Self-disclosure is a process of communication by which one person reveals information about In this example, the beginning of a relationship is represented by a narrow and shallow Turn taking partners are also shown to feel closer and similar to each other and to enjoy the other's company more than extended pairs. T he self-disclosure transaction provides an important context in which decisions are made in beginning a relationship with a new. Self-Disclosure and Starting a Close Relationship. What Is Self-Disclosure? Self- Disclosure At The Start Of A Relationship: Historically Important Approaches.
Illustration by the author. How is this possible — to create authentic interpersonal closeness in such an unnatural environment, in such a short period of time?
Maybe we will never know for sure after all, we are taking about something as subjective as human relationships, with infinite variables to be taken into accountbut there is one thing that the scientists mentioned in their study, and which I believe is worth exploring: The core of the method we developed was to structure such self-disclosure between strangers.
I stopped using witty jokes as an everyday mask for my passive anger. I started sharing my heartbreaks and my failures with my friends, instead of hiding them in fear of being seen as weak. I stopped wearing loud and overly weird clothes a tendency I had followed since high school because I finally saw them by what they were: The more I let my real feelings, opinions and desires shine trough my words and gestures, the more my relationships flourished.
My friendships became more scarce, but more intimate. Being around others stopped being a burden, and it became an obvious mutual pleasure, and a process of liberation of the self through the other and vice-versa. However, I quickly learned that if I wanted to keep self-disclosure as my long term best friend, I had to learn how to use it properly.
And he probably annoys the hell out of you. Remember what Aron and his team mentioned in their experiment? However, I do find it useful to have some guidelines to help me in navigate certain moments of awkwardness, self-doubt, or any kind of social anxiety. Reciprocate It Recently, a friend told me that he struggles with maintaining friendships because he always feels that he is the one who shares more.
This makes him feel discouraged, and often overexposed and embarrassed. A good tip to encourage others to reciprocate your self-disclosure and open up with you is to ask them questions. Bringing attention to the present moment can work miracles, especially if you share something as personal as your feelings. Research, Theory, and Practicethere are four main categories for self-disclosure: The preferred therapeutic approach and the effectiveness of treatments are two of the most common.
Many also reveal their views of raising children, stress-coping methods, items that convey respect for the client, and emotions that will validate those the client has expressed.
Anecdotes about sexual attraction, dreams, and personal problems seem to be disclosed to subjects with the least frequency by therapists. Early psychodynamic theorists strongly disagreed with the incorporation of therapist self-disclosure in the client-therapist relationship. Ferenczi notably maintained his belief that self-disclosure was of the utmost importance in children's therapy for traumas in that a neutral, flat therapist would only cause the child to relive the trauma.
Self-theorists believe much the same as object-relations theorists. Intersubjective and relational schools of thought encourage disclosure due to its ability to bring subjectivity into therapy, which they deem a necessary element to real healing. They maintain that therapeutic relationships cannot be initiated and changed without intentional disclosures from both therapist and client. Humanistic theorists want to trigger personal growth in clients and feel that a strong relationship with a therapist is a good facilitator of such, so long as the therapist's disclosures are genuine.
Seeing that weakness and struggle are common among all people, even therapists, is useful to clients in the humanistic therapy setting.
In order for existential psychologists to help clients, they try to disclose their own coping methods to serve as sources of inspiration to find one's own answers to questions of life. For therapists who value feminismit is important to disclose personal feelings so that their clients have total freedom to choose the correct therapist and to eliminate power fights within the therapeutic setting. The ever-popular cognitive-behavioral approach also encourages disclosure in therapy so that clients can normalize their own thoughts with someone else's, have their thoughts challenged, and reinforce positive expectations and behaviors.How to Improve Self Disclosure : Active Listening & Self Disclosure
Clearly, today's therapists are mostly supportive of disclosure in therapy, as the early psychoanalytic taboo of such is slowly being overridden through the recognition of many schools of thought. Most identify the benefit of self-disclosures in facilitating rewarding relationships and helping to reach therapeutic goals. Certain types of disclosures are almost universally recognized as necessary in the early stages of therapy, such as an explanation of the therapeutic approach to be used and particular characteristics of the therapist.
It is thought that disclosing the details of a traumatic experience can greatly help with the organization of related thoughts, and the process of retelling is itself a method of healing.
An understanding between therapist and client is achieved when the client can share his or her perceptions without feeling threatened by judgments or unwanted advice. Further, expressing emotions lessens the toll of the autonomic nervous system and has been shown in several studies to improve overall physical health in this way.
The Pennebaker Writing Disclosure Paradigm is a method commonly used in therapy settings to facilitate writing about one's experiences. Exposure theory also offers support in that reliving and talking about a negative event should help the negative affect to be more accepted by the individual overtime through extinction.
Supported heavily is the idea of mutuality: The modeling hypothesis suggests that the client will model the disclosures of the therapist, thereby learning expression and gaining skills in communication. Some argue for the reinforcement model, saying that the use of self-disclosure by therapists is purely to reinforce self-disclosure in their clients.
Lastly, the social exchange hypothesis sees the relationship between client and therapist as an interaction that requires a guide: Studies have also shown the disadvantageous effects of keeping secretsfor they serve as stressors over time. Concealing one's thoughts, actions, or ailments does not allow a therapist to examine and work through the client's problem.
Unwanted, recurrent thoughts, feelings of anxiousness and depressionsleeping problems, and many other physiological, psychological, and physical issues have been seen as the results of withholding important information from others. Therapy sessions for personality disordersbehavior disordersimpulse control disordersand psychotic disorders seem to use therapist self-disclosure far less often.
Their likability was increased by their willingness to disclose to their clients. The three dimensions mentioned have been said to be of utmost importance when determining one's likability. Additionally, a therapist who discloses too frequently risks losing focus in the session, talking too much about himself or herself and not allowing the client to actually harvest the benefits of the disclosures in the session through client-focused reflection.
Research shows that "soft" architecture and decor in a room promotes disclosure from clients. This is achieved with rugs, framed photos, and mellow lighting. It is thought that this environment more closely imitates the setting in which friends would share feelings, and so the same might be facilitated between counselor and client. Further, a room should not be too crowded nor too small in order to foster good disclosures from the client  Effectiveness[ edit ] The efficacy of self-disclosure is widely debated by researchers, and findings have yielded a variety of results, both positive and negative.
A typical method of researching such ideas involves self-reports of both therapists and clients. The evaluations of therapists on the positive effects of their own disclosures is far less positive than that of clients' self-reports. Clients are especially likely to assert that the disclosures of their therapists help in their recovery if the disclosures are perceived as more intimate in content. Much of these results, however, are linked to how skilled the therapist is in disclosing.
Therapists must choose wisely in what they disclose and when. A client who is suffering greatly or facing a horrific crisis is not likely to benefit much from therapist self-disclosures. If a client at any point feels he or she, should be acting as a source of support to the therapist, disclosure is only hindering the healing process.
Further, clients might become overwhelmed if their initial ideas of therapy do not include any degree of self-disclosure from their counselor, and this will not lead to successful therapy sessions either. It is also a risk to reveal too much about a therapist because the client may begin to see the healer as flawed and untrustworthy.
Clients should not feel like they are in competition for time to speak and express themselves during therapy sessions.
The American Psychological Association supports the technique, calling it "promising and probably effective". Using "I" statementsa therapist emits a certain level of care not otherwise felt by many clients, and they are likely to benefit from this feeling of being cared for. In cases of a therapist needing to provide feedback, self-involving statements are nearly inevitable, for he or she must state a true opinion of what the client has disclosed. These sorts of "I" statements, when used correctly and professionally, are usually seen as especially validating by clients.
Largely, the use of self-involving statements by therapists is seen as a way of making the interaction more authentic for the client, and such exchanges can have a great impact on the success of the treatment at hand. Spouses are encouraged, or even required, to disclose unexpressed emotions and feelings to their partners. The partners' responses are practiced to be nonjudgmental and accepting.
Therapists utilize techniques like rehearsal and the teaching of listening skills. Some fear that this is of little long-term help to the couple because in their real lives, there is no mediator or guiding therapist's hand when one is disclosing to another. Goals like these, as reported by young people fairly universally, can affect how they disclose to their parents to a large degree. Some go so far as to use the rate of self-disclosure between parents and children as a dominant measure of the strength of their relationship and its health.
When information is withheld, distance is created and closeness is nearly impossible to facilitate. Teens pick and choose what to tell their parents, thus limiting their control over the teens' daily activities. Adolescents' unique preferences and interests are expressed. If these vary from their parents', they establish an identity of their own.
Thus, they moderate their parents' potential reactions. Because of this, it is important for parents to be aware of how they react to their children's disclosures, for these reactions will be used as judgment calls for the children's' future sharing. Other times a reason is that the children do not want their parents to worry about them, and this is called parent-centered disclosures. Disclosing in order to make oneself feel better or to ensure protection from parents is considered to be another reason for youth to disclose, and it is called self-oriented disclosure.
On a more manipulative level, some adolescents report telling their parents things based solely on gaining an advantage of some sort, whether this is the right to reveal less or the fact that being more open tends to result in more adolescent privileges.
Sometimes children qualify their disclosures by merely stating that they only disclose what they feel they want to their parents. Thus, some information is kept secret. This is dubbed selective self-disclosure. In sum, adolescents feel different pulls that make them self-disclose to their parents that can be based on the parents' needs and the children's needs.
There has not been a distinct pattern found to predict which reasons will be utilized to explain disclosures by different children. For this reason it is widely believed that the reason for disclosure is largely situation- and context- dependent.
Parental knowledge of their children's whereabouts and daily lives has been linked to several positive outcomes. The more parents know about their kids, the lower the rate of behavior problems among children, and the higher the children's well-being. Adolescents who disclose have been found to have lower rates of substance abuselower rates of risky sexual behaviors, lower anxiety levels, and lower rates of depression.
It has been shown that children's understanding of friendship involves sharing secrets with another person. This mutual exchange of sharing secrets could be the norm of reciprocity, in which individuals disclose because it is a social norm.
This norm of reciprocity is shown to begin occurring for children in sixth grade. Sixth graders are able to understand the norm of reciprocity because they realize that relationships require both partners to cooperate and to mutually exchange secrets.
They realize this because they possess the cognitive ability to take another person's perspective into account and are able to understand a third person's views which allows them to view friendships as an ongoing systematic relationship. Equivalent reciprocity requires matching the level of intimacy a partner discloses, therefore, a high-intimacy disclosure would be matched with an equally revealing disclosure while a low-intimacy disclosure would be matched with little information revealed.
Another type of reciprocity is covariant reciprocity, in which disclosures are more intimate if a partner communicates a high-intimacy disclosure instead of a low-intimacy disclosure. This differs from equivalent reciprocity, which matches the level of intimacy, while covariant reciprocity only focuses on whether someone disclosed something personal or not.
Covariant reciprocity is shown to begin in fourth grade. The first is intraindividual factors, which are those that are on the child's mind and cause him or her to need social input. Biological development, cultural and social pressures, and individual maturity determine these issues, and, thus, a child's age, personality, and background also contribute to his or her level and need of self-disclose in a relationship with a parent.
These are most directly related, then, to the target of the disclosure; these targets are the parents. These are called high openers. Even people known to disclose very little are likely to disclose more to high openers.
How to Use Self-Disclosure to Get Close to Another Human
Thus, if parents are characterized as good listeners, trustworthy, accepting, relaxed, and sympathetic, as are high openers, then they will likely elicit more disclosure from their children. Adolescents who view their parents like this are also said to see them as less controlling and less likely to react negatively to their disclosures.
Parental responsiveness has been said to be the dominant factor of influence on adolescents' rates of self-disclosure; warmth and affection facilitate more disclosures. While this sort of control is not often thought of in a positive light, some hypothesize that these kids are likely just feeling coerced to disclose subtly and without being harmed.
Much of what children choose to reveal to their parents is based on previous disclosures and their parents' reactions to them. A child with a positive memory of his or her relationship with a parent during the past years is a predictor of a higher level of self-disclosure. In fact, the view of the parent-child relationship in the past is a stronger predictor than that of the child's view of the current parent-child relationship. The relationship with the mother, in particular, is extremely predictive of disclosures from adolescents.
Such findings suggest to parents that fostering secure attachment early in their children will better set the stage for disclosures in the later years, and their children may then reap the benefits of such a relationship.
They actively resist disclosing this to their parents because they do not see the issues as being harmful, or they feel their parents will not listen to them, or because the matters are very private to them.
Self-disclosure - Wikipedia
The more authority the children believe their parents rightly possess, the more obligation they perceive to share their lives accordingly.
Not surprising either, less obligation is felt as age increases. The age at which children feel they no longer are obligated to disclose to their parents has increased over time, and the same trend is predicted over the next few decades.
Adolescents also want to disclose more if they feel that the activities in question are out of their own jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is measured, in the adolescents' minds, as how short-term and close the activities are.
Short-term, close activities are judged as ones to be handled without disclosure to parents, while activities that will take longer or require the adolescent to be farther from home are thought of as being issues to discuss with parents. Nervous, angry, or unhappy parents make children less likely to disclose  Preoccupied: Parents who do not seem accessible to their children do not receive good disclosures  Reluctance: When parents seem unwilling to talk about problems or consistently avoid certain topics of conversation  Questioning: Adolescents are bothered by persistent questions that their parents ask of them  Respect: Children do not disclose as much if they feel their parents are not taking them seriously  Nagging: When parents seem to hag on unimportant matters, children become frustrated  Previous disapproval: Adolescents are not likely to disclose if their parents have previously expressed disapproval of a matter they wish to discuss  Factors that discourage future disclosures[ edit ] Certain events and characteristics of the parent-child relationship make the child less willing to disclose to that parent in the future: If parents seem inattentive, the child is not likely to try to disclose in the future  Respect: Parents who make jokes about disclosures or tease their children discourage future discussions  Lack of trust: Children are not likely to disclose again when parents have shown doubt about their previous disclosures or checked the information that had been revealed  Interrupting: Parents who interrupt their children do not encourage future disclosure  Lack of relatability: Children will not disclose again if they feel their parents did not try to understand their position in previous disclosures  Lack of receptivity: Parents who seem not to care about the child's thoughts on matters and who will not listen to arguments discourage future disclosure  Confidentiality: Children feel less inclined to disclose in the future if their parents do not keep their disclosures confidential  Emotion: Parents who have angry outbursts do not encourage further disclosures from their children  Consequences: Disclosures that resulted in punishment serve has discouragement for future disclosures.
Additionally, long lectures from parents are not viewed as favorable  Disappointment: When disclosure has made a parent disappointed or sad in his or her child, the child feels less inclined to disclose again  Silence: Parents who respond to a disclosure with the silent treatment are unlikely to facilitate later disclosures  Withholding permission: If earlier disclosure resulted in parents withholding permissions for children to participate in their desired activities, the children often do not disclose such information again later  Facilitators[ edit ] Certain events and characteristics of the parent-child relationship make disclosures likely: Positive moods happy and relaxed in parents make adolescents likely to begin to disclose  Accessibility: When parents seem ready and able to chat without doing other things, children want to disclose to them  Opportunities: Parents who make time for the child, initiate conversations, and prompt disclosures perhaps with humor usually facilitate disclosures from their children  Reciprocal disclosure: Children are encouraged if their parents choose to reveal things about themselves  Questions: Open-ended questions give adolescents motivation to disclose  Attention to child's mood: When parents recognize the affective state of a child, the child feels cared for and is likely to be open to discussing the causes of that mood  Unconditional disclosure: Children feel encouraged to disclose when parents make a point of telling the child to reveal himself or herself no matter what  Pace: Letting children choose how and how fast they disclose makes them more likely to reveal things to their parents  Factors that encourage future disclosures[ edit ] Certain events and characteristics of the parent-child relationship make the child more likely to disclose to that parent in the future: Previous disclosures that have made the child feel emotionally supported positively affect whether or not he or she will disclose to a parent again  Humor: Parents who can appreciate humor in disclosure, where appropriate, encourage the child to disclose again  Reciprocity: A parent who makes an obvious attempt to understand the child's position makes the child more willing to share in the future.
Children will likely disclose again when they believe their parents are giving them their full attention without interruption  Appreciations: Parents who express to their adolescents that they value their disclosures encourage such to happen again  Respect: Children want to disclose again if they feel their parents take them seriously  Confidence in the child: Parents who express their trust in the child's ability to handle his or her problems will likely be disclosed to in the future  Trustworthiness: Adolescents will want to reveal information to their parents again if they trust that the disclosure will be confidential  Advice: If parents offer good advice and help for a youth's problems, he or she is prompted to discuss things with the parent later on  Reactions: Parents will often be told information from their children again if they keep their reactions to disclosures calm  Discussion: Children prefer to talk about their issues, so if adults are willing, children will likely open up to them often  Receptivity: Adults who consider arguments from the child and "hear him or her out" encourage these children to reveal their thoughts again  Results: If permissions for adolescents' wishes have been granted after disclosing in the past, the child is more likely to disclose in the future  On the Internet[ edit ] There are four major differences between online communication and face to face communication.
The first is that Internet users can remain anonymous. The user can choose what personal information if any they share with other users. Even if the user decides to use their own name, if communicating with people in others cities or countries they are still relatively anonymous.