Group Project: Uncertainty Theory & SelfDisclosure in Intimate Relationships
May 11, 2014 In relationships we have encountered throughout the course of our life, we have dealt with degrees of selfdisclosure. Even before selfdisclosure, we have uncertainty about new relationships and find ways to feel more comfortable before beginning this new relationship.
This can range from acquaintances, to friends, to an intimate relationship. Each level we tend to disclose certain information about yourself to certain people depending on that type of relationship. Intimate relationships deal with a very high level of selfdisclosure. How much we disclose is a individual preference. We do not begin as intimates. These relationships tend to start a first dates, generally. Over time, the course of intimate relationships tend to be greatly tied to selfdisclosure. We want to be more open, and have that reciprocated (Nicoletti, 2014). It is essential to sustaining the relationship and can positively or negatively have an effect on where the relationship goes.
Every relationship has to start with a first date which can be awkward and you are unsure about who the other person really is. Before the date, we tend to feel uneasy about this person because we have little information about them. With the uncertainty reduction theory, we are prone to gather information about the person through three strategies: passive, active, and interactive. Passive strategies deal with observing the person in a situation where they are more likely to act naturally (Oregon State,2014). This can be through social networks such as
Facebook and twitter. Active strategies would be asking a friend about the person to better gather information. Interactive deals with actually speaking to the person directly and gathering information for yourself (Oregon State, 2014). Other ways to help us feel more comfortable before first dates are creating stereotypes or prejudgements. With pre judgements you’re able to assess the person physically to see if it is something you are looking for initially. Selfdisclosure plays a role in how well the date can go; if you are a person who is very open on a first date with your personal information, you can potentially come off in a negative light. Selfdisclosing certain information too early on in a relationship can have a negative effect on the continuation of it. On first dates, a lot of things should not be discussed such as finances, religion, politics, or ex partners. These types of information are seen as a high level of selfdisclosure, and should not be open to anyone. There are no laws against what can or can not be discussed at certain levels of relationships. These are all personal preferences but what you think is ok might not be to the other person. We fear judgement which is why we hide or protect more intimate information about yourself such as previous marriages, or student loan debts.
After a successful first date, Verderber mentions how we weigh the outcome of a potential relationship if we decide to continue to develop it (Verderber, 2013). Once this is decided, we begin to deal with levels of selfdisclosure. Over the course of three months of an intimate relationship, we start releasing personal things about yourself, but in the other hand still protective of things we feel is too personal for an early relationship. Nicoletti mentions how the role of selfdisclosure changes as our intimate relationship develops (Nicoletti, 2014). We may not have discussed our goals on the first date, but after 3 months this can be something you can be open to talk about because that trust in your partner is building. Selfdisclosure can be very
tricky when dealing with early stages of a relationship. Sometimes we feel as though disclosing a lot of personal details about yourself is a positive but if it is not…