Relational Communication

The Theory of Relational Communication is also known as Relational Dialectics and can help you have better relationships with others by giving you an understanding on how you interact with certain people at certain times.

This Theory of Relational Communication explains that although sometimes we need interaction with other people we also need some time alone. Relationships are both complex and fragile and communication theorists like Leslie Baxter and Barbara Montgomery have studied the theory in detail and have concluded there are four distinct principles to human relationships.

They are contradiction, change, praxis, and totality. Each one of these aspects is included in every relationship we ever have. No relationship is without one part of this theory. Read on to find out more about each principle and how to make your relationships better.

Some of the contradictions we face are that no matter how close we want to be to someone else we tend to push them away at times. Happiness is something everyone says they want but then they do everything they can to sabotage any happiness that comes along. This may be in part to the fact that we are all raised in a negative world and we are told from an early age that we do not deserve anything good.

Relationships fail because one or both of the participants refuses to see beyond their own needs and no longer takes in consideration the feelings of their partner. Selfishness is an inherent part of human life, the preservation of self is of the utmost importance.

Change is hard, yet we are all always changing. We are all works in progress but are at odds with ourselves because we need some stability to feel secure in our relationships. Change can be exciting though because it can open up new doors to us. change can be detrimental to relationships though in the fact that both people in the relationship can change too much in one way or another and « grow apart ».

If the relationship is to be successful both people need to do things together to change at the same rate so one does not outgrow the other.

Praxis in a relationship sense means that we all become settled and complacent in our relationships. We tend to be creatures of habit and even though in the beginning of a relationship you want to spend every waking moment with that person eventually we will all revert back to who we were before the relationship took hold.

This can mean that we are comfortable in the relationship or it could mean we have lost interest.

The totality comes in by showing that everyone and everything is connected. Contradiction, change and praxis are part of every single relationship and we cannot have these relationships without every single part. It is up to us to use this Theory of Relational Communication to learn how and why we interact with others as we do and to earn to have better relationships because of it.