Dynamics of Relationships
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GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: 9-12; adult living
Many young people have misconceptions concerning the nature of healthy relationships. It is common to find the attitude among young women that the ideal is to "lose" their identity in their boyfriends, and it is equally common to find young men who believe that their girlfriends should defer to their needs, wants and desires. This is largely cultural, but also dysfunctional.
It is important to recognize the unique contributions and attributes of each individual, including yourself. You can only bring something into a relationship if you have something to bring.
Students will recognize that a relationship is more than the sum of two people, it is dynamic and built on the unique dimensions that are possessed by the people involved. When those two people are apart or together, they retain their unique characteristics, but when they are together, they combine to form a dynamic, flowing force.
overhead projector, 2 transparencies
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
Explaining the above principles, put two overhead transparencies on the projector. The first should be heavy, straight lines, representing person A. The second should be entirely filled with concentric circles, representing person B. When the two transparencies are overlaid, entirely or partially, unique and previously non- existent patterns appear. This should be followed by discussion concerning the nature of healthy relationships, and how each person contributes to the outcome.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
This may seem like a fairly simplistic demonstration, but it seems to capture the imagination and effectively illustrate the point that the goal is not to "lose" oneself in a relationship, but to find the unique patterns that can develop as one touches the lives of others. This activity can be used to identify and discuss the critical attributes of functional relationships, as well as unhealthy ones where the patterns that develop are uncomfortable or destructive. It also opens up discussion on the traits that tend to produce desirable patterns and strong foundations in relationships.
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