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Interpersonal Communication Through URT Essay

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Everyday we encounter people unknown to us. There are times when we are totally no interested in meeting and introducing ourselves to them. In certain situations we are forced or are voluntarily placing ourselves within there area of consciousness, like in a class or in our office, we disclose information about ourselves in order for a complacent relationship to transpire. This new connection will either grow or dissipate based on the disclosed information. Researchers say that interpersonal communication occurs only between two people who have known each other for quite some time (Borchers).

This can be attributed to the contextual factors, such as psychological, relational and cultural, present in interpersonal discourses. The attainment of these factors signify that the two people conversing already know well of each other (King, 2000). At first, when we are asked by our late seatmate at first day of school who our professor is, or when we ask our office secretary who to call to fix a down network system, the interaction that occurs implies only an impersonal exchange between two people who ask for information because of external needs and is most likely to end that same moment.

When you answer the above questions with “he’s the head of the department, we live in the same neighborhood” or “i know a little on systems troubleshooting but it isn’t my job, i’ll call one immediately,” the interaction introduces information related to the speaker and are affective to the receiver. This exchange becomes personal and may give way to a more gratifying relationship through following disclosures. These disclosures in turn reduces uncertainty, a considerably large blockage to a desirable relationship.

Berger and Calabrese’ uncertainty reduction theory in 1975 presents steps on how we can achieve a fully ineractive personal relationship with other people. This theory explains why people tend to be information seekers and reduce the unpleasant effects of uncertainty in an introductory conversation and in the whole attainment of a relationship (Oregon State University). The theory discusses three stages of disclosure in interpersonal development. These stages are entry, personal, and exit (University of Twente). The interaction given above can be considered within the entry stage.

By giving information on where you live or what your skills are(demographic), the receiver obtains also some point of conformity or agreement that sparks an interest for a relationship. Eventually we reveal our values, attitudes, and beliefs and we are taken now taken to the personal stage of disclosure. These somewhat “deeper” information suggest the existence of a relationship between two people. The exit stage relates to discourses on the shared values, beliefs, and attitudes which lead to actions or decisions where both interests are unified.

Since interpersonal communication is based on two interrelated people’s discourses, this not specified only on verbal exchange, uncertainty reduction theory is an effective tool in determining interpersonal relationships and communications. By focusing on the information exchanged by two individuals we can predict the stage of their relationship – whether on entry, personal, or exit stage. Certainly, the information shared will not be as substantial in terms of personal relevance necessary for the attainment of interpersonal communication.

Given the difficulty of initiating contact and conversation aimed at establishing a relationship, we are most likely to shy away and be frightened. If this happens, proceeding conversations are terminated. One basic method in squeezing out information from another person is to reveal your own personal information. Self-disclosure gives way to information not normally revealed through ordinary conversations. It requires an initiative to know and be known. Also, it is a way to know how the other people react and determine the topics under their interests.

Furthermore, the voluntarily disclosure of personal information gives an impression of the willingness of a person in entering a relationship. In uncertainty reduction theory, self disclousre acts as the most effective way in removing the barriers of mistrust and non-complacency. By analyzing the information you reveal, one notices your values, beliefs, and emotional and moral tendecies accompanying your disclosures. These are considered to be a pattern for compatibility looked after by uncertain people.

The situation above is common to almost everyone, given that the educated still dominate in number those who haven’t been to school or had work. I have experienced introducing myself to someone I am interested to. Most of the time I am replied with suspicion and mistrust which make me feel in need of proving myself. By self-disclosure I get their attention and know further what interests them and on fortunate times they react with personal disclosures too. Eventually the barrier of uncertainty dissipates and we are now getting ready for a more personal relationship.

By reducing uncertainty we increase trust, thus more information is exchanged. Uncertainty reduction theory explains the systematic yet unsure disclosures toward interpersonal communication. Through complete understanding of the three concepts, uncertainty reduction, disclosure, and interpersonal communication, we can attain desirable relationships that can outlast time itself.


Uncertainty Reduction Theory. 2006. Oregon State University. Retrieved 2 April 2008. http://oregonstate. edu/instruct/theory/ur.html King, Donnell. (2000). Four Principles of Interpersonal Communication. Pellissippi State Technical Community College. Retrieved 2 April 2008. http://www. pstcc. edu/ facstaff/dking/interpr. htm Borchers, Tim. (1999) Interpersonal Communication. Allyn & Bacon. Retrieved 2 April 2008. http://www. abacon. com/commstudies/interpersonal/interpersonal. html Uncertainty Reduction Theory. 2004. University of Twente. Retrieved 2 April 2008. http://www. tcw. utwente. nl/theorieenoverzicht/Theory%20clusters/Interpersonal

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