# Theory Of Relational Chaos

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Cimorene, Sep 4, 2016.

1. ### CimorenePlatinum IL'ite

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We had discussions on Markov chain and Chaos Theory at E & PG. In my next enterprising initiative, I present to you a thread to discuss the chaos and conundrums of relationships. How to communicate and coordinate in relationships? One would expect a relationship graph to bond across Y-axis as communication progresses along X-axis, but in reality what happens — does it steadily curve up? does it plateau ? does it plunge to naught? Do disclosure and candour jeopardise the gradient? When the relationship graph is erratic, should it be redrawn or adjusted? Let's work out the communication coefficient for a steady and upward relationship graph.

Woody Allen in "Annie Hall" quoted: “It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist's office and says, hey doc, my brother's crazy! He thinks he's a chicken. Then the doc says, why don't you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that's how I feel about relationships. They're totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.”

This thread is to discuss those chickens we put up with and those eggs we long for. This is a generic thread to discuss all types of relationships so don't weigh down with only romantic ones. Can we optimise and fine-tune the equation depicting this Theory of Relational Chaos in our lives?

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2. ### ViswamitraIL Hall of Fame

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C,

Thank you for starting this thread. As much as I wish to respond substantively, I am tied up for next 3 hours. More after I return.

V

3. ### CimorenePlatinum IL'ite

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Now that I've scared few visitors with my obscure introductory post, here is the dig on the subject for the rest.

Few years back, a buddy screamed at me: "You are the most arrogant, haughty, pathetic, idiotic woman I ever met (garnished with the "B" word)". It took us 2 days to talk through and fix things. Though I've been in far worse inimical situations, a fresh fallout is ever so challenging to patch up. Today he and I are still best buddies having had several major thats-it walkouts. And each time we bonded thicker with a retrospection.

Two things strike me immediately when anyone utters such things.

(1) They are deeply hurt and pained by something I said, or did, unwittingly or flippantly
(2) Should it be fixed now or later.

If the fiery lambaste is too hot, I don't handle it immediately. I take it up later. (1) is relatable to me because that is exactly how I behave when I bristle. So I know where such hostility is coming from (mind you, no malice). We usually engage in a lot of back and forth calls, talks to figure out the flashpoint where things turned sour, what happened, and then labour to work through things. This was all in the past but since I met KV he had more innovative ideas to tackle the same situations. KV and I have introduced a flavour in our correspondence called "Stream of Consciousness (SoC)" emails. If one of us has to express displeasure at the other's act we write up an SoC email and send it across. By marking the email as 'Soc' the mailer warns of "raw" and "naked" emotions with no decorative or tempered tone. The respondent can discern the tone of the language based on the subject line marker. We exchange these emails on the footnotes of our banter so that we don't pent up our subdued emotions and explode into a recriminatory fight one day where the other party is caught off-guard. An SoC email forewarns any brewing discontent that has the potential to wedge us. We don't act on it immediately but make a note of it. By notifying pronto the other person of wriggling hurt, we convey our intractable preferences like "this is not the topic I want to discuss", "this is not the way I want to discuss", "this is definitely not the way I want us to tackle this in future". Soc is a dedicated line of communication which is separate from our daily chatty channel.

I'm planning to be the same with my friends now. If I suspect something will nag persistently and weigh me down some day, I'd rather disgorge today and end the mental hiccup rather than choke on it one day. Beware! one of these days, one of you may receive an SoC message.

Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
4. ### CimorenePlatinum IL'ite

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Because this thread is on communication and relationships, I am writing only from that aspect. Few times when I'm not sure if words will convey the quantifier (hurt: how I feel) and qualifier (low: am not mad at you) in a fused manner, I pull up a picture to convey my state. This picture conveys that I'm petulant but not gravely.

Me: I don't want to hear a thing
(he knows that I'm softly contemplative but not fiercely cranky because the humour side of me is still intact)

A certain body language of the aggrieved is expressed in the selection of the pictures. If I had sent a surreal picture that he cannot laugh at then he knows he is in the doghouse the night. If communication in one mode is not appealing, explore other means. It need not always be "words" and "prolonged verbal exchange".

Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
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5. ### ViswamitraIL Hall of Fame

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C,

It is a very interesting axis analogy you brought up between bonding in a relationship going in Y axis when communication happens in X axis. As we are analyzing only communication here as a tool to improve the relationship, I am confining this discussion only to just that.

When Question - Most of the time, the timing of the communication has a profound impact in relationships. Do we have the patience to wait for the right opportunity and use that time to build major highlights, elaboration and effectiveness that are needed in communication? My personal experience tells me that timing is everything but did I do that always? Sometimes, the first available opportunity was considered the best resulting in a disaster for my relationship with people.

What Question - What is the most critical point that I was trying to communicate? Whether it is a direct dissent or a word of appreciation? If it is a dissent, how important it is and if it is appreciation is it hyped way beyond the level of decency? Most of the time, when I expressed dissent, it helped if I could build constructive analysis of the points made by the receiver of the communication before getting to the point of dissent. In face to face meeting, inquiries of the recent events, a quick inquiry of the family welfare, etc. prepares the person to receive the communication. It is as important to prepare the receiver as much as effectively communicating from my end. There has to be a balance between shortness and effectiveness.

How Question - Some thoughts are better communicated in person whereas others are communicated better in writing. In both occasions, the focus has to be on the outcome and effectiveness than on the details of the content. The understanding that the purpose of the communication is to express not to impress is the motto in such communications.

Mostly, the relationships become so strong resulting in expectations shifting to a different level. It is a paradigm shift and hence the bench marking of the relationship is being made from a different axis. Sometimes, the premises under which the relationships were built crumbles with the assumptions collapsing suddenly without any notice. When the bonding graph hits a plateau or on a downward graph, it is time to revisit where the communication was going wrong. It is better to have milestones while measuring the relationships so that if there is fall, the starting point need not be when we first met.

Integrity of relationship are mostly measured by the honesty in communication and not by appreciating words. Interdependence of a relationship is also measured by effective communication.

I will share more thoughts later.

Viswa

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6. ### CimorenePlatinum IL'ite

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Dear Viswa,

Want to keep it simple and focused because if we expand and rotate this topic along 11-dimensional plane then we will hurtle through a back hole in the hyperspace. Hence chose "communication" as our frontline of discussion. Hope that is okay with you.

I love your post. The reason I didn't click "like" button is because I didn't want to underrate your post with an inadequate "like". You brought up good points.

If you had asked me this question few years ago I would have opted for "lazy communication" (LC). In cognitive bias, there is a concept called "backfire effect". When you believe in something, any evidence or talk contrary to your upheld belief will only reinforce it. Let's apply this in communication and reconciliation. In "eager communication" (EC), your attempts to reconcile will back fire because the burning impression of the fallout is so sore and raw that anything you utter will be sharpened and assailed back at you. In LC, the last embers of hostility are snuffed out during the cool-off period thereon the subject is more amenable.

Has my approach changed of late if LC is deemed effective and safe? We are talking about friends, family and partners. These are the people who will be reinstated in our life no matter how bitter and vehemently we argue with each other. When these people will be re-integrated into our life, decidedly, and it is only a matter of time why lose out on the moments and togetherness waiting out on something. There won't be another Jan 2014 or upcoming March 2015. Time lost is time irrecoverable! These days I'm practising to shrink my balloon-sized ego to a marble size. In my twenties, I wasn't keenly confrontational and anxious to resolve conflicts. In my thirties, I feel like time is running out and I need to hasten to build as many meaningful and enriching moments.

What was your question again? Timing of the communication. Therefore, I shifted to EC to resolve disputes. Do your part: communicate, reason out, apologise, apologise again and don't lose out on the time that could have been well-spent among loved ones. Even if EC flops, you would have plied with apologetic or expatiating notes that can always be looked up by the aggrieved later if they intend to revisit the topic.

The post turned out to be longer than expected. I will comment on the "What" and "How" segment tomorrow. I love the tone of this thread, let's retain the ongoing conversational and informal style.

Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
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7. ### RihanaModeratorStaff MemberIL Hall of Fame

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In female-female friendships, disclosure forms the bond, and is even required, I'd say. I am yet to find a significant female friendship that grew without disclosure. Disclosure meaning stuff that takes the relationship to a certain next level.

Candour has come back to bite me so often, that I now reserve it for family only, or expend it on a connection that I consider highly dispensable.

: ) As you grow older, the chickens get fewer and fewer, I think. The need for the eggs also diminishes. You are more comfortable in your own mind, and usually have less patience for mismatch in wavelengths. This wouldn't apply to the hearty social types who are part of gazillion groups.

Thread might see more traffic if we include IL relationships. : ) And the elegant square-dance of deftly stepping around some landmines it takes. : )

This response does no justice to a well crafted first post. Will essay an improved response soon.

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8. ### CimorenePlatinum IL'ite

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The title was better well-crafted to ward off any stray walks into this thread. I'm an egian chauvinist. I cannot indulge too many voices. Though the original post's write-up took 20 minutes, the title took me an hour to knock up - "What should be the title that members bypass it like an insect repellent and don't stampede on this thread".

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9. ### RihanaModeratorStaff MemberIL Hall of Fame

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stray walks : )

10. ### CimorenePlatinum IL'ite

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I realized that one of my orphaned threads is languishing somewhere, so here I am back in "Relational Chaos"

You sold me that disclosure advances bonding even further in women. For me disclosure is a liability and an asset in a barter practice. If I disclose something to someone (obviously I expect some juice from them as well) and during any scuffle when I am provoked with unsavoury dossier about me I too release the classified warhead on them. That would shut us both up and for the next few minutes there is stilled silence. What happens during the silence...

My brain: That was mean of me!
Other brain: That was so low of me!
My brain: May be I should apologize
Other brain: May be I should say something nice

When the talk resumes, we pretend as if nothing has jarred our delicate ears. I don't know how disclosure works for others but for me it is always a grim reminder that I should embrace a puffer fish as confidante with its small mouth and large gland to hold my secrets.

That too! Got bitten, poisoned, reeled and recovered. I rather control my tongue than grind my teeth later. I am totally with you on that babes. Honesty has at times been a brutal policy that maims you. I think I've mentioned somewhere that I am leery of people who insist "Oh! Trust me, I can handle the truth". They blow up like a nitroglycerin canister on truth prick.

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