Week #5 Blog # 3 (not yet posted)
Chapter 12: The Tug-Of-War (pg. 155)
This section of chapter 12 had some pretty insightful quotes that really got me thinking. “On the one hand, a centripetal, or centralizing, force pulls us together with other. On the other hand, a centrifugal, or decentralizing, force pushes us apart” (Griffin, 155). According to Baxter and Montgomery, “'From a relational dialectics perspective, bonding occurs in both interdependence with the other and independence from the other'” (as cited in Griffin, 155). I did not realize how important and crucial that tug-of-war can be to deeper relational growth and even allows for more social penetration to occur. Sometimes I want things to be so smooth and perfect all the time, that I begin to fear arguments, debates or “contradiction”(155). It was nice to read this and see that I can look at it as a positive thing. Since it is bound to happen in all close relationships, I might as well reframe it as a positive. Once you overcome contradictions and tensions in a relationship, you are that much closer to the other person than ever before.


  1. I got a sense of relief too from reading this chapter. It made me feel normal for having arguments with my boyfriend or sisters. I love what you said about looking at contradiction as a positive thing since it leads to clarity and brings you closer.I had never thought about it like that.

  2. I agree. I find that it is most painfull when you are going through the tug-o-war with family. I think that fighting with your parents and siblings only makes you tighter. I know it is tough and now that I am married, I find that tug-o-war happeneing and I dont want to have to go through it. I see now, after reading chapter 12 how important it is to have the tug-o-war and have that relationship strienthened.