Communication leads to community, namely understanding, intimacy, and mutual appreciation. -Rollo May
As humans, we exist through communication. While communication is essential in all areas of life, communication skills gain another dimension in interpersonal relationships. In our relationship with other individuals, we establish intimacy through touch and move the connection to a safe area. Whether it’s a romantic or a friendship bond, first of all, understanding ourselves and explaining ourselves correctly, then listening and trying to understand the other party objectively are at the forefront of healthy communication skills.
We all know that communicating, Getting to know the other party, sharing, developing a relationship of trust, and feeling understood makes our relationships healthier and more solid. However, knowing these may not be enough. Because, as always, putting what we know into practice provides actual development. The most common problems in interpersonal relationships are generally communication problems. Whether it is couple or friendship problems, communication problems are likely at the root of the problem. Although many issues can be discussed under the heading of communication problems, I would like to talk about the ability to open up to the other party in this article.
Self-disclosure is the level of individuals sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with the other party. Our tastes, our views on a subject, our textures about past events, our expectations for the future… When we share many things like this with the other party, we demonstrate the ability to reveal ourselves. This is very humane. Of course, we do not always exhibit the behavior of telling everything because the anxiety of being disliked and the fear of receiving criticism restrain us. However, sometimes these anxieties and fears can be groundless and irrational. In this way, the person avoids sharing information even though there is nothing to be ashamed of or worry about.
Another point that affects our self-disclosure behavior seems to be how much the other person reveals himself to us. We act with the principle of reciprocity. Accordingly, it can be said that we open ourselves to what opens up to us. Self-disclosure behavior is also directly related to people’s self-esteem. People with high self-esteem exhibit more self-disclosure skills. The ‘Johari Window, which has been extensively studied in social psychology regarding self-disclosure behavior, can provide a better understanding of this issue.
Level of self-disclosure in relationships: The Johari Window
The analysis created by the duo of Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, named after him, shows us the level of self-disclosure behavior in interpersonal relationships. The size of the areas covering the four parts of the window differs for each person because it is affected by many factors, such as the type of relationship, the duration of the relationship, the meaning attributed to the relationship, and the person’s awareness.
What the Person Knows
What the Person Doesn’t Know
what they know
|OPEN AREA||BLIND AREA|
What they don’t know
|CONFIDENTIAL AREA||UNKNOWN AREA|
Let’s take a look at the sections:
Represent. Open space is where we and others know our features, thoughts, feelings, etc. For example, our name, age, place of residence, etc., is included in this section.
The blind area represents information that others around us know about us but that we do not. For example, our tone of voice, non-verbal body movements that we unconsciously exhibit, jealousy, and narcissistic features are included in this field.
On the other hand, the unknown area contains information in the unrevealed unconscious that is unknown to us and those around us. So what does this window want to tell us?
Researchers state that the window shape people should have in their relationships is as above, which is a healthier and more desirable picture. In other words, with the person’s self-disclosure behavior and sharing information with others, the foundations of an authentic, honest and healthy relationship are laid, and the relationship deepens. For this reason, the more the person and others know, the more the person is aware of himself and ensures that others find the correct information about him. The way to achieve such a window style is without opening itself.
Which areas are more significant in your window? How open do you think you are? If you could, would you like to open up more and share more information about yourself? If you have a relationship where you feel you have a communication problem, why not take a step toward a solution by displaying your self-disclosure behavior?