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14.3: Chapter Wrap-Up

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    “But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression…the dark side of the Force are they, easily they flow… If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Consume you, it will…” ―Yoda

    The concept of “the dark side” stems from the struggle between good and evil put forth by George Lucas in Star Wars back in 1977. The metaphor of “the dark side” has been used by communication scholars to look at a range of interpersonal relationship behaviors that are highly problematic and destructive. We started this chapter by examining a few destructive interpersonal behaviors: secret testing, Internet infidelity, and hurtful messages. We then switched our focus to the highly destructive world of interpersonal aggression. We looked at both how interpersonal relationships can be both verbally and physically destructive. If you find yourself in a verbally or physically destructive interpersonal relationship, please seek help. No one deserves to be belittled, demeaned, or assaulted.

    End of Chapter

    Key Terms
    • Bullying • Confrontational Behaviors • Directness • Endurance Test • Indirect Suggestions • Internet Characteristics • Internet Infidelity • Intimate Partner Violence • Nonconfrontational Behaviors • Physical Bullying • Reasons for Relational Aggression • Relational Aggression • Relational Bullying • Secret Tests • Separation Test • Third-Party Testing • Triangle Test • Types of Workplace Bullying • Verbal Bullying

    Real World Case Study

    Carrie’s daughter, Diana, had only been at Birmingham School Junior High School a few months when she formed a friendship with three girls: Lisa, Lucy, and Kristen. The girls were great friends, and spent a significant amount of time on the phone and at the mall on the weekends. The girls graduated from 8th grade and moved on to high school. During their freshman year, Diana took a disliking to Lisa and began campaigning against her. At some point, Diana decided that the group should no longer include Lisa. When spending the night with Kristen, Diana asked Kristen to call Lisa to get her to talk about her behind her back. She planned to confront Lisa if she talked about her. She plotted with Lucy and Kristen to get them to ignore Lisa when she came to sit with them at lunch. In a final act to eradicate Lisa from the group, she coaxed Lucy into writing a note Kristen to say that she didn’t want to be friends with Lisa anymore. The plan was for Diana to “find” the note and then give it to Lisa so that she could see how Kristen and Lucy felt about her. The girls moved forward with their plan to write the note and give it to Lisa. After Lisa received the note, she went to Kristen to find out what was going on. She was devastated and crying. Kristen felt terrible for her, but she didn’t betray her friendship with Diana. Later, Lisa’s mom called Carrie to talk about the situation and determine what could be done.

    1. What term describes the behavior demonstrated by the girls in the scenario?
    2. Is it reasonable to expect Kristen and Lucy to stand up to Diana?
    3. What, in your opinion, caused Diana to exclude Lisa?
    4. When Carrie found out about her daughter’s behavior, what was her responsibility?
    5. Was it acceptable for Lisa’s mom to call Carrie?
    6. What would you do in this situation?

    End of Chapter Quiz

    1. Which form of secret test involves physical distance?
      a. endurance
      b. separation
      c. third party
      d. public presentation
      e. triangle test
    2. Verbal aggression is defined as
      a. attacking the self-concept of others
      b. attacking the topic in an argument
      c. manipulating social relationships of others
      d. using one’s power to intimidate others
      e. isolating the target of communication
    3. Relational aggression is best defined as
      a. manipulating the social relationships of others
      b. attacking the self-concept of others
      c. attacking the topic in an argument
      d. using one’s power to intimidate others
      e. isolating the target
    4. Which of the following is not a form of workplace bullying?
      a. Damaging professional standing
      b. Limiting the ability to complete work
      c. Obstructing due process
      d. Verbal threats
      e. Providing counseling through human resources upon reports of bullying
    5. Which of the following is not included in playful teasing?
      a. Parties are Friends
      b. Repeated occurrences of the same behavior
      c. Signs of affection
      d. Parties smile and laugh
      e. Parties are using teasing to broach difficult topics

    References

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    2 Berger, C.R. & Calabrese, R.J. (1975). Some explorations in initial interaction and beyond: Toward a developmental theory of interpersonal communication. Human Communication Research, 1(2), 99-112. doi. org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1975.tb00258.x

    3 Baxter, L.A. & Wilmot, W.W. (1985). Taboo topics in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2(3), 253–269. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407585023002

    4 Chory-Assad, R. M., & Booth-Butterfield, M. (2001). Secret test use and self-esteem in deteriorating relationships. Communication Research Reports, 18(2), 147-157. ttps://doi.org/10.1080/08824090109384792

    5 Ibid.

    6 Ibid.

    7 Kelley, D. L., & Waldron, V. R. (2005). An investigation of forgiveness-seeking communication and relational outcomes. Communication Quarterly, 53(3), 339–358. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463370500101097

    8 McCullough, M. E., Rachal, C. K., Sandage, S. J., Worthington, E. L. Jr., Brown, S. W., & Hight, T. L. (1998). Interpersonal forgiving in close relationships II: Theoretical elaboration and measurement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75(6), 1586–1603. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.75.6.1586

    9 Darby, B. W., & Schlenker, B. R. (1982). Children’s reactions to apologies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43 (4), 742–753. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.43.4.742

    10 McCullough, M. E., Bono, G., & Root, L. M. (2007). Rumination, emotion, and forgiveness: Three longitudinal studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92 (3), 490–505. doi.org/10.1037/0022- 3514.92.3.490

    11 Docan-Morgan, T., & Docan, C. A. (2007). Internet infidelity: Double standards and the differing views of women and men. Communication Quarterly, 55(3), 317-342 https://doi.org/10.1080/01463370701492519

    12 Shaw, J. (1997). Treatment rationale for Internet infidelity. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, 22(1), 29–34. https://doi.org/10.1080/01614576.1997.11074168

    13 Docan-Morgan, T., & Docan, C. A. (2007). Internet infidelity: Double standards and the differing views of women and men. Communication Quarterly, 55(3), 317-342 https://doi.org/10.1080/01463370701492519

    14 Phillip, A. (2014, July 9). High-priced prostitute arrested in death of a Google executive. Washington Post. Retrieved from: www.washingtonpost.com/news/p...gle-executive/

    15 Barnes, S. B. (2001). Online communication: Internet interpersonal relationships. Hampton Press.

    16 Gurak, L. J. (2001). Cyberliteracy: Navigating the Internet with awareness. Yale University Press.

    17 Turkle, S. (1995). Life on the screen: Identity in the age of the Internet. Simon & Schuster.

    18 Story of Manti Te’o girlfriend a hoax. (2013, January 17). ESPN.com. Retrieved from http://espn.go.com/ college-football/story/_/id/8851033/story-manti-teo-girlfriend-death-apparently-hoax

    19 Shackelford, T.K., & Buss, D.M. (1997). Cues to infidelity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23(10), 1034–1045. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672972310004

    20 Carpenter, C. J. (2009). A meta-analysis of sex differences in responses to sexual vs. Emotional infidelity [Paper Presentation]. International Communication Association. Retrieved from Communication and Mass Media Complete.

    21 Guerrero, L. K., Spitzberg, B. H., & Yoshimura, S. M. (2004). Sexual and emotional jealousy. In J. Harvey, A. Wenzel, & S. Sprecher (Eds.), The handbook of sexuality in close relationships (pp. 311–345). Erlbaum.

    22 Afifi, W. A., Falato, W. L., & Weiner, J. L. (2001). Identity concerns following a severe relational transgression: The role of discovery method for the relational outcomes of infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18(2), 291–309. https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407501182007

    23 Vangelisti, A. L., & Crumley, L. P. (1998). Reactions to messages that hurt: The influence of relational contexts. Communication Monographs, 65(3), 173-196. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637759809376447; pg. 173.

    24 Vangelisti, A. L. (1994). Messages that hurt. In W. R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of interpersonal communication (pp. 53–82). Lawrence Erlbaum.

    25 Vangelisti, A. L., & Crumley, L. P. (1998). Reactions to messages that hurt: The influence of relational contexts. Communication Monographs, 65(3), 173-196. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637759809376447; p. 173.

    26 Xie, H., Cairns, B. D., & Cairns, R. B. (2005). The development of aggressive behaviors among girls: Measurement issues, social functions, and differential trajectories. In D. J. Pepler, K. C. Madsen, C. Webster & K. S. Levene (Eds.), The development and treatment of girlhood aggression (pp. 105–136). Lawrence Erlbaum.

    27 Archer, J., & Coyne, S. M. (2005). An integrated review of indirect, relational, and social aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 9(3), 212–230. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327957pspr0903_2

    28 Coyne, S. M., Archer, J., & Eslea, M. (2006). ‘‘We’re not friends anymore! Unless. .. ’’: The frequency and harmfulness of indirect, relational, and social aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 32(4), 294–307. doi. org/10.1002/ab.20126

    29 Pronk, R. E., & Zimmer-Gembeck, M. J. (2010). It’s “mean,” but what does it mean to adolescents? Relational aggression described by victims, aggressors, and their peers. Journal of Adolescent Research, 25(2), 175- 204. https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558409350504

    30 Willer, E. K., & Cupach, W. R. (2008). When “sugar and spice” turn to “fire and ice”: Factors affecting the adverse consequences of relational aggression among adolescent girls. Communication Studies, 59(4), 415-429. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510970802473674

    31 Coyne, S. M., Archer, J., & Eslea, M. (2006). ‘‘We’re not friends anymore! Unless. .. ’’: The frequency and harmfulness of indirect, relational, and social aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 32(4), 294–307. doi. org/10.1002/ab.20126

    32 Underwood, M. K., Galen, B. R., & Paquette, J. A. (2001). Top ten challenges for understanding gender and aggression in children: Why can’t we all just get along? Social Development, 10(2), 248–266. doi.org/10.1111/1467-9507.00162

    33 Coyne, S. M., Archer, J., Eslea, M., & Liechty, T. (2008). Adolescent perceptions of indirect forms of relational aggression: Sex of perpetrator effects. Aggressive Behavior, 34(6), 577–583. doi.org/10.1002/ ab.20266

    34 Crick, N. R., Bigbee, M. A., & Howes, C. (1996). Gender differences in children’s normative beliefs about aggression: How do I hurt thee? Let me count the ways. Child Development, 67(3), 1003–1014. doi. org/10.2307/1131876

    35 Merten, D. E. (1997). The meaning of meanness: Popularity, competition, and conflict among junior high school girls. Sociology of Education, 70(3), 175–191. doi.org/10.2307/2673207

    36 Miller-Ott, A. E., & Kelly, L. (2014). Communication of female relational aggression in the college environment. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 14(1), 19-27. doi.org/10.1080/17459435.2013.8 35338

    37 Perlman, D., & Carcedo, R. J. (2011). Overview of the dark side of relationships research. In W. R. Cupach and B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of close relationships II (pp. 1–37). Routledge.

    38 Miller-Ott, A. E., & Kelly, L. (2014). Communication of female relational aggression in the college environment. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 14(1), 19-27. doi.org/10.1080/17459435.2013.8 35338

    39 Miller-Ott, A. E., & Kelly, L. (2014). Communication of female relational aggression in the college environment. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 14(1), 19-27. doi.org/10.1080/17459435.2013.8 35338

    40 Infante, D. A., & Wigley, C. J. (1986). Verbal aggressiveness: An interpersonal model and measure. Communication Monographs, 53(1), 61-69. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637758609376126

    41 Rancer, A. S., Kosberg, R. L., & Silvestri, V. N. (1992). The relationship between self-esteem and aggressive communication predispositions. Communication Research Reports, 9(1), 23-32. doi. org/10.1080/08824099209359894

    42 Aloia, L., & Solomon, D. (2013). Perceptions of verbal aggression in romantic relationships: The role of family history and motivational systems. Western Journal of Communication, 77(4), 411-423. doi.org/10.1 080/10570314.2013.776098

    43 Jordan-Jackson, F. F., Lin, Y., Rancer, A. S., & Infante, D. A. (2008). Perceptions of males and females’ use of aggressive affirming and nonaffirming messages in an interpersonal dispute: You’ve come a long way baby? Western Journal of Communication, 72(3), 239–258. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570310802210122

    44 Infante, D. A., Chandler, T. A., Rudd, J. E., & Shannon, E. A. (1990). Verbal aggression in violent and nonviolent marital disputes. Communication Quarterly, 38(4), 361–371. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463379009369773

    45 Olweus, D. (1997). Bully/victim problems in school: Facts and intervention. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 12(4), 495–510. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03172807

    46 Futterman, S. (2004). When you work for a bully: Assessing your options and taking action. Croce Publishing Group.

    47 Bauman, S., & Del Rio, A. (2006). Preservice teachers’ responses to bullying scenarios: Comparing physical, verbal and relational bullying. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98(1), 219–231. doi. org/10.1037/0022-0663.98.1.219

    48 Crick, N. R. (1996). The role of overt aggression, relational aggression, and prosocial behavior in the prediction of children’s future social adjustment. Child Development, 67(5), 2317–2327. doi. org/10.2307/1131625

    49 Beaty, L. A., & Alexeyev, E. B. (2008). The problem of school bullies: What the research tells us. Adolescence, 43(169), 1-11.

    50 Clarke, E. A., & Kiselica, M. S. (1997). A systemic counseling approach to the problem of bullying. Elementary School Guidance & Counseling, 31(4), 310-325.

    51 Mills, C., & Carwile, A. (2009). The good, the bad, and the borderline: Separating teasing from bullying. Communication Education, 58(2), 276-301. https://doi.org/10.1080/03634520902783666

    52 Patchin, J.W., Hinduja, S. (2006). Bullies move beyond the schoolyard. A preliminary look at cyber bullying. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 4 (2), 148–169. https://doi.org/10.1177/1541204006286288

    53 Ibid.

    54 Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2008). Cyberbullying: An exploratory analysis of factors related to offending and victimization. Deviant Behavior, 29(2), 129-156. https://doi.org/10.1080/01639620701457816

    55 Bamford, A. (2004). Cyber-bullying. AHISA Pastoral Care National Conference. Retrieved from: www. ahisa.com.au/documents/conferences/PCC2004/bamford.pdf.

    56 Görzig, A., & Ólafsson, K. (2013). What makes a bully a cyberbully? Unravelling the characteristics of cyberbullies across twenty-five European countries. Journal of Children & Media, 7(1), 9-27. https://doi.org/10.10 80/17482798.2012.739756; pg. 20.

    57 Hutchinson, M, Vickers M. H., Wilkes, L., & Jackson, D. (2010) A typology of bullying behaviours: the experiences of Australian nurses. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19(15-16), 2319–2328. doi.org/10.1111/ j.1365-2702.2009.03160.x

    58 Guerrero, L. K. (1994). ‘‘I’m so mad I could scream:’’ The effects of anger expression on relational satisfaction and communication competence. Southern Communication Journal, 59(2), 125-141. doi. org/10.1080/10417949409372931

    59 Norton, R. W. (1978). Foundation of a communicator style construct. Human Communication Research, 4 (2), 99–112. doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2958.1978.tb00600.x

    60 Jordan-Jackson, F. F., Lin, Y., Rancer, A. S., & Infante, D. A. (2008). Perceptions of males and females’ use of aggressive affirming and nonaffirming messages in an interpersonal dispute: You’ve come a long way baby? Western Journal of Communication, 72(3), 239–258. https://doi.org/10.1080/10570310802210122

    61 Burgoon, J. K., & Buller, D. B. (1994). Interpersonal deception: III. Effects of deceit on perceived communication and nonverbal behavior dynamics. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 18, 155–184; pgs. 155-156.

    62 O’Hair, H. D., & Cody, M. J. (1994). Deception. In W. R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of interpersonal communication (pp. 181–214). Erlbaum.

    63 Guthrie, J., & Kunkel, A. (2013). Tell me sweet (and not-so-sweet) little lies: Deception in romantic relationships. Communication Quarterly, 44(2), 141-157. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2012.755637

    64 Burgoon, J. K., Buller, D. B., Guerrero, L. K., Afifi, W., & Feldman, C. (1996). Interpersonal deception: XII. Information management dimensions underlying deceptive and truthful messages. Communication Monographs, 63(1), 50–69. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637759609376374

    65 Guthrie, J., & Kunkel, A. (2013). Tell me sweet (and not-so-sweet) little lies: Deception in romantic relationships. Communication Quarterly, 44(2), 141-157. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2012.755637

    66 Ibid.

    67 Domestic violence. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from www.speakcdn. com/assets/2497/domestic_violence2.pdf

    68 Smith, S.G., Zhang, X., Basile, K.C., Merrick, M.T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2015 Data Brief – Updated Release. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    69 Ibid.

    70 Domestic violence. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Retrieved from www.speakcdn. com/assets/2497/domestic_violence2.pdf

    71 Smith, S.G., Zhang, X., Basile, K.C., Merrick, M.T., Wang, J., Kresnow, M., Chen, J. (2018). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2015 Data Brief – Updated Release. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; pg. 5.

    72 Kelty, S. F. (2014). Understanding aggression: Why violent sentiments and aggressive problem-solving strategies should be a clear focus in violent intervention programs. Journal of Communications Research, 6(4), 373–417.

    73 Honeycutt, J., Sheldon, P., & Hardaway, M. (2009). Escalation of conflict: Differences in perception of male and female initiated abuse. Paper presented at the National Communication Association. Retrieved from Communication and Mass Media Complete.

    End of Chapter Quiz Answer Key

    1. B
    2. A
    3. A
    4. E
    5. B

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    14.3: Chapter Wrap-Up is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Jason S. Wrench, Narissra M. Punyanunt-Carter & Katherine S. Thweatt via source content that was edited to conform to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.