a good relationship. It takes more than skills to be a friend--unselfish
motivation, genuine concern for others, a need for a relationship, etc.
There are some dangers with self-disclosing. You can upset people
resulting in their avoiding you. You can try to convert a casual
relationship into a more intimate friendship and, if the other person
does not want this, you may lose a friend. On rare occasions, the other
person may respond so negatively or judgmentally (giving you a
sermon) that you experience more shame or guilt. In this case, see a
professional. In general, there are few dangers, especially if you
disclose gradually, observing the friend's reactions as you progress.
Of course, there is always a risk that your disclosures will be used
against you by a former "friend." There can be no guarantees.
Disclosing is something like loving: there are risks but you can't afford
not to take a chance.
Pennebaker, J. W. (1991). Opening up: The healing power of
confiding in others. New York: Morrow.
Gillies, J. (1975). My needs, your needs, our needs. New York:
Hopson, B. & Hopson, C. (1976). Intimate feedback. New York:
Checking Out Our Interpersonal Hunches
Checking out our assumptions
"What I think you think of me" and "what I think you think I think
of you" are powerful determinants of how I act with you. Consider this
example: Suppose boy B meets girl G. Further suppose B likes G and
G likes B, but he doesn't know she likes him. Also, suppose B knows
that G knows that he likes her, but B does not know that G does not
know that he does not know that she likes him too. You see, it gets
complicated--but that is exactly the way we interact with others. Now,
if G thinks (wrongly) that B knows she likes him, B's shy, hesitant
behavior may be misunderstood, "He doesn't care for me." If G
correctly assumes that B doesn't know she likes him, G will understand
his shyness and she can become more friendly. If, on the other hand,
B assumes (erroneously) that G doesn't like him, he will probably
never approach her. If B assumes (correctly) that G likes him, he will