Essay Sample on Interpersonal Relationships

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1241 Words
Date:  2022-11-05


Since human beings are social beings, interpersonal relationships are inevitable. People interact with others and form relationships that are either short-term or long-term. It all depends on the initial purpose of the relationship. About seven months ago, I was sitting in a local hotel waiting for my elder sister, with whom I had a date when a very tall lady of middle age came and sat in the next table. At first, her height fascinated me. Never before had I met such a tall person. I decided to wave at her in greeting and surprisingly, she did not seem to notice how much I had stared at her. She responded with a pleasant smile. She then asked if she could come and sit with me. I responded in the affirmative and she moved. We then introduced ourselves. She had come here to meet her friend who would be late by about thirty minutes. I told her I had also come to meet somebody, my elder sister, who was supposed to see me on her way from work. As we sat and talked, I noticed that the lady, Stacey, was quite comfortable though we were strangers. We talked about ourselves and we seemed to have struck a friendship. She was very polite and I noticed her communication mode was so refined. She effortlessly observed turn-taking and empathy as if she had been to a training school for that. I learned that she was a mother of two, trying to establish a new relationship two years after the death of her husband. More interestingly, I learned that she was the newest neighbor in my hood. We became close friends. We would meet often and I used to visit her in her house.

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Unfortunately, six months down the line, my relationship with Stacey had to come to an end. This relationship had initially been mainly built on mutual trust, respect, and reward. However, our conflict began around September this year, when Stacey attempted to introduce me to drug peddling. I was surprised that, all this time, she had managed to conceal from me the fact that she was a drug dealer. The trust and respect I had for her came tumbling down. At first, I decided to avoid her but I finally mustered the courage to confront her and tell her that what she was doing was wrong, and I was not willing to be part of it. Surprisingly, she was not angry with me. She only apologized and told me not to hate on her. That she was only trying to help me with a business idea. However, I told her that I no longer trusted her and that the relationship had to come to an end. I was shocked that she never even tried to convince me otherwise. She only pleaded with me not to tell anybody about her venture. I am still toying with the idea of reporting her to the authorities lest I be accused of being an accomplice.

Although Stacey was older than me, her initial honesty and pleasant personality were so attractive that she was irresistible. In the establishment of any relationship, the concepts of disclosure and appearance are very important (Adler). Stacey's height drew my attention to her and her pleasant personality completed the picture. I eventually noted the maturity and soberness with which Stacey approached issues and this drew me closer to her. The height that had attracted me started to become a non-issue. The concept of complementarity was at play (Adler). Our difference in the way of looking at things attracted me more to Stacey. Therefore, appearance, disclosure, and complementarity are some of the concepts on which our relationship was built.

My relationship with Stacey had gone through the developmental model of interpersonal relationships that encompasses initiating, experimenting, intensifying, integrating and, finally, bonding (Adler). We initiated the relationship at the hotel. We talked and realized we could communicate well. This intensified our relationship and we finally integrated and bonded in such a way that Stacey was able to get the courage to tell me about her intention to introduce me to drug peddling. I had to apply the relevant skills to end this relationship. It was unfortunate that, during the development of this relationship, we never talked much about our beliefs and values. This mistake is what must have made the relationship later fail. It started going through the steps of failure that encompass differentiating, circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding and, finally, terminating (Adler). I started differentiating my values from Stacey's, then I reduced my contact with her and the relationship became a shell of its former self. I realized that avoiding her was not the solution; so, I confronted her and we had to terminate the relationship.

Interpersonal relationships can either endure or fail. There are various theories of interpersonal communication that can apply to my relationship with Stacey. One of them is George Casper's social exchange theory which proposes that each person has expectations from a relationship and therefore, they invest their time and energy due to the reward expected (Hargie). I often got words of counsel from Stacey and this made me want to keep her as a close friend. On the other hand, Stacey seems to have expected me to join her in the illegal business she carried out. The other theory is the uncertainty reductions theory which proposes that strangers have to communicate in order to reduce the uncertainty levels between them and find out if they are compatible before cementing their relationship (Hargie). According to this theory, a relationship is generally characterized by three stages: the entry stage in which the individuals are trying to learn the basics of each other, the personal stage in which the persons are trying to learn about each other's beliefs and values, and finally the exit stage in which the persons decide the fate of the relationship (Adler). My relationship with Stacey went through the first stage smoothly but started deteriorating at the second stage when I realized that my values and hers were not congruent. The exit strategy was to terminate the relationship.


In conclusion, it is clear that my relationship with Stacey did not work. Although it started well, it was unfortunate that it did not go far. The concepts of appearance and disclosure on which the relationship began initially worked well for us. I got attracted to her height and personality. Our self-disclosure helped us get familiar with each other and our friendship began. However, I soon discovered that the relationship was headed in the wrong direction and I had to apply the relevant skills to end it. I applied differentiation and finally termination. I had to differentiate my values from those of Stacey and we finally parted ways. Both the social exchange theory and the uncertainties reduction theory apply to my relationship with Stacey. While it was a mutual relationship at first, it soon became clear that ending it was the best option for me due to issues of trust. Therefore, it is important for people in a relationship to be honest so that they fully learn about each other's values to avoid the need for a relationship termination when it is too late.

Works Cited

Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., & Proctor, R. F. Interplay: The Process of Interpersonal Communication (14th Ed.). New York: Oxford Press University, 2018.

Hargie, O. Skilled interpersonal communication: Research, theory, and practice. Routledge, 2016.

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Essay Sample on Interpersonal Relationships. (2022, Nov 05). Retrieved from

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