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Since beginning this class and studying the readings, I have become aware of several areas of interpersonal communication in which I require growth. One specific need that I have identified is self-disclosure. My husband and I have always been very open with one another and others have commented on how great we communicate with one another. Although I can easily open up to him and share my thoughts, feelings, fears, and other humbling details, I find this extremely hard to do with those outside my immediate family, particularly with those I work with and those I hardly know. Just as the text suggests, perhaps it is because I fear rejection and would rather have no reaction from others than a negative reaction (Stewart, 2012). Although I am not shy and consider myself somewhat outgoing, self-disclosure is risky, and I have never been comfortable with a high level of openness with others. As an S/C type, others expect me to be security-oriented (Carbonell, 2008). This falls in line with my fear of self-disclosure.
The readings provide detailed benefits of self-disclosure and explain its importance in building healthy personal and working relationships. As someone who is working toward a career in counseling, I find it extremely important to be able to disclose to others. If I expect others to disclose and be open with me, I should be willing, and able, to do the same in return. I had a conversation with one of the associate pastors at my church about my struggle with this and how I could overcome my hesitation. He provided a great analogy in describing how self-disclosure is revealing, freeing, and somewhat similar to confession, or the communication of information about one’s self to another. He then reminded me that I am able to overcome anything, and in doing so, I should turn to prayer and guidance from the Lord. Romans 8:37 is also a great source for us and states, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (NIV).”
Carbonell, M. (2008). How to solve the people puzzle: Understanding personality patterns. Blue Ridge, GA: Uniquely You Resources.
Stewart, J. (2012). Bridges not walls: A book about interpersonal communication (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.