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Communication and Intimacy

Communication and Intimacy

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Communication and Intimacy

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  1. Communication and Intimacy Chapter 4

  2. Perspectives on Communication

  3. Key to intimacy and family interaction Way humans create and share meaning The process of transmitting feelings attitudes beliefs ideas Good Communication

  4. Couple Strengths in Communication Olson & Olson, 2000

  5. Verbal and nonverbal—consistency is key: strongly associated with good marital adjustment Direct actions form of communication Body language is another form of nonverbal Communication

  6. Top Five Communication Issues for Married Couples—Percent with Problems Olson & Olson, 2000

  7. Male Irregular eye contact Infrequent nodding Infrequent use of “uh-huh” Multiple activities Interruptions to speak Questions to analyze speaker’s information Female Uninterrupted eye contact Frequent nodding Undivided attention Pauses to speak Questions to illicit more information Gender Differences in Listening—Tear’s Work

  8. Male Few pauses Abrupt topic changes Speaks until interrupted Speaks louder than previous speaker Frequent use of “I” Rare self disclosure Humor based on teasing, jokes Female Frequent pauses Connects information Stops speaking when information delivered Matches volume Frequent use of “we” Self disclosure Humor interwoven into discussion Humor seldom based on teasing or jokes Gender Differences in Speaking—Tear’s Work

  9. Men’s Style Competitive Action oriented Solution oriented Women’s Style Connection oriented Relationship oriented Affiliative Gender Differences in Communication—Tannen’s Work Communication involves finding the balance between competing needs for intimacy and independence

  10. Critique on Tannen’s Work • Major criticism is Tannen’s work polarizes gender differences • Other researchers argue similarities between men and women greater than differences

  11. Cultural Differences in Communication • Cultural variations in use of verbal and nonverbal communication Variation found in: • Gestures • Greetings • Eye contact

  12. Basic Communication Principles • You cannot not communicate • Message sent is often not the message received • Communication failures rest with both people • Each message conveys content and relationship information • Incongruency between verbal and nonverbal communication is problematic • Metacommunication unbinds the double bind

  13. Communication Processes • Open communication • Ability to share feelings and ideas with others • Positive communication • Communication that lacks conflict & difficulties • Messages involve • Content • Process • Messages involve • Verbal components • Nonverbal components

  14. Parent-Adolescent Communication

  15. Nonverbal Communication • Nonverbals can: • Complement or contradict verbal component • Repeat or emphasize verbal • Serve to regulate conversation • Ability to interpret nonverbal communication important in successful relationships

  16. Communication Messages • Mixed messages • Discrepancy between the verbal and nonverbal components • Double bind • Verbal and nonverbal messages result in questioning relationship or conflict • Metacommunication • Communicating about communication

  17. Barriers to Communication • Physical and environmental: • closer physical distance is associated with more intimate relationships and self disclosure • physical confinement can also lead to conflict and tension • Situational • Psychological • Gender

  18. Using Communication Skills To Maintain Intimacy

  19. Self Disclosure • Disclosure of personal information or feelings to another • Key to development of intimacy • Involves: • Awareness of information • Predisposition to disclose • Disclosure varies among relationships

  20. Self Disclosure & Comments by Relationship Type

  21. Listening • Listeners influence the telling of the “story” • Listener’s motives or goals • Persuasion • Looking for opening to jump in and control • Directing • Attempt to channel the conversation • Discovery • Attentive listening to learn

  22. Responsive Styles in Interpersonal Communication • Assertive • Expression of one’s thoughts, feelings, and desires as a right • Passive • Unwillingness to say what one thinks, feels, or wants • Aggressive • Aims to hurt or put down the other person

  23. Communication Patterns and Intimacy

  24. Key Concepts in Understanding Communication Cycles • Assertiveness: persons ability to express his or her feelings and desires • Self-confidence: a person’s feelings about self and ability to control things in life • Avoidance: person’s tendency to minimize issues and a reluctance to deal directly with issues • Partner dominance: degree to which partner is felt to be controlling and dominant

  25. Communication Cycles • Positive Communication Cycle: • Assertiveness • Self confidence • Negative Communication Cycle: • Avoidance • Partner dominance

  26. Assertive individuals Low in avoidance Low in partner dominance Like personality of partner Feel good about partner communication Feel good about conflict resolution with partner Aggressive individuals Low in assertiveness High in partner dominance Dislike personality of partner Dislike communication with partner Dislike conflict resolution with partner High Assertiveness versus High Aggressiveness

  27. Positive and Negative Cycles

  28. Four requirements: Positive feeling between partners and motivation to develop understanding Willingness to disclose attitudes, feelings, and ideas An ability to reveal attitudes, feelings, and ideas clearly and accurately Reciprocity Improving Communication

  29. I-Statements Describe personal thoughts, feelings, or experiences in first person singular Advantages: not threatening promote openness focus on problems rather than personalities Improving Communication