Comm Essay

325 Words2 Pages
Earlier chapters discussed the fact that our "self" is flexible and that we adapt so that our behavior is appropriate to a particular situation. For example, at work, you might "tone down" your loud voice and outgoing personality to fit a more serious environment or use more formal language to talk with the boss than when conversing with a close friend. Bucchina Studios/Thinkstock As a relationship progresses, your disclosures to the other person involve more personally meaningful topics. Every relationship is different, and in each relationship you usually construct an initial identity that is compatible with the other person, rather than revealing your "true self." As the relationship develops, however, you adapt that image to reflect more accurately who you are, and your communication adapts as well. Your disclosures to other people and their disclosures to you enable you to build trust and confidence in the connection with this other person. Self-Disclosure Social penetration theory, which was discussed in Chapter 7, suggests that over time a relationship progresses from safe and superficial to more personal disclosures. Your disclosures to the other person become broader (including more areas of your life) and deeper (involving more intimate and personally meaningful topics). The most important characteristic of a deep interpersonal relationship is the self-disclosure of our innermost thoughts and feelings (Roeckelein, 1998). Thus, as a relationship progresses, your constructed self gives way to more open disclosures of your true identity. In a deep, intimate relationship with someone, you have risked a great deal and have shared your deepest thoughts, feelings, fears, and flaws with the other person. Disclosure is generally reciprocal, so the other person has risked a great deal as well. These mutual disclosures have increased your vulnerability

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