Intimacy and distance in relational communication. 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?. Dimensions of intimacy. Physical Baby in utero
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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?
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-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVZrne7X5ww • Emergencies
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
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
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
Self disclosure • Deliberate • Significant • Not known to others
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
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
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
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
Cont’d • Will the effect be constructive? • Is the self disclosure clear and understandable? • Is the self disclosure reciprocated?
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.
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
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
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”
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
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”
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
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
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