Presentation on theme: "Communicating Closeness"— Presentation transcript:
1 Communicating Closeness Chapter 6Communicating ClosenessAffection, Immediacyand Social SupportChapter 8
2 Point of Clarification Guerrero et al. use the term closeness throughout chapter 6.Note that some scholars refer to closeness as intimacy.Intimacy refers to feelings of warmth, trust, and deep caring in close relationships.Interaction plays a key role in creating andsustaining intimacy as well as closeness.
3 Types of closeness Physical Touching, close proximity, time together, sexual closenessEmotionalSharing, caring, and deep conversationsRelationalInterdependence and overlap (self- expansion)Does a relationship need all three?What if one form is not possible?e.g., Physical closeness and LDR
4 Communicating closeness Three broad categories:Affectionate communicationImmediacy behaviorSocial support
5 Affectionate communication Behavior that portrays feelings of fondness and positive regard to another.Signals potential increases in closeness but when withdrawn can signal decreases in closenessParadox of affectionUsually positive, but sometimes it can backfire.Examples??
6 Types of affectionate communication Direct and verbal affectionate communicationDoesn’t have the ambiguity of nonverbal messagesI like you, I love you, I am in love with youTypes: self-disclosure, direct emotional expression, compliments & praise, assurances (relationship talk)Direct and nonverbal affectionate communicationSocial meaning model of nonverbal communicationCan we tell when a hug or smile is not genuine?What are the social cues?Less ambiguous cues include:Physical contact and distancingEye behaviorVocalic behavior (tone, rate, pitch)
7 Types of affectionate communication (cont.) Indirect and nonverbal affectionate communicationSupport behaviorsEmotional and instrumentalIdiomatic behaviorsBehaviors move from scripted to idiomatic (meaning only known to couple)
8 Theoretical framework Affection Exchange Theory (Floyd)Biologically adaptive behavior that aided early survivalReproductive advantage1. relationships provide resources, help, protection2. displays of affection signal potential mating/parenting skills3. viability and fertilityAffection to children and larger family make them more likely to survive and reproduceDisplays own potential as sexual partner
9 Other benefits of giving and receiving affection Related to mental healthPeople who receive affection are happier, more self- confident, less stressed, more likely to engage in social activity, and better general mental health.People who give affection are happier, have higher self- esteem, less fear of intimacy, less susceptibility to depression, and greater relationship satisfaction.Related to physical healthHormones are produced that increase positive moods and decrease blood pressure and blood sugar, and lower heart rate (study--kissing lead to healthier levels of cholesterol!)
10 Affectionate communication in families Children think affection is limited and must compete for it—parents see it as unlimited.Sexual and genetic bonds predict affection displaysBiological children over step childrenMore with spouses than siblingsBut siblings more than siblings-in-law.
11 Immediacy behaviorsActions that signal warmth, communicate availability, decrease psychological or physical distance, and promote involvement between people.Also called, “positive involvement behaviors”Immediacy refers to a style of communication that is relevant to a variety of interaction contexts (not just close relationships)e.g., ????
12 Immediacy (cont.) Verbal Immediacy Depth of disclosure Word choiceForms of addressFormal to informalPublic to idiosyncraticDepth of disclosureIronically, close relationships are the place where we can let down the “smiley face” somewhat, but too much negative emotion disclosure can be a problemRelationship indicatorsFriends, dating, hanging out, boyfriend-girlfriend, partners
13 Immediacy (cont.) Nonverbal Immediacy Visual or Oculesic Behaviors A Gestalt—processed in ContextVisual or Oculesic BehaviorsEye contact and gazePupil dilationSpatial or Proxemic BehaviorsIntimate and personal distancesBody angleTactile or Haptic BehaviorsTouch helps escalate romantic relationshipsHugs, kisses, and touches to the face are especially affectionate and immediate
14 Nonverbal Immediacy (cont.) Body Movement or KinesicsNoddingOpen and relaxed body positionsSmilingBody synchronyVocalic CommunicationAnimation in pitch, rate, amplitude, and durationVocal warmthChronemic BehaviorsSpending time togetherWaiting for someone and being on time
15 Cognitive Valence Theory Behavior (A increases immediacy)Perception (Does B recognize the display?)If no recognition, then no effectIf yes, then B experiences arousalArousal Level (Experienced by B)Low arousal = no effectModerate arousal activates cognitive schemataHigh arousal = fear, stress
16 Cognitive Valence Theory Cognitive Schemata (Valencers)Cultural appropriatenessPersonal predispositionsInterpersonal valence, rewardingnessRelational appropriatenessSituational appropriatenessPsychological or physical state+ valence for all 6 schemata = + relational outcomes- valence for any of the 6 schemata = - relational outcomes
17 Cognitive Valence Theory Positive Relational OutcomesFavorable appraisals of partnerReciprocity, increase immediacy toward partnerEnhance relational growth, closenessNegative Relational OutcomesUnfavorable appraisals of partnerCompensation, reduction in immediacy toward partnerReduction in relational closeness, disengagement
19 Comfort and Social Support Invisible SupportThrough caring actions (routine affectionate behaviors)Keeps problem in backgroundPerson still feels capableBoth for practical and emotional supportEffective when responsive (communicates understanding, caring, and validation of partner)
20 Person-Centered Messages High person-centered messagesacknowledge and validate the feelings andconcerns of the distressed personModerate person-centered messages acknowledge the distressed person’s feelings,but do not help him/her contextualize orelaborate feelingsLow person-centered messagesimplicitly or explicitly deny the legitimacy of the distressed person’s feelings.
21 Nonverbal Immediacy To comfort a roommate after a breakup—(p. 145) Hugs %Close proxemic distance 40.9%Facial expression %Attentiveness %Touch %Pats %Eye contact %
22 Sex (not gender) Differences in Affection Both men and women value intimate relationships, though men may be more socialized into task relationships (historically)Men friends show intimacy primarily through shared interests and activities (agentic friendships)Women friends show intimacy primarily through self- disclosure and intimate nonverbal communication (expressive friendships)Men display more intimate communication with women than men. (Why?)Overall, the differences between men and women small