Self-Disclosure and Relationships

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Published: 08th December 2009
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author: Jerome Newman (
"My spouse just doesn't understand me" is an extremely popular quote that has been around for many years dooming relationships and would be caused by too much or too little self-disclosure. Self-disclosure is the act of revealing personal information to someone for self-validation, manipulation, or simply relationship maintenance. Enlightening too much or too little about one-self before a relationship is established is the cause of many relationships not growing properly, if at all.
Obviously motives for disclosure depend on several factors. With strangers, a common reason for self-discloser would be to learn more about the stranger; a kind of give and take relationship. Also, Manipulation is used as a calculated, premeditated way of getting the desired response. On the other hand, in a relationship, the primary cause is self-clarification. Self-clarification, like discussing things such as, beliefs, opinions, feelings, and attitudes, as well as thoughts with someone else, is a highly publicized reason; this goes hand in hand with," I would like to get to know you better"
Relationships are an important part of life and, as a whole, good relationships as well as bad relationships, are extremely reliant on what one knows of the other person.
If self-disclosure is honest, the relationship can flourish or grow, assuming that the two persons have disclosed many items that they have in common. In contrast, a bad relationship usually starts with dishonesty (disclosing things that are not true) and continues, though it probably should not, with one or both parties lying or exaggerating throughout the relationship. In most cases, these untruthful disclosures are found out and the relationship sours, somewhat, not necessarily ending the relationship, but screwing up the trust that should be in a relationship.
Self-disclosure can probably be dissected into several strategies that will assist one in the relationship or type of relationship one wants to establish. In anything other than a highly personal relationship, how much disclosure and the type of disclosure should be relevant to the situation. The wrong amount or type of self-disclosure, of course, to the wrong people would be a tool used and abused, to get back at a person. On revealing one self to other people, one should be cautious. Being positive, clear and equal,(for example, when two people talk and one doesn't say anything or disclose much,) are very important also.
In conclusion, self-disclosure in itself can and will ruin a relationship. Not only personal relationships but also impersonal relationships such as relationships with neighbors or co-workers and management. It wouldn't take much imagination to figure out that some things should be left unsaid around certain people. Alternately, to keep from being one of the spouses "that doesn't understand," by not disclosing information in the relationship, one should continue throughout the relationship to give as much as he or she gets. To link to this post copy and paste link:

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