by a guy named William C. Shultz concerning interpersonal needs.

The most basic need is inclusion; we need to feel as though we are part of a group. Then comes control where we influence the lives of other people and we allow them to influence ours. Finally is affection where we express our caring for other people and we desire to have them see us as loveable.

All relationships fulfill some or all of the desires. The desires are incremental so that the most basic is a part of all of them (a relationship that meets affections needs is by necessity also meeting control and inclusion needs.)

Relationships are of types. People who you know who you have a general acquaintance with, but with whom you do not do things with or attempt to influence, these people are simply meeting inclusion needs. (“How are you doing today?, me, i’m doing pretty good.”)

Relationships where you influence each other decision making processes actively (“Hey, you want to go to a movie?” or “Could you help me with something that is bothering me?”) these are meeting control needs.

Relationships where you are expressing yourself emotionally and bringing more of your affective processes into play, these are affection needs. These types of relationships are usually reserved for family members, close friends, and significant others.

What I am seeing in my life is a progressing through these stages and a gradual learning how to fulfill each of the levels.

For a while back in high school I had no friends whatsoever, literally none. During my senior year I started getting to hang around with some people and I tagged along alot. I never said much of anything and I never voiced much of an opinion.

What I was doing was fulfilling inclusion needs, but I was not willing to voice any kind of a strong opinion (really my affect was frozen to the point where I didn’t even have any strong opinions) because I was afraid that if I rocked the boat (aka. tried to exert control) that I would lose my outlet for fulfilling inclusion needs.

Over the course of my time here I have grown more confident and more willing to exert my influence. At the end of this last summer I started planning things for people to do. I got people together to go to movies and to go dancing and things.

To some extent I was meeting control needs in my earlier relationships because I was allowing people to exert control over me which is an aspect of the need, but it was not complete because I was not doing any exerting.

Where I am at now is that I am still working with the inclusion and the control, but I find the affection almost completely missing. It is something that I have noted before as a lack of emotional connection to people, and it bothers me some, though not especially. I think that I still have some degree of faith that it will develop.

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