| However, the behaviouristic concept of the person implies that this relationship is also contractual. You simply present a longer and more complex shopping list and your mate retaliates with an equivalent list. I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine. This cynical view of human relationships is not some 1984ish vision of a dehumanised world but a necessary deduction from the behaviouristic concept of the person. B. F. Skinner explicitly states this view in his book Verbal Behaviour [SKINNER]. There are two ways you can get things done - you can do it yourself (non-verbal behaviour) or you can ask someone else to do it for you (verbal behaviour). Verbal behaviour is defined as behaviour which gets things done through the mediation of other people. Other people are means to your ends.|
The humanistic concept of the person implies that relationships are intrinsically intimate rather than basically contractual [MADDI & COSTA]. We are all members of the same species on the same planet in essentially the same predicament. A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet. Instead of viewing your relationship to your mate as an extended contractual relationship, it views your relationship to your grocer as an unrealised intimate relationship. The latter is based not so much on an implicit contract to exchange food and money but on a tacit understanding not to realise the full potential intimacy. You each respect that fact that the other can handle only so much intimacy - even if only because the other has only so much time.
Contractual and intimate relationships are linked respectively to impression management and self-disclosure. Erving Goffman describes human relationships in terms of impression management. His major book, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Society, uses the metaphor of the theatre to describe our everyday behaviour [GOFFMAN]. Sydney Jourard, on the other hand, advocates self-disclosure in our everyday behaviour [JOURARD]. We should aspire to present our authentic self rather than play various roles. This authentic self could be considered as a unitary central self with many facets or as a unique pattern of many selves.
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