Trying to Put a Value on the Doctor-Patient Relationship
In its push for profits, the U.S. health care system has made it difficult for patients to get personal attention from doctors. But what if hands-on medicine actually saves money — and lives?
In its push for profits, the U.S. health care system has made it difficult for patients to get personal attention from doctors. But what if hands-on medicine actually saves money — and lives?
An open relationship is an intimate relationship which is consensually non-monogamous. This term may sometimes refer to polyamory, but it is often used to signify a primary emotional and intimate relationship between two partners who agree to have sexual relationships but not romantic relationships with other people. The nature of the openness in the relationship, including what outside sexual contact is permissible, varies widely. Open relationships include any type of romantic relationship (dating, marriage, etc.) that is open. The concept of an open relationship has been recognized since the 1970s.
To a large degree, open relationships are a generalization of the concept of a relationship beyond monogamous relationships. A form of open relationship is the open marriage, in which the participants in a marriage have an open relationship.
There are several different styles of open relationships. Some examples include:
The term open relationship is sometimes used interchangeably with the closely related term polyamory, but the two concepts are not identical. The main unifying element to open relationship styles is non-exclusivity of romantic or sexual relationships.
Some believe that open relationships occur more frequently in certain demographics, such as the young rather than the old in America, including, more specifically, the college-educated middle-class, rather than the uneducated working-class, or people of certain ethnic and/or other racial minorities. Open relationships may also be more common among females rather than males, especially those in the same categories, such as college-educated, middle-class, white, younger Americans. This may be because women have more to gain by stressing this idea of equal rights, and that the women’s rights movement supports the idea of open relationships.
A 1974 study showed that male students who either cohabit or live in a communal group are more likely to become involved in open relationships than females, and are still more interested in the concept than females even if not participating in open relationships. A survey taken by gay men’s “health and life magazine”, FS Magazine, 41% of gay men interviewed have been in an open relationship and of the men who have been in open relationships, 27% believe that it is a good thing.
Many couples within open relationships are dual-career, meaning that both primary partners have a stable job and/or a career. Both men and women in these, especially in closed groups, are also more likely to be in managerial jobs. Most also are either childfree, or post child-rearing.
An open relationship may form for various reasons. These include:
Many couples consider open relationships, but choose not to follow through with the idea. If a person attempts to approach their committed monogamous partner about transitioning to an open relationship, the monogamous partner may convince or coerce them to either stay monogamous or pursue a new partner. There may also be concern that when beginning an open relationship, a partner may become only concerned in their personal development and pay less attention to their partner.
Jealousy is often present in monogamous relationships, and adding one or more partners to the relationship may cause it to increase. Results of some studies have suggested that jealousy remains a problem in open relationships because the actual involvement of a third party is seen as a trigger. In Constantine & Constantine (1971), the researchers found that 80% of participants in open marriages had experienced jealousy at one point or another.
Cultural pressure may also dissuade initiating or switching to an open relationship. There is a commonly held societal stereotype that those involved in open relationships are less committed or mature than those who are in monogamous relationships; and films, media, and self-help books present the message that to desire more than one partner means not having a “true” relationship. In the post-WWII 1950s-1970s, it was traditional to “date around” (with guidelines such not going out with one particular suitor twice in a row) until ready to start “going steady” (the onset of exclusivity and sexual exploration); since then, non-exclusive dating around has lost favour and going directly to steady (now known simply as exclusive dating) has been elevated instead. Desiring an open relationship is these days[which?] often claimed to be a phase that a person is passing through before being ready to “settle down”. The logistics of an open relationship may be difficult to cope with, especially if the partners reside together, split finances, own property, or parent children.
Sexually transmitted infection
Main article: Sexually transmitted infection
See also: safe sex and polyfidelity
Any sexual contact outside of a strictly monogamous or polyfidelitous relationship increases the possibility that one member of the group will contract a sexually transmitted infection and pass it into the group.
Neither barrier device use (such as condoms) nor more vigilant STI testing and vaccination can eliminate such risk, but can reduce the statistical increase attributable to nonmonogamy.
One of the most significant factors that aids a relationship in being successful is that it is about making the relationship fit the needs of all parties involved. No two open relationships will be the same, and the relationship will change due to the current circumstances at each specific moment. The style of the open relationship will mirror the parties’ involved values, goals, desires, needs and philosophies.
The most successful relationships have been those that take longer to establish. By taking the time to develop a clear idea of what both partners want out of the openness of a relationship, it allows the parties involved to self-reflect, process their emotions, deal with possible conflicts, and (for those transitioning from monogamy to nonmonogamy) find ways to cope with the change.
Negotiating the details of the open relationship is important throughout the communication process. Topics that are commonly found in negotiations between couples include honesty, the level of maintenance, trust, boundaries and time management.
Other tools that couples utilize in the negotiation process include allowing partners to veto new relationships, prior permission, and interaction between partners. This helps to reassure each partner in the relationship that their opinion is important and matters. However, although ability to veto can be a useful tool in negotiation, a successful negotiation and open relationship can still occur without it. Some reject veto power because they believe it limits their partner from experiencing a new relationship and limits their freedom.
Types of boundaries include physical, which is along the lines of not touching someone without permission being given; sexual boundaries; and emotional boundaries, which is avoiding the discussion of specific emotions. Boundaries help to set out rules for what is and is not acceptable to the members of the relationship. They also help people to feel safe and that they are just as important in the open relationship as their partners.
Examples of boundaries that are set could include:
Some couples create a physical relationship contract. These can be useful in not only negotiating, but also clearly articulating the needs, wants, limits, expectations, and commitments that are expected of the parties involved.
Adequate time management can contribute to the success of an open relationship. Even though having a serious commitment with one partner is common, negotiating the time spent among all partners is still important. Although the desire to give an unlimited amount of love, energy, and emotion to others is common, the limited amount of time in a day limits the actual time spent with each partner. Some find that if they cannot evenly distribute their time, they forego a partner. Time management can also be related to equity theory, which stresses the importance of fairness in relationships.
Main article: Swinging (sexual practice)
Swinging is a form of open relationship in which the partners in a committed relationship engage in sexual activities with others at the same time. Swingers may regard the practice as a recreational or social activity that adds variety or excitement into their otherwise conventional sex lives or for curiosity. Swingers who engage in casual sex maintain that sex among swingers is often more frank and deliberative and therefore more honest than infidelity. Some couples see swinging as a healthy outlet and means to strengthen their relationship. Swinging can take place in various contexts, including spontaneous sexual activity involving partner swapping at an informal social gathering of friends, a formal swinger party or partner-swapping party, and a regular gathering in a sex club (or swinger club) or residence.
Main article: Polyamory
Polyamory is the practice, desire, or acceptance of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved. It is often described as consensual, ethical, or responsible nonmonogamy. The word is sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to sexual or romantic relationships that are not sexually exclusive, though there is disagreement on how broadly it applies; an emphasis on ethics, honesty, and transparency all around is widely regarded as the crucial defining characteristic.
While “open relationship” is sometimes used as a synonym for “polyamory” or “polyamorous relationship”, the terms are not synonymous. The “open” in “open relationship” usually refers to the sexual aspect of a nonclosed relationship, whereas “polyamory” refers to the extension of a relationship by allowing bonds to form (which may be sexual or otherwise) as additional long-term relationships.
The terms “polyamory” and “friends with benefits” are fairly recent, having come about within the past few decades though non-monogamy has existed since prehistoric times.
A subset of polyamory is group marriage or polyfidelity. This type of relationship functions as an expanded marriage, where no member is sexually or romantically involved with anyone other than the group’s members.
Romantic relationship events
Feelings and emotions
“Intimacy” redirects here. For other uses, see Intimacy (disambiguation).
“Sexual relationship” redirects here. For sexual relationships between non-human animals, see Mating system.
Emotions and feelings
An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is characterized by friendship, platonic love, romantic love, or sexual activity. While the term intimate relationship commonly implies the inclusion of a sexual relationship, the term is also used as a euphemism for a relationship that is strictly sexual.
Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience. Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. These relationships involve feelings of liking or loving one or more people, romance, physical or sexual attraction, sexual relationships, or emotional and personal support between the members. Intimate relationships allow a social network for people to form strong emotional attachments.
Intimacy generally refers to the feeling of being in a close personal association and belonging together. It is a familiar and very close affective connection with another as a result of a bond that is formed through knowledge and experience of the other. Genuine intimacy in human relationships requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity. The verb “intimate” means “to state or make known”. The activity of intimating (making known) underpins the meanings of “intimate” when used as a noun and adjective. The noun “intimate” means a person with whom one has a particularly close relationship. This was clarified by Dalton (1959) who discusses how anthropologists and ethnographic researchers access “inside information” from within a particular cultural setting by establishing networks of intimates capable (and willing) to provide information unobtainable through formal channels. The adjective “intimate” indicates detailed knowledge of a thing or person.
In human relationships, the meaning and level of intimacy varies within and between relationships. In anthropological research, intimacy is considered the product of a successful seduction, a process of rapport building that enables parties to confidently disclose previously hidden thoughts and feelings. Intimate conversations become the basis for “confidences” (secret knowledge) that bind people together.
To sustain intimacy for any length of time requires well-developed emotional and interpersonal awareness. Intimacy requires an ability to be both separate and together participants in an intimate relationship. Murray Bowen called this “self-differentiation”. It results in a connection in which there is an emotional range involving both robust conflict and intense loyalty. Lacking the ability to differentiate oneself from the other is a form of symbiosis, a state that is different from intimacy, even if feelings of closeness are similar.
From a center of self-knowledge and self differentiation, intimate behavior joins family members and close friends as well as those in love. It evolves through reciprocal self-disclosure and candor. Poor skills in developing intimacy can lead to getting too close too quickly; struggling to find the boundary and to sustain connection; being poorly skilled as a friend, rejecting self-disclosure or even rejecting friendships and those who have them.[unreliable source] Psychological consequences of intimacy problems are found in adults who have difficulty in forming and maintaining intimate relationships. Individuals often experience the human limitations of their partners, and develop a fear of adverse consequences of disrupted intimate relationships. Studies show that fear of intimacy is negatively related to comfort with emotional closeness and with relationship satisfaction, and positively related to loneliness and trait anxiety.
Bonding between a mother and child
Scholars distinguish between four different forms of intimacy: physical, emotional, cognitive, and experiential.
Distinguishing intimate (communal) relationships from strategic (exchange) relationships may also be a factor. Physical intimacy occurs in the latter but it is governed by a higher-order strategy, of which the other person may not be aware. One example is getting close to someone in order to get something from them or give them something. That “something” might not be offered so freely if it did not appear to be an intimate exchange and if the ultimate strategy had been visible at the outset. Mills and Clark (1982) found that strategic (exchange) relationships are fragile and easily break down when there is any level of disagreement. Emotionally intimate (communal) relationships are much more robust and can survive considerable (and even ongoing) disagreements.
Love is an important factor in physical and emotional intimate relationships. Love is qualitatively and quantitatively different from liking, and the difference is not merely in the presence or absence of sexual attraction. There are three types of love in a relationship: passionate love, companionate love, and sacrificial love. Sacrificial love reflects the subsumption of the individual self will within a union and is said to be expressed within the Christian Godhead and towards humanity. Companionate love involves diminished potent feelings of attachment, an authentic and enduring bond, a sense of mutual commitment, the profound feeling of mutual caring, feeling proud of a mate’s accomplishment, and the satisfaction that comes from sharing goals and perspective. In contrast, passionate love is marked by infatuation, intense preoccupation with the partner, throes of ecstasy, and feelings of exhilaration that come from being reunited with the partner.
Two people who are in an intimate relationship with one another are often called a couple, especially if the members of that couple have placed some degree of permanency to their relationship. These couples often provide the emotional security that is necessary for them to accomplish other tasks, particularly forms of labor or work.
The use of empirical investigations in 1898 was a major revolution in social analysis. A study conducted by Monroe, examined the traits and habits of children in selecting a friend. Some of the attributes included in the study were kindness, cheerfulness and honesty. Monroe asked 2336 children aged 7 to 16 to identify “what kind of chum do you like best?” The results of the study indicate that children preferred a friend that was their own age, of the same sex, of the same physical size, a friend with light features (hair and eyes), friends that did not engage in conflict, someone that was kind to animals and humans, and finally that they were honest. Two characteristics that children reported as least important included wealth and religion.
The study by Monroe was the first to mark the significant shift in the study of intimate relationships from analysis that was primarily philosophical to those with empirical validity. This study is said to have finally marked the beginning of relationship science. However, in the years following Monroe’s influential study, very few similar studies were done. There were limited studies done on children’s friendships, courtship and marriages, and families in the 1930s but few relationship studies were conducted before or during World War II. Intimate relationships did not become a broad focus of research again until the 1960s and 1970s when there was a vast amount of relationship studies being published.
In a meta-analysis and literature review it is found that long-distance relationships are no less satisfying, contrary to popular belief.[better source needed] However, according to an 800 or so participant strong study, in long distance relationships there are different determinants of success with respect to the ones associated with geographically close relationships.[better source needed]
When it comes to distance relationships, a 1,000 person study suggests that they work better for those who are less anxious/depressed, are more certain of their relationship and have a positive attitude to distance.[better source needed]
Romantic relationship is often crowned with marriage.
Today, the study of intimate relationships uses participants from diverse groups and examines a wide variety of topics that include family relations, friendships, and romantic relationships, usually over a long period. Current study includes both positive and negative or unpleasant aspects of relationships.
Research being conducted by John Gottman (2010) and his colleagues involves inviting married couples into a pleasant setting, in which they revisit the disagreement that caused their last argument. Although the participants are aware that they are being videotaped, they soon become so absorbed in their own interaction that they forget they are being recorded. With the second-by-second analysis of observable reactions as well as emotional ones, Gottman is able to predict with 93% accuracy the fate of the couples’ relationship.
Another current area of research into intimate relationships is conducted by Terri Orbuch and Joseph Veroff (2002). They monitor newlywed couples using self-reports over a long period (a longitudinal study). Participants are required to provide extensive reports about the natures and the statusses of their relationships. Although many of the marriages have ended since the beginning of the study, this type of relationship study allows researchers to track marriages from start to finish by conducting follow-up interviews with the participants in order to determine which factors are associated with marriages that last and which with those that do not. Though the field of relationship science is still relatively young, research conducted by researchers from many different disciplines continues to broaden the field.
Evidence also points to the role of a number of contextual factors that can impact intimate relationships. In a recent study on the impact of Hurricane Katrina on marital and partner relationships, researchers found that while many reported negative changes in their relationships, a number also experienced positive changes. More specifically, the advent of Hurricane Katrina led to a number of environmental stressors (for example, unemployment, prolonged separation) that negatively impacted intimate relationships for many couples, though other couples’ relationships grew stronger as a result of new employment opportunities, a greater sense of perspective, and higher levels of communication and support. As a result, environmental factors are also understood to contribute heavily to the strength of intimate relationships.
One team of researcher from Northwestern University who summarised the literature in 2013, found that ‘negative-affect reciprocity’, which is retaliatory negativity between partners during a conflict, is arguably the most robust predictor of poor marital quality. However, this degradation can be softened, according to their 120 heterosexual couple strong Chicago sample, by undertaking a reappraisal writing task every 4 months.
One study suggests that married straight couples and cohabiting gay and lesbian couples in long-term intimate relationships may pick up each other’s unhealthy habits. The study reports three distinct findings showing how unhealthy habits are promoted in long-term, intimate relationships: through the direct bad influence of one partner, through synchronicity of health habits, and through the notion of personal responsibility.
Over 2,300 years ago, interpersonal relationships were being contemplated by Aristotle. He wrote: “One person is a friend to another if he is friendly to the other and the other is friendly to him in return” (Aristotle, 330 BC, trans. 1991, pp. 72–73). Aristotle believed that by nature humans are social beings. Aristotle also suggested that relationships were based on three different ideas: utility, pleasure, and virtue. People are attracted to relationships that provide utility because of the assistance and sense of belonging that they provide. In relationships based on pleasure, people are attracted to the feelings of pleasantness when the parties engage. However, relationships based on utility and pleasure were said to be short-lived if the benefits provided by one of the partners was not reciprocated. Relationships based on virtue are built on an attraction to the others’ virtuous character.
Aristotle also suggested that relationships based on virtue would be the longest lasting and that virtue-based relationships were the only type of relationship in which each partner was liked for themselves. The philosophical analysis used by Aristotle dominated the analysis of intimate relationships until the late 1880s.
Modern psychology and sociology began to emerge in the late 19th century. During this time theorists often included relationships into their current areas of research and began to develop new foundations which had implications in regards to the analysis of intimate relationships. Freud wrote about parent–child relationships and their effect on personality development. Freud’s analysis proposed that people’s childhood experiences are transferred or passed on into adult relationships by means of feelings and expectations. Freud also founded the idea that individuals usually seek out marital partners who are similar to that of their opposite-sex parent.
In 1891, William James wrote that a person’s self-concept is defined by the relationships endured with others. In 1897, Émile Durkheim’s interest in social organization led to the examination of social isolation and alienation. This was an influential discovery of intimate relationships in that Durkheim argued that being socially isolated was a key antecedent of suicide. This focus on the darker side of relationships and the negative consequences associated to social isolation were what Durkheim labeled as anomie. Georg Simmel wrote about dyads, or partnerships with two people. Simmel suggested that dyads require consent and engagement of both partners to maintain the relationship but noted that the relationship can be ended by the initiation of only one partner. Although the theorists mentioned above sought support for their theories, their primary contributions to the study of intimate relationships were conceptual and not empirically grounded.
An important shift was taking place in the field of social psychology that influenced the research of intimate relationships. Until the late 1950s, the majority of studies were non-experimental. By the end of the 1960s more than half of the articles published involved some sort of experimental study. The 1960s was also a time when there was a shift in methodology within the psychological discipline itself. Participants consisted mostly of college students, experimental methods and research were being conducted in laboratories and the experimental method was the dominant methodology in social psychology. Experimental manipulation within the research of intimate relationships demonstrated that relationships could be studied scientifically. This shift brought relationship science to the attention of scholars in other disciplines and has resulted in the study of intimate relationships being an international multidiscipline.
In the early 1980s the first conference of the International Network of Personal Relationships (INPR) was held. Approximately 300 researchers from all over the world attended the conference. In March 1984, the first journal of Social and Personal Relationships was published. In the early 1990s the INPR split off into two groups; in April 2004 the two organizations rejoined and became the International Association for Relationship Research (IARR).
Donald Nathanson, a psychiatrist who built his study of human interactions off of the work of Silvan Tomkins, notes the relationship between two individuals, intimacy, is best when the couple agrees to maximize positive affect, minimize negative affect and allow for the free expression of affect (Shame and Pride, 1994). These findings were based on Tomkin’s blueprint for emotional health which also emphasizes doing as much of the maximizing, minimizing and expressing as possible.
Terms for members of intimate relationships
“Companionship” redirects here. For the album by Sahib Shihab, see Companionship (album).
“Human relations” redirects here. For the theory, see Human relations movement.
Emotions and feelings
An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship. They may be regulated by law, custom, or mutual agreement, and are the basis of social groups and society as a whole.
The study of interpersonal relationships involves several branches of the social sciences, including such disciplines as sociology, communication studies, psychology, anthropology, and social work. The scientific study of relationships evolved during the 1990s and came to be referred to as ‘ relationship science’, which distinguishes itself from anecdotal evidence or pseudo-experts by basing conclusions on data and objective analysis. Interpersonal ties are also a subject in mathematical sociology.
Main article: Outline of relationships § Types of relationships
Romantic relationships generally
Romantic relationships have been defined in countless ways, by writers, philosophers, religions, scientists, and in the modern day, relationship counselors. Two popular definitions of love are Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love and Fisher’s theory of love. Steinberg defines love in terms of intimacy, passion, and commitment, which he claims exist in varying levels in different romantic relationships. Fisher defines love as composed of three stages, attraction, romantic love, and attachment. Romantic relationships may exist between two people of any gender, or among a group of people (see polyamory).
The single defining quality of a romantic relationship is the presence of love. Love is therefore equally difficult to define. Hazan and Shaver define love, using Ainsworth’s attachment theory, as comprising proximity, emotional support, self-exploration, and separation distress when parted from the loved one. Other components commonly agreed to be necessary for love are physical attraction, similarity, reciprocity, and self-disclosure.
Early adolescent relationships are characterized by companionship, reciprocity, and sexual experiences. As emerging adults mature, they begin to develop attachment and caring qualities in their relationships, including love, bonding, security, and support for partners. Earlier relationships also tend to be shorter and exhibit greater involvement with social networks. Later relationships are often marked by shrinking social networks, as the couple dedicates more time to each other than to associates. Later relationships also tend to exhibit higher levels of commitment. Most psychologists and relationship counselors predict a decline of intimacy and passion over time, replaced by a greater emphasis on companionate love (differing from adolescent companionate love in the caring, committed, and partner-focused qualities). However, couple studies have found no decline in intimacy nor in the importance of sex, intimacy, and passionate love to those in longer or later-life relationships. Older people tend to be more satisfied in their relationships, but face greater barriers to entering new relationships than do younger or middle-aged people. Older women in particular face social, demographic, and personal barriers; men aged 65 and older are nearly twice as likely as women to be married, and widowers are nearly three times as likely to be dating 18 months following their partner’s loss compared to widows.
The term significant other gained popularity during the 1990s, reflecting the growing acceptance of non-heteronormative relationships. It can be used to avoid making an assumption about the gender or relational status (e.g. married, cohabitating, civil union) of a person’s intimate partner. Cohabiting relationships continue to rise, with many partners considering cohabitation to be nearly as serious as, or a substitute for, marriage. LGBT, on the other hand, face unique challenges in establishing and maintaining intimate relationships. The strain of internalized homo-negativity and of presenting themselves in line with socially acceptable gender norms can reduce the satisfaction and emotional and health benefits they experience in their relationships. LGBT youth also lack the social support and peer connections enjoyed by hetero-normative young people. Nonetheless, comparative studies of homosexual and heterosexual couples have found few differences in relationship intensity, quality, satisfaction, or commitment.
Although nontraditional relationships continue to rise, marriage still makes up the majority of relationships except among emerging adults. It is also still considered by many to occupy a place of greater importance among family and social structures.
TOTEM is an acronym for “Too Old To Ever Marry”. Many older people choose not to marry because of their age, financial and family obligations. Wills and often reverse mortgages are in effect, and marriage would complicate the relationship. In a TOTEM relationship, each partner maintains his or her home and, in the case of reverse mortgages, each person maintains residency in their own home sufficient to comply with the reverse mortgage requirements. Wills, trusts, etc., are left in their original form and family members need not be concerned about their future.
Parent-child relationships have always concerned people. In ancient times they were often marked by fear, either of rebellion or abandonment, resulting in the strict filial roles in, for example, ancient Rome and China. Freud conceived of the Oedipal complex, the supposed obsession of young boys their mother and the accompanying fear and rivalry with their father, and the less well-known Electra complex, in which the young girl feels that her mother has castrated her and therefore becomes obsessed with her father. Freud’s ideas influenced thought on parent-child relationships for decades. Another early conception of parent-child relationships was that love only existed as a biological drive for survival and comfort on the child’s part. In 1958, however, Harry Harlow’s landmark study comparing rhesus’ reactions to wire “mothers” and cloth “mothers” demonstrated the depth of emotion felt by infants. The study also laid the groundwork for Mary Ainsworth’s attachment theory, showing how the infants used their cloth “mothers” as a secure base from which to explore. Ainsworth defined three styles of parent-child relationships in a series of studies using the strange situation, a scenario in which an infant is separated from, then reunited with the parent. Securely attached infants miss the parent, greet them happily upon return, and show normal exploration and lack of fear when the parent is present. Insecure avoidant infants show little distress upon separation and ignore the caregiver when they return; they explore little when the parent is present. Insecure ambivalent infants are highly distressed by separation, but continue to be distressed upon the parent’s return; these infants also explore little and display fear even when the parent is present. Some psychologists have suggested a fourth attachment style, disorganized, so called because the infants’ behavior appeared disorganized or disoriented. Secure attachments styles are linked to better social and academic outcomes, greater moral internalization, and less delinquency for children, and have been found to predict later relationship success. For most of the late nineteenth through the twentieth century, the perception of adolescent-parent relationships was that of a time of upheaval. Stanley Hall popularized the “Sturm und drang”, or storm and stress, model of adolescence. Psychological research, however, has painted a much tamer picture. Although adolescents are more risk-seeking, and emerging adults have higher suicide rates, they are largely less volatile and have much better relationships with their parents than this model would suggest Early adolescence often marks a decline in parent-child relationship quality, which then re-stabilizes through adolescence, and relationships are sometimes better in late adolescence than prior to its onset. With the increasing average age at marriage and more youths attending college and living with parents past their teens, the concept of a new period called emerging adulthood gained popularity. This is considered a period of uncertainty and experimentation between adolescence and adulthood. During this stage, interpersonal relationships are considered to be more self-focused, and relationships with parents may still be influential.
Sibling relationships have a profound effect on social, psychological, emotional, and academic outcomes. Although proximity and contact usually decreases over time, sibling bonds continue to affect people throughout their lives. Sibling relationships are affected by parent-child relationships, such that sibling relationships in childhood often reflect the positive or negative aspects of children’s relationships with their parents.
Human beings are innately social and are shaped by their experiences with others. There are multiple perspectives to understand this inherent motivation to interact with others.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, humans need to feel love (sexual/nonsexual) and acceptance from social groups (family, peer groups). In fact, the need to belong is so innately ingrained that it may be strong enough to overcome physiological and safety needs, such as children’s attachment to abusive parents or staying in abusive romantic relationships. Such examples illustrate the extent to which the psychobiological drive to belong is entrenched.
Another way to appreciate the importance of relationships is in terms of a reward framework. This perspective suggests that individuals engage in relations that are rewarding in both tangible and intangible ways. The concept fits into a larger theory of social exchange. This theory is based on the idea that relationships develop as a result of cost-benefit analysis. Individuals seek out rewards in interactions with others and are willing to pay a cost for said rewards. In the best-case scenario, rewards will exceed costs, producing a net gain. This can lead to “shopping around” or constantly comparing alternatives to maximize the benefits or rewards while minimizing costs.
Relationships are also important for their ability to help individuals develop a sense of self. The relational self is the part of an individual’s self-concept that consists of the feelings and beliefs that one has regarding oneself that develops based on interactions with others. In other words, one’s emotions and behaviors are shaped by prior relationships. Thus, relational self theory posits that prior and existing relationships influence one’s emotions and behaviors in interactions with new individuals, particularly those individuals that remind him or her of others in his or her life. Studies have shown that exposure to someone who resembles a significant other activates specific self-beliefs, changing how one thinks about oneself in the moment more so than exposure to someone who does not resemble one’s significant other.
Power is the ability to influence the behavior of other people. When two parties have or assert unequal levels of power, one is termed “dominant” and the other “submissive”. Expressions of dominance can communicate intention to assert or maintain dominance in a relationship. Being submissive can be beneficial because it saves time, emotional stress, and may avoid hostile actions such as withholding of resources, cessation of cooperation, termination of the relationship, maintaining a grudge, or even physical violence. Submission occurs in different degrees; for example, some employees may follow orders without question, whereas others might express disagreement but concede when pressed.
Groups of people can form a dominance hierarchy. For example, a hierarchical organization uses a command hierarchy for top-down management. This can reduce time wasted in conflict over unimportant decisions, prevents inconsistent decisions from harming the operations of the organization, maintain alignment of a large population of workers with the goals of the owners (which the workers might not personally share) and if promotion is based on merit, help ensure that the people with the best expertise make important decisions. This contrasts with group decision-making and systems which encourage decision-making and self-organization by front-line employees, who in some cases may have better information about customer needs or how to work efficiently. Dominance is only one aspect of organizational structure.
A power structure describes power and dominance relationships in a larger society. For example, a feudal society under a monarchy exhibits a strong dominance hierarchy in both economics and physical power, whereas dominance relationships in a society with democracy and capitalism are more complicated.
In business relationships, dominance is often associated with economic power. For example, a business may adopt a submissive attitude to customer preferences (stocking what customers want to buy) and complaints (“the customer is always right”) in order to earn more money. A firm with monopoly power may be less responsive to customer complaints because it can afford to adopt a dominant position. In a business partnership a “silent partner” is one who adopts a submissive position in all aspects, but retains financial ownership and a share of the profits.
Two parties can be dominant in different areas. For example, in a friendship or romantic relationship, one person may have strong opinions about where to eat dinner, whereas the other has strong opinions about how to decorate a shared space. It could be beneficial for the party with weak preferences to be submissive in that area, because it will not make them unhappy and avoids conflict with the party that would be unhappy.
The breadwinner model is associated with gender role assignments where the male in a heterosexual marriage would be dominant in all areas.
Further information: Psychological manipulation and Brainwashing
Abusive relationships involve either maltreatment or violence from one individual to another and include physical abuse, physical neglect, sexual abuse, and emotional maltreatment. Abusive relationships within the family are very prevalent in the United States and usually involve women or children as victims. Common individual factors for abusers include low self-esteem, poor impulse control, external locus of control, drug use, alcohol abuse, and negative affectivity. There are also external factors such as stress, poverty, and loss which contribute to likelihood of abuse.
Codependency initially focused on a codependent partner enabling substance abuse, but has become more broadly defined to describe a dysfunctional relationship with extreme dependence on or preoccupation with another person. There are some who even refer to codependency as an addiction to the relationship. The focus of a codependent individual tends to be on the emotional state, behavioral choices, thoughts, and beliefs of another person. Often those who are codependent neglect themselves in favor of taking care of others and have difficulty fully developing their identity on their own.
Narcissists’ focus on themselves and often distance themselves from intimate relationships; the focus of narcissistic interpersonal relationships is to promote one’s self concept. Generally narcissists show less empathy in relationships and view love pragmatically or as a game involving others’ emotions.
Interpersonal relationships are dynamic systems that change continuously during their existence. Like living organisms, relationships have a beginning, a lifespan, and an end. They tend to grow and improve gradually, as people get to know each other and become closer emotionally, or they gradually deteriorate as people drift apart, move on with their lives and form new relationships with others. One of the most influential models of relationship development was proposed by psychologist George Levinger. This model was formulated to describe heterosexual, adult romantic relationships, but it has been applied to other kinds of interpersonal relations as well. According to the model, the natural development of a relationship follows five stages:
According to the latest Systematic Review of the Economic Literature on the Factors associated with Life Satisfaction (dating from 2007), stable and secure relationships are beneficial, and correspondingly, relationship dissolution is harmful.
The American Psychological Association has summarised the evidence on breakups. Breaking up can actually be a positive experience when the relationship did not expand the self and when the breakup leads to personal growth. They also recommend some ways to cope with the experience:
Less time between a breakup and a subsequent relationship predicts higher self-esteem, attachment security, emotional stability, respect for your new partner, and greater well-being. Furthermore, rebound relationships don’t last any shorter than regular relationships. 60% of people are friends with one or more ex. 60% of people have had an off-and-on relationship. 37% of cohabiting couples, and 23% of the married, have broken up and gotten back together with their existing partner.
Terminating a marital relationship implies a divorce. One reason cited for divorce is infidelity. The determinants of unfaithfulness are debated by dating service providers, feminists, academics and science communicators. According to Psychology Today, women’s, rather than men’s, level of commitment more strongly determines if a relationship will continue.
Social exchange theory and Rusbult’s investment model shows that relationship satisfaction is based on three factors: rewards, costs, and comparison levels (Miller, 2012). Rewards refer to any aspects of the partner or relationship that are positive. Conversely, costs are the negative or unpleasant aspects of the partner or their relationship. Comparison level includes what each partner expects of the relationship. The comparison level is influenced by past relationships, and general relationship expectations they are taught by family and friends.
Individuals in long-distance relationships, LDRs, rated their relationships as more satisfying than individuals in proximal relationship, PRs. Alternatively, Holt and Stone (1988) found that long-distance couples who were able to meet with their partner at least once a month had similar satisfaction levels to unmarried couples who cohabitated. Also, the relationship satisfaction was lower for members of LDRs who saw their partner less frequently than once a month. LDR couples reported the same level of relationship satisfaction as couples in PRs, despite only seeing each other on average once every 23 days.
Social exchange theory and the investment model both theorize that relationships that are high in costs would be less satisfying than relationships that are low in costs. LDRs have a higher level of costs than PRs, therefore, one would assume that LDRs are less satisfying than PRs. Individuals in LDRs are more satisfied with their relationships compared to individuals in PRs. This can be explained by unique aspects of the LDRs, how the individuals use relationship maintenance behaviors, and the attachment styles of the individuals in the relationships. Therefore, the costs and benefits of the relationship are subjective to the individual, and people in LDRs tend to report lower costs and higher rewards in their relationship compared to PRs.
Positive psychologists use the various terms “flourishing, budding, blooming, blossoming relationships” to describe interpersonal relationships that are not merely happy, but instead characterized by intimacy, growth, and resilience. Flourishing relationships also allow a dynamic balance between focus on the intimate relationships and focus on other social relationships.
While traditional psychologists specializing in close relationships have focused on relationship dysfunction, positive psychology argues that relationship health is not merely the absence of relationship dysfunction. Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of secure attachment and are maintained with love and purposeful positive relationship behaviors. Additionally, healthy relationships can be made to “flourish.” Positive psychologists are exploring what makes existing relationships flourish and what skills can be taught to partners to enhance their existing and future personal relationships. A social skills approach posits that individuals differ in their degree of communication skill, which has implications for their relationships. Relationships in which partners possess and enact relevant communication skills are more satisfying and stable than relationships in which partners lack appropriate communication skills.
Healthy relationships are built on a foundation of secure attachments. Adult attachment models represent an internal set of expectations and preferences regarding relationship intimacy that guide behavior. Secure adult attachment, characterized by low attachment-related avoidance and anxiety, has numerous benefits. Within the context of safe, secure attachments, people can pursue optimal human functioning and flourishing. This is because social acts that reinforce feelings of attachment also stimulate the release of neurotransmitters such as oxytocin and endorphin, which alleviate stress and create feelings of contentment. Attachment theory can also be used as a means of explaining adult relationships.
Secure attachment styles are characterized by low avoidance of intimacy and low anxiety over abandonment. Secure individuals are comfortable with intimacy and interdependence and are usually optimistic and social in everyday life. Securely attached individuals usually use their partners for emotion regulation so they prefer to have their partners in close proximity. Preoccupied individuals tend to be low on avoidance of intimacy and high on anxiety about abandonment. Preoccupied people are normally uneasy and vigilant towards any threat to the relationship and tend to be needy and jealous. Dismissing individuals are low on anxiety over abandonment and high in avoidance of intimacy. Dismissing people are usually self-reliant and uninterested in intimacy and are independent and indifferent towards acquiring romantic partners. Fearful attachment styled individuals are high in avoidance of intimacy and high in anxiety over abandonment, which means they rarely allow themselves to be in relationships, and if they do get into one, are very anxious about losing the partner. They are very fearful of rejection, mistrustful of others, and tend to be suspicious and shy in everyday life. Attachment styles are created during childhood but can adapt and evolve to become a different attachment style based on individual experiences. A bad breakup or a bad romantic situation can change someone from being in a secure attachment to insecure. On the contrary, a good romantic relationship can take a person from an avoidant attachment style to more of a secure attachment style.
Main article: Romantic love
The capacity for love gives depth to human relationships, brings people closer to each other physically and emotionally, and makes people think expansively about themselves and the world.
Stages of romantic interpersonal relationships can also be characterized more generally by the following: attraction; initiation; development; sustaining vs. terminating.
In his triangular theory of love, psychologist Robert Sternberg theorizes that love is a mix of three components: some (1) passion, or physical attraction; (2) intimacy, or feelings of closeness; and (3) commitment, involving the decision to initiate and sustain a relationship. The presence of all three components characterizes consummate love, the most durable type of love. In addition, the presence of intimacy and passion in marital relationships predicts marital satisfaction. Also, commitment is the best predictor of relationship satisfaction, especially in long-term relationships. Positive consequences of being in love include increased self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Referring to the emotion of love, Psychiatrist Daniel Casriel defined the “logic of love” as “the logic of pleasure and pain” in the concept of a “ Relationship Road Map” that became the foundation of PAIRS’ relationship education classes.
“We are drawn to what we anticipate will be a source of pleasure and will look to avoid what we anticipate will be a source of pain. The emotion of love comes from the anticipation of pleasure.”
Based on Casriel’s theory, sustaining feelings of love in an interpersonal relationship requires “effective communication, emotional understanding and healthy conflict resolution skills.”
Confucianism is a study and theory of relationships especially within hierarchies. Social harmony—the central goal of Confucianism—results in part from every individual knowing his or her place in the social order, and playing his or her part well. Particular duties arise from each person’s particular situation in relation to others. The individual stands simultaneously in several different relationships with different people: as a junior in relation to parents and elders, and as a senior in relation to younger siblings, students, and others. Juniors are considered in Confucianism to owe their seniors reverence and seniors have duties of benevolence and concern toward juniors. A focus on mutuality is prevalent in East Asian cultures to this day.
The mindfulness theory of relationships shows how closeness in relationships may be enhanced. Minding is the “reciprocal knowing process involving the nonstop, interrelated thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons in a relationship.” Five components of “minding” include:
Theory of intertype relationships
Socionics has proposed a theory of intertype relationships between psychological types based on a modified version of C.G. Jung’s theory of psychological types. Communication between types is described using the concept of information metabolism proposed by Antoni Kępiński. Socionics allocates 16 types of the relations — from most attractive and comfortable up to disputed. The understanding of a nature of these relations helps to solve a number of problems of the interpersonal relations, including aspects of psychological and sexual compatibility. The researches of married couples by Aleksandr Bukalov et al., have shown that the family relations submit to the laws, which are opened by socionics. The study of socionic type allocation in casually selected married couples confirmed the main rules of the theory of intertype relations in socionics. So, the dual relations (full addition) make 45% and the intraquadral relations make 64% of investigated couples.
Culture of appreciation
After studying married couples for many years, psychologist John Gottman has proposed the theory of the “magic ratio” for successful marriages. The theory says that for a marriage to be successful, couples must average a ratio of five positive interactions to one negative interaction. As the ratio moves to 1:1, divorce becomes more likely. Interpersonal interactions associated with negative relationships include criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. Over time, therapy aims to turn these interpersonal strategies into more positive ones, which include complaint, appreciation, acceptance of responsibility, and self-soothing. Similarly, partners in interpersonal relationships can incorporate positive components into difficult subjects in order to avoid emotional disconnection.
In addition, Martin Seligman proposes the concept of Active-Constructive Responding, which stresses the importance of practicing conscious attentive listening and feedback skills. In essence, practicing this technique aims to improve the quality of communication between members of the relationship, and in turn the gratitude expressed between said members.
Capitalizing on positive events
People can capitalize on positive events in an interpersonal context to work toward flourishing relationships. People often turn to others to share their good news (termed “capitalization”). Studies show that both the act of telling others about good events and the response of the person with whom the event was shared have personal and interpersonal consequences, including increased positive emotions, subjective well-being, and self-esteem, and relationship benefits including intimacy, commitment, trust, liking, closeness, and stability. Studies show that the act of communicating positive events was associated with increased positive effect and well-being (beyond the impact of the positive event itself). Other studies have found that relationships in which partners responded to “good news” communication enthusiastically were associated with higher relationship well-being.
The Vulnerability Stress Adaptation (VSA) Model
The VSA is a framework for conceptualizing the dynamic processes of intimate relationships, which emphasizes the consideration of multiple dimensions of functioning, including couple members’ enduring vulnerabilities, experiences of stressful events, and adaptive processes, to account for variations in marital quality and stability over time. According to the VSA model, in order to achieve a complete understanding of relationship functioning, research must consider all functional dimensions, including enduring vulnerabilities, stress, and adaptive processes simultaneously.
Humans are social creatures, and there is no other behavioral process that is more important than attachment. Attachment requires sensory and cognitive processing that lead to intricate motor responses. As humans, the end goal of attachment is the motivation to acquire love, which is different from other animals who just seek proximity. There is an emerging body of research across multiple disciplines investigating the neurological basis of attachment and the prosocial emotions and behaviors that are the prerequisites for healthy adult relationships. The social environment, mediated by attachment, influences the maturation of structures in a child’s brain. This might explain how infant attachment affects adult emotional health. This continues on throughout childbearing. A link between positive caregiver–child relationships and the development of hormone systems, such as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) and oxytocinergic system has been observed.
The ability to study the biological processes behind attachment allows scientists to be able to understand the fundamental levels to makeup a psychological construct. It provides a link between a psychological concept and its physiological foundation.
In interpersonal relationship those who feel secure are open with their emotional expression, those who are anxious-ambivalent don’t express them and process them internally which might lead to immune system disorders, those who are avoidant direct their emotions onto others. Those who have similar coping system have a positive relationship status. Those who are open with their emotional expression with appropriateness is found to have a positive well being. Culture, personal characteristics and experiences are influencing factors in behavioral aspects of interpersonal relationship.
Researchers are developing an approach to couples therapy that moves partners from patterns of repeated conflict to patterns of more positive, comfortable exchanges. Goals of therapy include development of social and interpersonal skills. Expressing gratitude and sharing appreciation for a partner is the primary means for creating a positive relationship. Positive marital counseling also emphasizes mindfulness. The further study of “flourishing relationships could shape the future of premarital and marital counseling as well.”
Some researchers criticize positive psychology for studying positive processes in isolation from negative processes. Positive psychologists argue that positive and negative processes in relationships may be better understood as functionally independent, not as opposites of each other.
Popular perceptions of intimate relationships are strongly influenced by movies and television. Common messages are that love is predestined, love at first sight is possible, and that love with the right person always succeeds. Those who consume the most romance-related media tend to believe in predestined romance and that those who are destined to be together implicitly understand each other. These beliefs, however, can lead to less communication and problem-solving as well as giving up on relationships more easily when conflict is encountered.
Social media has changed the face of interpersonal relationships. Romantic interpersonal relationships are no less impacted. For example, FB has become an integral part of the dating process for emerging adults. Social media can have both positive and negative impacts on romantic relationships. For example, supportive social networks have been linked to more stable relationships. However, social media usage can also facilitate conflict, jealousy, and passive aggressive behaviors such as spying on a partner. Aside from direct effects on the development, maintenance, and perception of romantic relationships, excessive social network usage is linked to jealousy and dissatisfaction in relationships. A growing segment of the population is engaging in purely online dating, sometimes but not always moving towards traditional face-to-face interactions. These online relationships differ from face-to-face relationships; for example, self-disclosure may be of primary importance in developing an online relationship. Conflict management differs, since avoidance is easier and conflict resolution skills may not develop in the same way. Additionally, the definition of infidelity is both broadened and narrowed, since physical infidelity becomes easier to conceal but emotional infidelity (e.g. chatting with more than one online partner) becomes a more serious offense.
Romantic relationship events
Feelings and emotions
The aerospace giant said that the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s departure from the European Union could force it to consider leaving.
Here’s a look at what transpired in the whole affair that led us to this point.
In a Relationship is an 2018 American comedy drama film, written and directed by Sam Boyd in his directorial debut. It stars Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, Patrick Gibson, Jay Ellis, and Melora Walters.
It had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2018.
In March 2017, it was announced Emma Roberts, Michael Angarano, Dree Hemingway, Jay Ellis, Melora Walters, Gayle Rankin, Greta Lee, Janet Montgomery, Andre Hyland, Luka Jones and Sasha Spielberg had joined the cast of the, film with Sam Boyd directing and writing from a screenplay he wrote. Boyd will also produce the film, alongside Jorge Garcia Castro, David Hunter and Ross Putman, Sergio Cortez Gomez, Andres Icaza Ballesteros, Roberts, Kariah Press who will serve as producers and executive producers respectively, under their 2 Friends Media banner. Production concluded that month.
The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2018. Shortly after, Vertical Entertainment acquired distribution rights to the film.
In a Relationship on IMDb
A new exhibit grapples with the reality of slavery and deals a final blow to two centuries of ignoring or covering up what amounted to an open secret.
Customer relationship management (CRM) is an approach to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers’ history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.
One important aspect of the CRM approach is the systems of CRM that compile data from a range of different communication channels, including a company’s website, telephone, email, live chat, marketing materials, and more recently, social media. Through the CRM approach and the systems used to facilitate it, businesses learn more about their target audiences and how to best cater to their needs.
The concept of customer relationship management started in the early 1970s, when customer satisfaction was evaluated using annual surveys or by front-line asking. At that time, businesses had to rely on standalone mainframe systems to automate sales, but the extent of technology allowed them to categorize customers in spreadsheets and lists. In 1982, Kate and Robert Kestnbaum introduced the concept of Database marketing, namely applying statistical methods to analyze and gather customer data. By 1986, Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney released a customer evaluation system called ACT! based on the principle of digital rolodex, which offered a contact management service for the first time.
The trend was followed by numerous developers trying to maximize leads’ potential, including Tom Siebel, who signed the first CRM product Siebel Systems in 1993. Nevertheless, customer relationship management popularized in 1997, due to the work of Siebel, Gartner, and IBM. Between 1997 and 2000, leading CRM products were enriched with enterprise resource planning functions, and shipping and marketing capabilities. Siebel introduced the first mobile CRM app called Siebel Sales Handheld in 1999. The idea of a cloud-hosted and moveable customer bases was soon adopted by other leading providers at the time, including PeopleSoft, Oracle, and SAP.
The first open-source CRM system was developed by SugarCRM in 2004. During this period, CRM was rapidly migrating to cloud, as a result of which it became accessible to sole entrepreneurs and small teams, and underwent a huge wave of price reduction. Around 2009, developers began considering the options to profit from social media’s momentum, and designed tools to help companies become accessible on all users’ favorite networks. Many startups at the time benefited from this trend to provide exclusively social CRM solutions, including Base and Nutshell. The same year, Gartner organized and held the first Customer Relationship Management Summit, and summarized the features systems should offer to be classified as CRM solutions. In 2013 and 2014, most of the popular CRM products were linked to business intelligence systems and communication software to improve corporate communication and end-users’ experience. The leading trend is to replace standardized CRM solutions with industry-specific ones, or to make them customizable enough to meet the needs of every business.
In November 2016, Forrester released a report where it “identified the nine most significant CRM suites from eight prominent vendors,” among them companies such as Infor, Microsoft, and NetSuite.
Strategic CRM is focused upon the development of a customer-centric business culture.
The primary goal of customer relationship management systems is to integrate and automate sales, marketing, and customer support. Therefore, these systems typically have a dashboard that gives an overall view of the three functions on a single customer view, a single page for each customer that a company may have. The dashboard may provide client information, past sales, previous marketing efforts, and more, summarizing all of the relationships between the customer and the firm. Operational CRM is made up of 3 main components: sales force automation, marketing automation, and service automation.
The role of analytical CRM systems is to analyze customer data collected through multiple sources, and present it so that business managers can make more informed decisions. Analytical CRM systems use techniques such as data mining, correlation, and pattern recognition to analyze the customer data. These analytics help improve customer service by finding small problems which can be solved, perhaps, by marketing to different parts of a consumer audience differently. For example, through the analysis of a customer base’s buying behavior, a company might see that this customer base has not been buying a lot of products recently. After scanning through this data, the company might think to market to this subset of consumers differently, in order to best communicate how this company’s products might benefit this group specifically.
The third primary aim of CRM systems is to incorporate external stakeholders such as suppliers, vendors, and distributors, and share customer information across organizations. For example, feedback can be collected from technical support calls, which could help provide direction for marketing products and services to that particular customer in the future.
A customer data platform (CDP) is a computer system used by marketing departments that assembles data about individual people from various sources into one database, with which other software systems can interact. As of February 2017 there were about twenty companies selling such systems and revenue for them was around US$300 million.
Components in the different types of CRM
The main components of CRM are building and managing customer relationships through marketing, observing relationships as they mature through distinct phases, managing these relationships at each stage and recognizing that the distribution of value of a relationship to the firm is not homogenous. When building and managing customer relationships through marketing, firms might benefit from using a variety of tools to help organizational design, incentive schemes, customer structures, and more to optimize the reach of its marketing campaigns. Through the acknowledgement of the distinct phases of CRM, businesses will be able to benefit from seeing the interaction of multiple relationships as connected transactions. The final factor of CRM highlights the importance of CRM through accounting for the profitability of customer relationships. Through studying the particular spending habits of customers, a firm may be able to dedicate different resources and amounts of attention to different types of consumers.
Relational Intelligence, or awareness of the variety of relationships a customer can have with a firm, is an important component to the main phases of CRM. Companies may be good at capturing demographic data, such as gender, age, income, and education, and connecting them with purchasing information to categorize customers into profitability tiers, but this is only a firm’s mechanical view of customer relationships. This therefore is a sign that firms believe that customers are still resources that can be used for up-sell or cross-sell opportunities, rather than humans looking for interesting and personalized interactions.
CRM systems include:
Customer satisfaction has important implications for the economic performance of firms because it has the ability to increase customer loyalty and usage behavior and reduce customer complaints and the likelihood of customer defection. The implementation of a CRM approach is likely to have an effect on customer satisfaction and customer knowledge for a variety of different reasons.
Firstly, firms are able to customize their offerings for each customer. By accumulating information across customer interactions and processing this information to discover hidden patterns, CRM applications help firms customize their offerings to suit the individual tastes of their customers. This customization enhances the perceived quality of products and services from a customer’s viewpoint, and because perceived quality is a determinant of customer satisfaction, it follows that CRM applications indirectly affect customer satisfaction. CRM applications also enable firms to provide timely, accurate processing of customer orders and requests and the ongoing management of customer accounts. For example, Piccoli and Applegate discuss how Wyndham uses IT tools to deliver a consistent service experience across its various properties to a customer. Both an improved ability to customize and a reduced variability of the consumption experience enhance perceived quality, which in turn positively affects customer satisfaction. Furthermore, CRM applications also help firms manage customer relationships more effectively across the stages of relationship initiation, maintenance, and termination.
With CRM systems customers are served better on day to day process and with more reliable information their demand of self service from companies will decrease. If there is less need to interact with the company for different problems, customer satisfaction level increases. These central benefits of CRM will be connected hypothetically to the three kinds of equity that are relationship, value and brand, and in the end to customer equity. Eight benefits were recognized to provide value drivers.
In 2012, after reviewing the previous studies, someone selected some of those benefits which are more significant in customer’s satisfaction and summarized them into the following cases:
Research has found a 5% increase in customer retention boosts lifetime customer profits by 50% on average across multiple industries, as well as a boost of up to 90% within specific industries such as insurance. Companies that have mastered customer relationship strategies have the most successful CRM programs. For example, MBNA Europe has had a 75% annual profit growth since 1995. The firm heavily invests in screening potential cardholders. Once proper clients are identified, the firm retains 97% of its profitable customers. They implement CRM by marketing the right products to the right customers. The firm’s customers’ card usage is 52% above industry norm, and the average expenditure is 30% more per transaction. Also 10% of their account holders ask for more information on cross-sale products.
Amazon has also seen great success through its customer proposition. The firm implemented personal greetings, collaborative filtering, and more for the customer. They also used CRM training for the employees to see up to 80% of customers repeat.
Consultants, such as Bain & Company, argue that it is important for companies establishing strong CRM systems to improve their relational intelligence. According to this argument, a company must recognize that people have many different types of relationships with different brands. One research study analyzed relationships between consumers in China, Germany, Spain, and the United States, with over 200 brands in 11 industries including airlines, cars and media. This information is valuable as it provides demographic, behavioral, and value-based customer segmentation. These types of relationships can be both positive and negative. Some customers view themselves as friends of the brands, while others as enemies, and some are mixed with a love-hate relationship with the brand. Some relationships are distant, intimate or anything in between.
Managers must understand the different reasons for the types of relationships, and provide the customer with what they are looking for. Companies can collect this information by using surveys, interviews, and more, with current customers. For example, Frito-Lay conducted many ethnographic interviews with customers to try and understand the relationships they wanted with the companies and the brands. They found that most customers were adults who used the product to feel more playful. They may have enjoyed the company’s bright orange color, messiness and shape.
Companies must also improve their relational intelligence of their CRM systems. These days, companies store and receive huge amounts of data through emails, online chat sessions, phone calls, and more. Many companies do not properly make use of this great amount of data, however. All of these are signs of what types of relationships the customer wants with the firm, and therefore companies may consider investing more time and effort in building out their relational intelligence. Companies can use data mining technologies and web searches to understand relational signals. Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. is also a very important factor in picking up and analyzing information. Understanding the customer and capturing this data allows companies to convert customer’s signals into information and knowledge that the firm can use to understand a potential customer’s desired relations with a brand.
It is also very important to analyze all of this information to determine which relationships prove the most valuable. This helps convert data into profits for the firm. Stronger bonds contribute to building market share. By managing different portfolios for different segments of the customer base, the firm can achieve strategic goals.
Many firms have also implemented training programs to teach employees how to recognize and effectively create strong customer-brand relationships. For example, Harley Davidson sent its employees on the road with customers, who were motorcycle enthusiasts, to help solidify relationships. Other employees have also been trained in social psychology and the social sciences to help bolster strong customer relationships. Customer service representatives must be educated to value customer relationships, and trained to understand existing customer profiles. Even the finance and legal departments should understand how to manage and build relationships with customers.
Applying new technologies while using CRM systems requires changes in infrastructure of the organization as well as deployment of new technologies such as business rules, databases and information technology.
Contact center CRM providers are popular for small and mid-market businesses. These systems codify the interactions between company and customers by using analytics and key performance indicators to give the users information on where to focus their marketing and customer service. This allows agents to have access to a caller’s history to provide personalized customer communication. The intention is to maximize average revenue per user, decrease churn rate and decrease idle and unproductive contact with the customers.
Growing in popularity is the idea of gamifying, or using game design elements and game principles in a non-game environment such as customer service environments. The gamification of customer service environments includes providing elements found in games like rewards and bonus points to customer service representatives as a method of feedback for a job well done. Gamification tools can motivate agents by tapping into their desire for rewards, recognition, achievements, and competition.
Contact center automation, the practice of having an integrated system that coordinates contacts between an organization and the public, is designed to reduce the repetitive and tedious parts of a contact center agent’s job. Automation prevents this by having pre-recorded audio messages that help customers solve their problems. For example, an automated contact center may be able to re-route a customer through a series of commands asking him or her to select a certain number in order to speak with a particular contact center agent who specializes in the field in which the customer has a question. Software tools can also integrate with the agent’s desktop tools to handle customer questions and requests. This also saves time on behalf of the employees.
Social CRM involves the use of social media and technology to engage and learn from consumers. Because the public, especially among young people, has increasingly using social networking sites, companies use these sites to draw attention to their products, services and brands, with the aim of building up customer relationships to increase demand.
Some CRM systems integrate social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to track and communicate with customers. These customers also share their own opinions and experiences with a company’s products and services, giving these firms more insight. Therefore, these firms can both share their own opinions and also track the opinions of their customers.
Enterprise feedback management software platforms, such as Confirmit, Medallia, and Satmetrix, combine internal survey data with trends identified through social media to allow businesses to make more accurate decisions on which products to supply.
CRM systems can also include technologies that create geographic marketing campaigns. The systems take in information based on a customer’s physical location and sometimes integrates it with popular location-based GPS applications. It can be used for networking or contact management as well to help increase sales based on location.
Despite the general notion that CRM systems were created for the customer-centric businesses, they can also be applied to B2B environments to streamline and improve customer management conditions. For the best level of CRM operation in a B2B environment, the software must be personalized and delivered at individual levels.
The main differences between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business CRM systems concern aspects like sizing of contact databases and length of relationships. Business-to-business companies tend to have smaller contact databases than business-to-consumer, the volume of sales in business-to-business is relatively small. There are fewer figure propositions in business-to-business, but in some cases, they cost a lot more than business-to-consumer items and relationships in business-to-business environment are built over a longer period of time. Furthermore, business-to-business CRM must be easily integrated with products from other companies. Such integration enables the creation of forecasts about customer behavior based on their buying history, bills, business success, etc. An application for a business-to-business company must have a function to connect all the contacts, processes and deals among the customers segment and then prepare a paper. Automation of sales process is an important requirement for business-to-business products. It should effectively manage the deal and progress it through all the phases towards signing. Finally, a crucial point is personalization. It helps the business-to-business company to create and maintain strong and long-lasting relationship with the customer.
The overall CRM market grew by 12.3 percent in 2015. The following table lists the top vendors in 2012-2015 (figures in millions of US dollars) published in Gartner studies.
The four largest vendors with CRM system offerings are Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft, which represented 42 percent of the market in 2015. Other providers also are popular for small and mid market businesses. Splitting CRM providers into nine different categories (Enterprise CRM Suite, Midmarket CRM Suite, Small-Business CRM Suite, sales force automation, incentive management, marketing solutions, business intelligence, data quality, consultancies), each category has a different market leader. Additionally, applications often focus on professional fields such as healthcare, manufacturing, and other areas with branch-specific requirements.
In the Gartner CRM Summit 2010 challenges like “system tries to capture data from social networking traffic like Twitter, handles Facebook page addresses or other online social networking sites” were discussed and solutions were provided that would help in bringing more clientele. Many CRM vendors offer subscription-based web tools (cloud computing) and SaaS. Some CRM systems are equipped with mobile capabilities, making information accessible to remote sales staff.Salesforce.com was the first company to provide enterprise applications through a web browser, and has maintained its leadership position.
Traditional providers have recently moved into the cloud-based market via acquisitions of smaller providers: Oracle purchased RightNow in October 2011 and SAP acquired SuccessFactors in December 2011.
The era of the “social customer” refers to the use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram, Yelp, customer reviews in Amazon, etc.) by customers. CRM philosophy and strategy has shifted to encompass social networks and user communities.
Sales forces also play an important role in CRM, as maximizing sales effectiveness and increasing sales productivity is a driving force behind the adoption of CRM. Empowering sales managers was listed as one of the top 5 CRM trends in 2013.
Another related development is vendor relationship management (VRM), which provide tools and services that allow customers to manage their individual relationship with vendors. VRM development has grown out of efforts by ProjectVRM at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Identity Commons’ Internet Identity Workshops, as well as by a growing number of startups and established companies. VRM was the subject of a cover story in the May 2010 issue of CRM Magazine.
Pharmaceutical companies were some of the first investors in sales force automation (SFA) and some are on their third- or fourth-generation implementations. However, until recently, the deployments did not extend beyond SFA—limiting their scope and interest to Gartner analysts.
Another trend worth noting is the rise of Customer Success as a discipline within companies. More and more companies establish Customer Success teams as separate from the traditional Sales team and task them with managing existing customer relations. This trend fuels demand for additional capabilities for more holistic understanding of the customer health, which is a limitation for many existing vendors in the space. As a result, a growing number of new entrants enter the market, while existing vendors add capabilities in this area to their suites. In 2017, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics were identified as the newest trends in CRM.
See also: anonymization and customer rights
Companies face large challenges when trying to implement CRM systems. Consumer companies frequently manage their customer relationships haphazardly and unprofitably. They may not effectively or adequately use their connections with their customers, due to misunderstandings or misinterpretations of a CRM system’s analysis. Clients who want to be treated more like a friend may be treated like just a party for exchange, rather than a unique individual, due to, occasionally, a lack of a bridge between the CRM data and the CRM analysis output. Many studies show that customers are frequently frustrated by a company’s inability to meet their relationship expectations, and on the other side, companies do not always know how to translate the data they have gained from CRM software into a feasible action plan. In 2003, a Gartner report estimated that more than $2 billion had been spent on software that was not being used. According to CSO Insights, less than 40 percent of 1,275 participating companies had end-user adoption rates above 90 percent. Many corporations only use CRM systems on a partial or fragmented basis. In a 2007 survey from the UK, four-fifths of senior executives reported that their biggest challenge is getting their staff to use the systems they had installed. 43 percent of respondents said they use less than half the functionality of their existing systems. However, market research regarding consumers’ preferences may increase the adoption of CRM among the developing countries’ consumers.
Collection of customer data such as personally identifiable information must strictly obey customer privacy laws, which often requires extra expenditures on legal support.
Part of the paradox with CRM stems from the challenge of determining exactly what CRM is and what it can do for a company. The CRM paradox, also referred to as the “Dark side of CRM”, may entail favoritism and differential treatment of some customers.
CRM technologies can easily become ineffective if there is no proper management, and they are not implemented correctly. The data sets must also be connected, distributed, and organized properly, so that the users can access the information that they need quickly and easily. Research studies also show that customers are increasingly becoming dissatisfied with contact center experiences due to lags and wait times. They also request and demand multiple channels of communications with a company, and these channels must transfer information seamlessly. Therefore, it is increasingly important for companies to deliver a cross-channel customer experience that can be both consistent as well as reliable.