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Shared Time Shared time is a concept that can be subject to personal interpretation Everyone has his or her own idea of what shared time is how much of it is needed and even when it may or may not be needed In examining my relationship with my boyfriend I have recently come to a startling conclusion We both have conflicting ideas of what is and is not shared time My needs include enough time to know my boyfriend is there but not so much that I feel crowded My boyfriends interpretation of shared time implies whenever possible The tension comes when one of us thinks that he or she is either not getting enough or getting too much This tension creates a misunderstanding and the problem lies in needs not being met to each persons satisfaction The Symbolic Interaction Theory provides great insight into this situation Symbolic Interaction Theory SI discovered by George Herbert Mead and published by Herbert Blumer centers on the relationship between symbols and interactions West Turner The goal of SI is to describe how shared meaning is created The theory explains that we all have our own sense of what is real and what is not and that we get these symbols of reality from our interactions with others Ultimately the theory suggests that we modify these meanings in our mind and then act based on the symbols of reality that we have created The opportunity for misunderstanding comes from the clashing of these meanings In the proposed situation Symbolic Interaction suggests that the problem lies in our individual meanings of the girlfriend-boyfriend relationship The first theme of the SI theory is the importance of meaning for human behavior West Turner 2000 p76 This theme implies that we modify our behavior based on the meanings that others have for us The first assumption of this theme is that people make choices Behavior is modified due to the
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