When Used Correctly, Self-Disclosure is Good!
Self-disclosure can be a real good way to quickly break down walls between strangers, and also bond close friends even closer. I have always been a very open person when it comes to self-disclosure between myself and others. In some ways that are very good traits, yet in other ways, it can be something that can cause problems in my your life.
It is usually best to set up a boundary that you feel comfortable with, and then limit yourself to that point. Some people are naturally outgoing, while others tend to be more reserved and introverted. This all must be considered with every individual person when deciding a comfort level for self-disclosure.
Keep in mind, that all people that you talk with can not be trusted with your personal information. Unless you do not mind them talking to others about you, you might want to be selective in how much and who do you share with? ~ Bill Greguska
Insights on How Self-Disclosure Works!
- When you do self-disclosure be sure the communication is reciprocal, know it involves risk, it involves trust and has the potential to enhance the relationship. The sharing starts at less personal and grows to more personal in time.
- Go somewhat slowly, don’t be in a hurry to tell someone too much about you too quickly.
- The other person will feel uncomfortable if you start with you feeling and intimate information without establishing a foundation for the relationship.
- Self-disclosure should not be a one-way monolog.
- You run the risk of being rejected if you share something about yourself self-disclosing too quickly.
- Disclosing means you trust them not to share your secrets with others or use it against you.
- Sharing personal information in appropriate ways takes your relationship to a new level.
How to Improve Self-Disclosure?
Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason. ~ Thomas Aquinas
Matthew 12:15-16 Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him.
Related Pages of Encouragement:
A Special Link for a Little Extra Encouragement
Avoid Self-Disclosure to Non-Intimate People
How to Improve Your Self-Disclosure!
Three Crucial Points You Must Consider
First, what is the level of intimacy you have with the other person?
- How well do you know them? Is this a close friend, casual acquaintance, or total stranger?
- How long have you known them? Did you just meet them or do you have years of history together?
Second, evaluate the risk level associated with the who, when and what in the sharing process…
How much risk is involved can depend on several things:
- the risk involved increases if what you are revealing is a deep and profound aspect of yourself.
- Who you are sharing with also determines the risk.
- Is this person someone who has proven themselves to be trustworthy or is this someone who has hurt you in the past?
- Is the person with whom you will be sharing authentic with you? Or, do they use manipulation, coercion or other unhealthy defenses that increase the risk to you?
- Do they respect boundaries set by others and have healthy boundaries themselves? Or do you see evidence of boundary problems in this person’s life?
- And finally, the context within which the conversation takes place affects the risk level. Even when you feel comfortable with all the other aspects, if you are in a setting that poses a higher risk you will want to make adjustments accordingly. For example, you will incur more risk if you are in a public place within ear-shot of others or be communicating via social media or email.
Third, Evaluate WHY You Are Sharing
- There are times when I decide it is worth the risk to share something with someone I don’t know well. If they are obviously hurting, and I know they are going through something I have experience with, I may decide the opportunity to be of benefit outweighs the risk. This differs from recklessly sharing in that I’ve made an intentional assessment and decision.
- Asking myself why I want to share something also helps me see when my motivation is ego-based. Do I want to share something because I think it will win me points with the other person or do I want to share because I believe the information will add value to the other person?
Please contact us if you have any questions or comments or would just like some encouragement?
The time has come for all evangelists to practice full financial disclosure. The world is watching how we walk and how we talk. We must have the highest standards of morality, ethics, and integrity if we are to continue to have influence. ~ Billy Graham
Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.