Self-disclosure is both the conscious and subconscious act of revealing more about oneself to others. This may include, but is not limited to, thoughts, feelings, aspirations, goals, failures, successes, fears, dreams as well as one’s likes, dislikes, and favorites. Often when you engage in conversation, you must make decisions about how much personal information to share or the degree to which you should reveal your thoughts, feelings, fears, likes, dislikes, and personal experiences. “The act of sharing aspects of yourself with other people is known as self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is usually intentional; you choose what you will reveal to other people” (Sole, 2011). The article “Can we talk? Researcher talks about the role of communication in happy marriages” explains how self-disclosure can play a vital role in relationships.
After reading this article I found that I was certainly able to relate to it. I have been married for two years now and I have noticed that our level of self-disclosure diminishes as time progresses. My husband is a Marine which is a full time job. I am a student, a mother, and have been able to balance a part time job as well. With our busy schedules being able to sit down and talk for at least ten minutes a day, like the article states, is something that we had never considered doing. As I read this article my husband was in the room with me. I decided to read it aloud so that he could grasp the concept of self-disclosure just as I was. In the end, we both agreed upon sitting down for at least ten minutes a day and talking about things other than work, school, and our children. It has only been a few days and my husband and I have been struggling a little with finding topics outside of the ones I previously listed. I know we will gradually get better at it though if we keep at it.
I want to make sure we continue to work on our self-disclosure because I do feel it is important in relationships. Personally, I want to know all there is to know about my husband so that he feels comfortable enough to open up to me whenever about anything he wants. I want the same in return as well. I feel like if he knows certain things about my past, for example, then he will understand partially why I am the way I am today. He will also be able to be there for me more on an emotional level.
Gender communication is something that most researchers would say there are only differences between the two. But there are actually quite a few similarities as well. It is said that woman tend to be a lot more verbal than men. Men in fact, have that same quality depending on their upbringing. My husband for an example can be quite the talker. During our discussions I am lucky if I am able to get more than a few sentences out. Men and women who share similar social backgrounds possess and use similar vocabularies as well. Social background influences vocabulary far more than gender does. Men and women are about equally verbally assertive. Although, sometimes voice timber may have an influence upon perceived assertiveness. I have a tendency to think that communication cannot be categorized with regards to gender. There happens to be a lot of generalization when deciding which gender does what when communicating.
Generalizing is something that I do not always agree with. I do not fit in with the generalization of gender communication. It is said that woman tend to want to verbalize more than men. I am the exact opposite. I have the hardest time communicating, especially during the most important moments. I also can be very assertive in certain communication settings, which is said to be a man’s position. I believe it is all based on your social background and the way you were brought up.
Self-disclosure is also something that can be based off your upbringing and your social background. I had trouble when I was first married with self-disclosure due to the fact that my mother never did it around me. I had to be taught how to do it. The same goes for my communication skills. Although scientists may generalize woman and say we are the communicators I beg to differ, that it is another skill that I had to be taught. Generalizing is something that I do not agree with all the time.
Schoenberg, N. (2011, January 17). Can we talk? Researcher talks about the role of communication in happy marriages. McClatchy-Tribune News Service. doi: 2240370261 Sole, K. (2011). Making connections: Understanding interpersonal communication. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUCOM200.11.1/sections/ch00
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