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Looking Out/Looking In Thirteenth Edition 9 Intimacy and Distance in Relationships.

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Presentation on theme: "Looking Out/Looking In Thirteenth Edition 9 Intimacy and Distance in Relationships."— Presentation transcript:

1 Looking Out/Looking In Thirteenth Edition 9 Intimacy and Distance in Relationships

2 2 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Intimacy in Relationships What is Intimacy? A state of “close union, contact, association, or acquaintance.” When college students were asked to identify their “closest, deepest, most involved relationship” 47% said their romantic partner 36% said a close friend 14% cited a family member

3 3 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Dimensions of Intimacy Physical Intellectual Emotional Shared Activities

4 4 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Masculine and Feminine Styles Research shows that woman are somewhat more willing than men to share their feelings In terms of amount and depth: Female – Female were at the top Male – Female came in second Male – Male had the least disclosure Generalizations do not apply to every person Biological sex is not as important as the chosen gender role when expressing emotion

5 5 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Cultural Influences on Intimacy Notions of public and private selves have changed over time Collectivist cultures Generally do not reach out to outsiders, often waiting until they are properly introduced before entering into conversation Individualistic cultures Make fewer distinctions between personal relationships and casual ones

6 6 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Intimacy in Mediated Communication Studies show that intimacy may develop more quickly through mediated channels Instant messaging, ing and text messages offer more constant contact with friends, family and partners Communicators chose varying levels of self- disclosure

7 7 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION The Limits of Intimacy It is impossible to have a close relationship with everyone Obsession with intimacy can lead to less satisfying relationships Intimacy is rewarding but it isn’t the only way of relating to others

8 8 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Self-Disclosure in Relationships Self-Disclosure The process of deliberately revealing information about oneself that is significant and would not normally be known by others Characteristics of Self-Disclosure Usually occurs in dyads Incremental Relatively scarce Best in context of positive relationships

9 9 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Self-Disclosure in Relationships A Model of Self-Disclosure Johari Window

10 10 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Benefits of Self-Disclosure Catharsis (get it off your chest) Self-Validation (get listeners approval) Identity Management Relationship Maintenance and Enhancement Reciprocity (Self-disclosure often begets another) Self-Clarification (clarify your beliefs, opinions…) Social Influence (may increase control over other a situation, etc.)

11 11 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Risks of Self-Disclosure Decrease in Relational Satisfaction Loss of Influence Hurting the Other Person Rejection Negative Impression

12 12 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION 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 disclosures appropriate? Is the risk of disclosing reasonable? Is the disclosure relevant to the situation? Will the effect be constructive? Is the self-disclosure clear and understandable? Is the self-disclosure reciprocated?

13 13 INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION Alternatives to Self-Disclosure Silence Lying To save face, avoid tension or conflict, guide social interaction, expand or reduce relationships, gain power Hinting Equivocating - Language that has two or more equally plausible meanings A lazy worker: “You will be lucky to get this person to work for you.”


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