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




INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION            2
            Dimensions of Intimacy
     • Physical
     • Intellectual
     • Emotional
     • Shared Activities




INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION   3
 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


INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION       4
  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


INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION               5
                Intimacy in Mediated
                   Communication
     • Studies show that intimacy may develop more
       quickly through mediated channels
     • Instant messaging, emailing and text
       messages offer more constant contact with
       friends, family and partners
     • Communicators chose varying levels of self-
       disclosure



INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION   6
              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




INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION        7
 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
INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION      8
 Self-Disclosure in Relationships
• A Model of Self-Disclosure
     • Johari Window




INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION   9
        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.)


INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION   10
           Risks of Self-Disclosure
     • Decrease in Relational Satisfaction
     • Loss of Influence
     • Hurting the Other Person
     • Rejection
     • Negative Impression




INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION   11
   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?



INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION              12
   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.”

INTIMACY AND DISTANCE IN RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION                 13

				
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posted:1/25/2013
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