Intimate relationships are one of the most important experiences in life. They can free us from loneliness and isolation, provide love and emotional support, keep us healthy, and help us grow to our full potential as human beings. Intimacy is the deep connection we can have with another person.
Intimacy is very rare in our society, however, and there is tremendous confusion and ignorance about what intimacy really is. Most of us are never taught the basics of this essential human skill; in fact, what we usually learn as we grow up is exactly how not to be intimate.
Creating Intimacy” 1 So in simpler terms, what is intimacy?As the author in the excerpt suggests, it is a state of personal sharing arising from physical, intellectual, and/or emotional contact. Additionally, it is that process by which each human being in one part of his life or another tries to use to develop positive interpersonal relationships.
The focus of this research paper is on emotional intimacy with additional discussion on the added effects of physical and intellectual intimacy practices in dyads.
Moreover, a segment devoted to disclosure is also provided as a means to bonding the three dimensions of intimacy. To start, let one consider the first dimension of intimacy, emotions. Ronald B.
Adler and Neil Towne, authors of the book Looking Out/Looking In: Ninth Edition on interpersonal communication, point out this subcategory of communicating dealing with intimacy as “exchanging important feelings” that is personal communication that “needn’t happen in face-to-face encounters” 336.What they mean by this in laymen’s terms is that emotional intimacy is the process by which individual’s may share their “inner and true” self through sharing that person’s feelings with another whom he feels comfortable with. Through honesty in this approach of self-disclosure, the person is oftentimes able to develop interpersonal, intimate relationships where both are able to reciprocate each other’s act of sharing. In dealing with the second part of Adler and Towne’s definition, it follows that, like in their example dealing with online-created relationships, and as suggested by Dr.
Joseph Waltherâ€”and quoted by Howard Rheingold, author from which the quote is citedâ€”assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University, that although “it took longer for online groups to feel as knowledgeable about one another’s personal characteristics and develop interpersonal relationships as it did in unmediated groups, [â€¦] in the longer term, these relationships became even more intimate and sociable than those of face-to-face partners,” still close, intimate relationships are able and do occur in a place like the internet and that it does not have to be one-on-one “Social Science Looks at Online Intimacy” 1.Next, consider the second dimension of intimacy, the physical and its role in helping foster emotional intimacy. Here, as defined by Adler and Towne, it is the act of “being rocked, fed, hugged, and held” and also the sharing of “affectionate hugs, kisses, and even struggles” Looking Out/Looking In: Ninth Edition 336.This definition is an interesting one in that all of the actions in the first part of the definition rocking, feeding, etc.
nd all of the second part except for sharing struggles, normally are shown more to babies and less to adults but may arguably have just as much impact. For the baby, such acts as “wiping a baby’s bottom gently and talking to her cheerfully about how she will feel all clean and comfortable soon” and rubbing and patting “your child’s back soothingly in circular motions as you croon in low tones when he has trouble settling into sleep” all foster, teach, nourish, and promote intimacy and faith in it.Additionally, it also helps to insure that the child will carry that skill into his or her later childhood and adulthood “Inside The Babyroom: How Parents Teach Intimacy” 2. For the older child and adult, such acts as cuddling, kissing, and others help solidify/strengthen established relationships and also helps to make them more interpersonal.
In dealing with this dimension’s impact on emotional intimacy, these physical acts function as another means to helping the individuals involved become more akin and open to one another.Thirdly, let one consider the dimension of intellectual intimacy and its additive affect on emotional intimacy. Here the proposition is that its function is to promote a type of closeness that is based on an exchange of ideas Adler and Towne, Looking Out/Looking In: Ninth Edition 336 It presupposes that when a person engages another in intellectual conversation and inquiry, the people involve can and will come together and develop an intellectual, interpersonal relationships that as Adler and Towne put it in the book just previously cited, “both powerful and exciting.However, it does not mean that all conversation will be worthwhile and worth pursuing on interpersonal, like engaging a professor on the following day’s assignment of final, or asking the local butcher specifically what time he throws out his garbage on Monday mornings and for nothing more.
This dimension of intimacy suggests that a more “meaningful” type of intellectual conversation must occur in order for the chances of creating better bonds between the individuals involved to occur.In dealing with its impact on emotional intimacy, the presence of the intellectual aspect can additionally help to establish a common ground of attitudes, beliefs, and values that each person has. Additionally, it like the physical aspect, also works as an alternative to always emotionally self-disclosing. In other simpler words, it adds to the variety that establishes/defines that particular relationship.
Lastly, let one consider the idea of self-disclosure.As the co-authors Judy C. Pearson and Paul E. Nelson of the book entitled An Introduction to Human Communication: Understanding and Sharing, Eighth Edition state it, it is “the process of making intentional revelations about oneself that others would be unlikely to know” 158.
Simply put, it is a deliberate sharing of significant personal information that has varying degrees of risk in an attempt to develop a more personal, intimate relationship with another person.Or on another alternative description, as Allen Thompson says it in his article entitled “Creating Intimacy” published at sosuave. com, that Self-disclosure involves revealing personal details about ourselves, our past, our thoughts, our feelings, or any other information which makes us ‘knowable’ to another. Disclosing involves openness, a desire to get closer to another, and an implied trust in the person we’re revealing ourselves to.
2 The extreme significance of this lies in two points.The first is that it allows one to develop a more positive attitude about oneself and others and secondly to establish more meaningful relationships with others Pearson and Nelson, An Introduction to Human Communication: Understanding and Sharing, Eighth Edition 159. Through self-disclosure, one implies to the person one’s speaking with that he’s special because one is trusting him with that information about oneself. Additionally, it in a way is also a means of flattery because it implies that that person wants to know the other better through reciprocation Thompson, “Creating Intimacy: Part Two” 1.
With respect to the dimensions of intimacyâ€”emotional, physical, and intellectualâ€”the higher the level/risk of self-disclosure for example the difference between describing one’s computer to a girl and revealing that one was emotionally abused by an ex. , the greater possibility and likelihood that one will foster close, interpersonal relationships. Certainly with self-disclosure’s presence, performing acts as cuddling, talking about a controversial but enlightening topic, and/or sharing one’s innermost feelings becomes a much more enjoyable, rewarding, and meaningful process.Ultimately, it is the skin that encompasses those internal organs of the body of communication.
So why even study the whole idea of intimacy and its subcategories or dimensions? What significance does that have for the individual and for the general population of the world? Simply asked, what advantages does one have from knowing this information? The answer to these questions is easy. An individual studies the parts of intimacy so that he may be better informed and able to establish and maintain worthwhile relationships and hopefully be able to help persons who may need it along the way of life.Like anything, this too, is an empowering tool that allows one to have a better chance of receiving what one wants and prefers. For the general population, with more people knowing about the processes, psychology, sociology and all it’s associate fields and subcategories of such a topic, the better they will be at arriving at true respect for one another.
Additionally, it allows the greatest gift one person could possibly give to anotherâ€”an invaluable relationship based on active listening and true interest.
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Intimate relationships are one of the most important experiences in life. (2018, Jun 13). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/intimate-relationships-are-one-of-the-most-important-experiences-in-life/