intimacy and distance in relational communication n.
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Intimacy and distance in relational communication

Intimacy and distance in relational communication

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Intimacy and distance in relational communication

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  1. Intimacy and distance in relational communication

  2. Physical • What are some examples of easily recognized forms of intimacy? • How about some that are not what we first think of regarding intimacy? • Intellectual? • Emotional?

  3. Dimensions of intimacy • Physical • Baby in utero • Children being rocked, fed, hugged • Sexual- not necessarily connected to a close relationship • Intellectual- exchange of important ideas • Emotional- exchanging important feelings • Doesn’t have to be face to face • Shared activities • Working together • Exercising together • Athletics- • Emergencies

  4. Some relationships have all four, some have less • Some never become intimate • Family • Friends • Acquaintances • Ebbs and flows. Sometimes all four, but other times operating with less

  5. Masculine and feminine intimacy styles • Amount and depth of info • Female – female top disclosure list • Female – male • Male-male- least amount of disclosure • At every age, women disclose more • Men less likely to share positive feelings • Men grow closer by doing, not talking • Masculine (gender role) men more likely to express caring through helping behaviors • More feminine men express directly

  6. Woman looking for emotional connections may not realize man is trying through activities, like fixing leaky faucet or spending time together • Dads are becoming more affectionate with their sons, although some still expressed through shared activities

  7. Self disclosure • Deliberate • Significant • Not known to others

  8. Levels of depth • Clichés- don’t qualify, serve as codes saying “I want to acknowledge your presence”, or “let’s keep the conversation light and impersonal”. • Facts- some facts qualify if fit criteria • Opinions- more revealing than facts but still have levels • Feelings-opinion plus feeling different from opinion alone

  9. Benefits of self disclosure • Catharsis • Can provide mental and emotional relief • Reciprocity • Self clarification • Self validation- seeking validation for behavior from listener • Identity management-make ourselves more attractive • Relationship maintenance and enhancement- research shows strong relationship between quality of self disclosure and marital satisfaction • Social influence-increase control over person or situation

  10. Risks of self disclosure • Rejection • Fear of disapproval is powerful • Negative impression • Decrease in relational satisfaction • Loss of influence • Once share a weakness, your control can diminish • Hurting the other person

  11. Guidelines for self disclosure • Do you have a moral obligation? • HIV • Is the other person important to you? • Are the amount and type appropriate? • Mix of positive and negative • Is the risk reasonable? • Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand? • “Here and now” rather than on the “there and then” • Bringing up past mainly helpful if it relates to the present

  12. Cont’d • Will the effect be constructive? • Is the self disclosure clear and understandable? • Is the self disclosure reciprocated?

  13. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Silence • A common alternative to self-disclosure • In some situations, silence may benefit you and other parties involved • Honesty might jeopardize you, other people, and relationship in question. • Rather than blurting out unsolicited opinions, thoughtful communicators remain quiet.

  14. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Lying • In some situations, “the benevolent lie” is hard to categorize as unethical • Benevolent lie is unmalicious, or even helpful, to the person to whom the lie is told • Several studies have found “benevolent lies” to be quite common • 130 subjects were told to keep records of their statements • Only 38.5% of statements were deemed honest

  15. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Reasons for lying • To save face • To prevent embarrassment • Such lies were deemed tactful • For ex, trying to remember someone’s name at a party • To avoid tension or conflict • Sometimes people tell lies to avoid large conflicts • For ex, you say you’re not annoyed when your friend teases you in order to prevent potential hassle of expressing your feelings

  16. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Reasons for Lying • To guide social interaction • Sometimes we lie to make everyday relationships run smoothly. • For ex, you might pretend to be glad to see someone at a party when in fact you can’t stand them. • Children don’t have this skill! • To expand or reduce relationships • Some lies are intended to make relationships grow • In one study, both male and female college students lied to improve their chances for a date • Sometimes we lie to reduce interactions with other people • For ex, “I really have to go….I need to study for a test”

  17. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Reasons for Lying cont… • To gain power • We tell lies in order to gain control over a situation • Lying to get confidential information, even with the best intentions in mind, still qualifies as lying to gain power. • Effects of Lies • What are the consequences of discovering that you’ve been lied to? • Can be traumatizing • Research shows that lying can threaten relationships • Feelings of dismay and betrayal occur during intense relationships

  18. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Equivocating • Rather than lying, people might equivocate • Two or three equally plausible meanings • Allows people to be purposefully vague • Friend asks you about his or her hideous outfit, you say, “It’s really unusual….one of a kind!” • Value of equivocation becomes clear when considering alternatives • You receive an ugly christmas gift • Do you remain silent? Do you lie? • You say “What an unusual painting”

  19. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Equivocal Language can do the following: • Spares the receiver from embarrassment • Can save face for both sender and receiver • Spares sender from feelings of guilt • Don’t feel bad for lying or expressing harsh honesty • Provides alternative to lying • Equivocation is neither a false answer nor a clear truth, but rather an alternative used precisely when both of these are to be avoided

  20. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Hinting • More direct than equivocal language • Intent of hint is to produce desired response from others • Direct Statement • I’m too busy to continue this conversation • Face-saving Hint • I know you’re busy: I’d better let you go • Hinting can spare others discomfort that comes with the undiluted truth

  21. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • The Ethics of Evasion • Social scientists and philosophers argue that the morality of a speaker’s lie, not the lie itself, ought to be judged. • Others ask whether the effects of a lie will be worth the deception? • Some people are willing to accept lies without challenge, even when they know they are being lied to! • In some circumstances a lie is deemed more appropriate than undiluted truth