ONE TO ONE: Understanding Human Relationships by

ONE TO ONE: Understanding Human Relationships

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Popular psychology at its most dense and wearisome--though perhaps a bit more complex than usual. Rubin (Reconciliations, etc., etc.) plunges into full-scale explanations of basic character types and how they interrelate. People, he feels (following Karen Horney) are divided into three types: People Who Move Toward, Against, or Away from other people. The first tend to be self-effacing and compilant, the second expansive and narcissistic, the third detached and independent. (Yes, we all contain elements of each, but have one dominant behavior mode.) Then we find out how each of these systems interlocks with the others--often in a so-called ""neurotic lock."" (The relationship style can also be cooperative, creative, adversary, or antagonistic--the second and fourth being largely extensions of the first and third.) An example of a detached/expansive ""lock,"" for example, might be the case of Fanny, Benny, and Pam, where Fanny marries Benny because she thinks he fits her mother's injunction to marry a rich go-getter, but Fanny becomes more expansive and successful as Benny becomes more detached and uncaring about success. (Pam is the equally detached cat.) Rubin then moves into issues that affect relationships: e.g., kindness; reactivity (negative reactivity can replace genuine exchanges); idealizations and distortions about love and sex (the ""ever after"" illusion, etc.); and neurotic pride. The final section ends with a ""game"" in which partners work together on a problem one of them has. (Though not directed primarily to married couples, this is probably most appropriate to that group.) Formula re-treads, but not badly packaged.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1983
Publisher: Viking