Many points that were made in this chapter are things that I have already thought about in my life, but there was a certain section that caught my attention. I have seen a few of my friends go through some verbally, and at times physically, abusive relationships. Chapter 2 talks about the social exchange theory which refers to how people seek to be in relationships where benefits outweigh their costs. This did not seem right to me due to the thousands of people who are in destructive relationships, until the comparison level theory was brought up. These people in abusive relationships have a low comparison level and a low comparison level for alternatives so they believe that the abusers benefits outweigh the costs. This helped me understand a little better as to why my friends would allow themselves to be in that type of situation when all of the people around them are telling them to cut him out of their lives. It also helped me to realize why people being abused also make up excuses for the abusers. “It was just that one time, he really is a great guy, etc.” It helped me understand their side a little better. I am happy to say that neither of my friends are in these relationships, but I know that I should have tried to be a little more understanding toward them, and a little less judgmental.
Another connection that I really had with this theory was about a friend I once had. She was one of my best friends, although she was very judgmental and high maintenance. She was always saying things that would upset me, or always judging our other friends. I continued to overlook these things because I knew that she was a good person at heart, and her good qualities outweighed the bad. This was until I got a boyfriend and was truly happy. I found out she was talking behind me back about it, and saying nasty things, and I realized that the costs no longer outweighed the benefits. My comparison level for alternatives was high and I realized that she was not really worth being in my life anymore. This whole theory was intriguing to me because it can be compared to any relationship in our lives.