Daily Archives: February 21, 2010

Geography and Attentiveness

Geography is a factor in relationships.  Not surprising, working, taking a class, or sharing a common space with someone may lead to a long-term friendship or relationship.  An NPR news report notes that many people make long time friends when in college. Although geographical closeness at times leads to friendships the question remains as to what motivates these relationships.  Cross (2009) points to a variable known as the relational self-construal defined in terms of how an individual see’s oneself in relation to others close to us. So close relationships must have lasted because someone (or both) in the dyad is high on the relational self-construal. For the purpose of continuing the relationship these individuals tend to be particularly attentive to the needs of others by paying close attention to information.  Cross writes that actions such as give and take, openness, providing support and encouragement are characteristic of those high in relational self-construal. While geography may be a factor when it comes to who you are acquainted with, attentiveness to others in relation to oneself determines who your friends will be .

Read more: Becoming close: The geography of friendship

Cross, S.E. (2009) Relational self-construal: Past and Future.

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