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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 • Chapter Summary • Intimacy in Relationships • Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Alternatives to Self-Disclosure Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  2. Intimacy in Relationships • Dimensions of Intimacy • Intimacy Defined • State of close union, contact, association or acquaintance • Dimensions of Intimacy • Physical • Intellectual • Emotional • Shared Activities Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  3. Intimacy in Relationships • Masculine and Feminine • Most research does show females are better at maintaining intimate relationships. • The gender role one adopts proves to be more significant in how a person will react. • Generalizations do not apply to every person. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  4. Intimacy in Relationships • Cultural Influence • The notions of public and private behavior have changed. • Self-disclosure is high, especially in North American culture • Cultural Impact on Intimacy • Individualistic • Collectivistic Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  5. Intimacy in Relationships • Computer-Mediated • CMC can now enhance the level of emotional closeness. • Intimacy may develop more frequently online. • Anonymity and freedom of expression • Not all online relationships are intimate. • Some are very impersonal. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  6. Intimacy in Relationships • The Limits of Intimacy • It is impossible to have a close relationship with everyone. • At times, less intimate relationships can be fulfilling. • Remember you can have a successful relationship • without meeting a high level of intimacy. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  7. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Degrees of Self-Disclosure • Breadth of Information • Depth of Information • Depending on the interaction of the two, a relationship will be more or less casual or intimate. FIGURE 9.2 Page 306 Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  8. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Degrees of Self-Disclosure • Clichés • Virtually the opposite of self-disclosure • “Hey, how are you doing?” • Facts • Not all facts qualify as self-disclosure. • Disclosing important information suggests a level of trust. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  9. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Degrees of Self-Disclosure • Opinions • Opinions usually reveal more about a person than facts. • Every time you offer your opinion, you’re giving more information about yourself. • Feelings • Feelings are different from opinions. • Too much personal information can be unappealing. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  10. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • A Model of Self-Disclosure FIGURE 9.3 Page 308 FIGURE 9.4 Page 308 FIGURE 9.5 Page 308 FIGURE 9.6 Page 309 Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  11. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Benefits • Catharsis • Sometimes we disclose information to get it off our chests. • Reciprocity • There is no guarantee that your self-disclosure will be reciprocal. • If it is, it is not always going to be equal. • It takes time. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  12. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Benefits • Self-Clarification • Talking the problem out with others • Occurs with hairdressers, bartenders, even good friends • Self-Validation • Disclosing information while looking for listener’s agreement • This is a very important step in the “coming out” process. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  13. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Benefits • Identity Management • Revealing personal information to make ourselves more attractive • A salesperson might say, “. . I’ll be honest with you.” • Relationship Maintenance and Enhancement • Social Influence • Revealing personal information may increase your level of control. • We offer information about ourselves to learn more about others. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  14. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Risks • Rejection • The fear of disapproval is powerful. • Some real dangers in revealing personal information: • A: I’m starting to think of you as more than a friend. • B: I think we should stop seeing one another. • Negative Impression • Disclosure can lead to a negative impression. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  15. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Risks • Decrease in Relational Satisfaction • Loss of Influence • Confessing a weakness may lead to someone’s using it against you. • Hurting the Other Person • What you reveal may hurt the person you’re revealing it to. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  16. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Guidelines for Self-Disclosure • Do you have a moral obligation to disclose? • Is the other person important to you? • Are the amount and type of disclosure appropriate? • Is the risk of disclosing reasonable? Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  17. Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Guidelines for Self-Disclosure • Is the disclosure relevant to the situation at hand? • Will the effect be constructive? • Is the disclosure clear and understandable? • Is the self-disclosure reciprocated? Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  18. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Lying • Silence • Simply not disclosing • Sometimes silence can be in the best interest of both parties. • Lying • The benevolent lie • Unmalicious or even helpful to the person it’s told to • The average lie rate is three fibs for every ten minutes of conversation. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  19. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Lying • Reasons for Lying • To save face • To avoid tension or conflict • To guide social interaction • To expand or reduce relationships • To gain power Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  20. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Equivocating • When faced with lying, communicators can equivocate. • Equivocal Communication has several plausible explanations. • “I’ll meet you at the apartment,” could refer to more than one place. • “It’s really unusual – one of a kind,” could refer to different emotions. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  21. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • Hinting • Hints are more direct than equivocal statements. • The success of a hint depends on the receiver’s ability to detect the underlying emotion. • If the risk of direct communication seems to high, you can always drop a hint. Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  22. Alternatives to Self-Disclosure • The Ethics of Evasion • Reasons not to challenge statements that are untrue: • When we expect others to tell fibs • When the lie is mutually advantageous • When a lie helps us avoid embarrassment • When a lie helps us to avoid confronting an unpleasant truth • When we have asked the other person to lie Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition

  23. Intimacy and Distance in Relational Communication • Chapter Summary • Intimacy in Relationships • Self-Disclosure in Relationships • Alternatives to Self-Disclosure Looking Out, Looking In 12th Edition