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Chapter 7

This outline can be a helpful study tool to assist you in seeing the order and sequence of the chapter and the relationship of ideas.  Use it to take notes as you read and/or to add concepts presented in lecture.

  1. Communication fosters interpersonal relationships but there are influences affecting our choices.
    1. Appearance and complementary needs are factors in establishing closer relationships with others, as we tend to like people similar to us.
    2. We are attracted to people who like us and we appreciate competent people. Self-disclosure increases liking, as does proximity.
  2. Dyadic communication is contextually interpersonal; but treating one another as unique individuals makes it qualitatively interpersonal.
      Scarcity of qualitatively interpersonal interactions contributes to their value.
    1. Relationships can be enhanced by mediated communication; but when personal face-to-face interaction commences, the majority of these relationships are terminated.
  3. Virtually every verbal statement contains a content message and a relational message.
    1. Content focuses on the subject, while relational indicates feelings.
    2. Affinity, respect, immediacy, and control can affect relational messages by adding or subtracting dimensions.
    3. Metacommunication, the messages we send referring to other messages, involves analysis and should be used carefully.
    4. A developmental model of the rise and fall of relationships shows how these connections are formed and fall apart.
      1. Relationships commence with an initial stage and come together via experimenting, intensifying, integrating, and bonding.
      2. When the individuals involved seek to reestablish their separate identities, the process of differentiating is occurring. That can lead to circumscribing, stagnating, avoiding, and eventually terminating actions. Then the  relationship is over.
    5. Communicators seek important goals through all relationships in a dialectical model suggesting simultaneous dialectical tensions.
      1. Seeking involvement without sacrificing identity exemplifies the connection versus autonomy tension.
      2. Wanting stability without staleness reflects the predictability versus novelty tension.
      3. The desire for openness versus the need for privacy creates a tension.
      4. Managing the dialectical tensions presents challenges. Strategies include denial, disorientation, selection, alternation, segmentation, moderation, reframing, and reaffirmation.
    6. Our communication is affected by the conflicting drives for intimacy versus distance.
      1. Intimacy can be simply defined as closeness. Shared physical and intellectual activities and shared emotions are ways we use to get close to another person.
      2. Women are more willing than men to share their thoughts and feelings.
      3. Men grow close by doing things together.
      4. Collectivist and individualistic cultures vary in degrees of self-disclosure and personal familiarity.
    7. Self-disclosure is the process of deliberately revealing about oneself information that is significant and would not normally have been known by others.
      1. Social penetration models of self-disclosure involve breadth and depth.
      2. The Johari Window model represents self-awareness and the relational quality of knowledge about you from others.   
      3. Self-disclosure is influenced by culture, usually occurs in dyads, is usually symmetrical, occurs incrementally, and is relatively scarce.
    8. There are guidelines for the appropriate expression of self-disclosure.
      1. Is the other person important to you, and is the contemplated disclosure worth the risk?
      2. Is the amount and type appropriate and relevant to the situation?
      3. Will the self-disclosure be reciprocated, understood, and beneficial for both?
    9. Although honesty is desirable, we often are not completely truthful at times of discomfort.
      1. Altruistic lies are sometimes considered helpful.
      2. Equivocal language often is used to avoid unpleasantness.
      3. Hints are more direct but involve relational messages that can be missed.

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