The First Pillar of Compatibility : Self Disclosure

Self-Disclosure is a process of revealing information, about ourselves, to another person. The information can be descriptive or evaluative. It can include thoughts, feelings, aspirations, goals, failures, successes, fears and dreams. It also includes ones’ likes, dislikes and favorites. Social Penetration theory states that relationship development has strong linkages to systematic changes in communication patterns. Generally, relationships begin with the exchange of superficial information before moving on to more meaningful conversations.



Depth and breadth are the two main components of any conversation. Breadth refers to the variety and range of topics discussed. Depth means the degree to which people are willing to disclose personal information. Increasing breadth and depth of relationships leads to more intimate relationships.



Breadth is easier to explain because of its more accessible features. It consists of outer layers of personality. It includes conversations about our everyday lives, such as occupations and preferences. Depth in conversations is more difficult to reach in a relationship. It includes painful memories and unusual traits. We reveal ourselves the most and discuss the widest range of topics with our loved ones. There are 3 layers of depth. They are:

1. Superficial small talk with little personal information about the speakers.

2. Intimate, with increasing breadth and depth and more personal details.

3. Very intimate level, that includes sharing of the deepest personal information.

Intimacy in any relationship can develop only if the people involved reciprocate disclosures. Intimacy will not develop, if only one partner discloses and the other continues to reveal only superficial information. It is important that when a speaker discloses personal information, their partner also discloses something that is personal. The listener should understand and cares about what the speaker is disclosing. If the speaker does not feel accepted by the listener, then they might stop the process of disclosure, hindering development of intimacy. Reciprocity must be gradual and match the level of intimacy of the other persons’ disclosure. Too rapid disclosure creates an imbalance in a relationship that can be discomforting.



Self-disclosure promotes attraction. People feel a sense of closeness to others who reveal their vulnerabilities and innermost thoughts. There are 2 types of self-disclosures -

1. Emotional Disclosure - Reveals a person’s thoughts, feelings and judgements.

2. Factual Disclosure - Reveals facts and information about the self.



Sense of closeness increases if the disclosures are more emotional than factual. Personal Disclosures that are too general reduce the sense and feeling of closeness. Disclosures that are too intimate, highlight character and personality flaws at an early stage, People who make intimate disclosures too early in relationships, are often perceived as insecure. Transitioning from sharing facts to emotions, is crucial for building an intimate relationship. Without acceptance, one partner will withdraw and fail to reveal personal facts. Sharing ourselves brings us out of the imaginary world and allows us to see the realities of the world we live in. Self-disclosure reveals and breeds Intimacy.



Disclosures should increase in frequency and intensity a long period of time. This ensures that the relationship increases in intensity and closeness in steps. A steady trickle of personal information increases the longevity of the relationship as each partner feels the closeness that comes with self-disclosures.

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The First Pillar of Compatibility : Self Disclosure
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The First Pillar of Compatibility : Self Disclosure

Self-Disclosure is a process of revealing information, about ourselves, to another person. The information can be descriptive or evaluative. It can include thoughts, feelings, aspirations, goals, failures, successes, fears and dreams. It also includes ones’ likes, dislikes and favorites. Social Penetration theory states that relationship development has strong linkages to systematic changes in communication patterns. Generally, relationships begin with the exchange of superficial information before moving on to more meaningful conversations.



Depth and breadth are the two main components of any conversation. Breadth refers to the variety and range of topics discussed. Depth means the degree to which people are willing to disclose personal information. Increasing breadth and depth of relationships leads to more intimate relationships.



Breadth is easier to explain because of its more accessible features. It consists of outer layers of personality. It includes conversations about our everyday lives, such as occupations and preferences. Depth in conversations is more difficult to reach in a relationship. It includes painful memories and unusual traits. We reveal ourselves the most and discuss the widest range of topics with our loved ones. There are 3 layers of depth. They are:

1. Superficial small talk with little personal information about the speakers.

2. Intimate, with increasing breadth and depth and more personal details.

3. Very intimate level, that includes sharing of the deepest personal information.

Intimacy in any relationship can develop only if the people involved reciprocate disclosures. Intimacy will not develop, if only one partner discloses and the other continues to reveal only superficial information. It is important that when a speaker discloses personal information, their partner also discloses something that is personal. The listener should understand and cares about what the speaker is disclosing. If the speaker does not feel accepted by the listener, then they might stop the process of disclosure, hindering development of intimacy. Reciprocity must be gradual and match the level of intimacy of the other persons’ disclosure. Too rapid disclosure creates an imbalance in a relationship that can be discomforting.



Self-disclosure promotes attraction. People feel a sense of closeness to others who reveal their vulnerabilities and innermost thoughts. There are 2 types of self-disclosures -

1. Emotional Disclosure - Reveals a person’s thoughts, feelings and judgements.

2. Factual Disclosure - Reveals facts and information about the self.



Sense of closeness increases if the disclosures are more emotional than factual. Personal Disclosures that are too general reduce the sense and feeling of closeness. Disclosures that are too intimate, highlight character and personality flaws at an early stage, People who make intimate disclosures too early in relationships, are often perceived as insecure. Transitioning from sharing facts to emotions, is crucial for building an intimate relationship. Without acceptance, one partner will withdraw and fail to reveal personal facts. Sharing ourselves brings us out of the imaginary world and allows us to see the realities of the world we live in. Self-disclosure reveals and breeds Intimacy.



Disclosures should increase in frequency and intensity a long period of time. This ensures that the relationship increases in intensity and closeness in steps. A steady trickle of personal information increases the longevity of the relationship as each partner feels the closeness that comes with self-disclosures.

More Post
The First Shenanigan on Humanity
The Foundation of Datsme : Compatibility
Compatibility versus Chemistry : A necessary Insight!