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Social Penetration in Introduction to Communication Science

We can describe the relationship of friendship, love, kinship, from breadth and depth.

Taylor & Altman, 1987:
Relationships usually begin with narrowness which then develops to a familiar and strong level, both breadth and depth of increase and this increase seems comfortable, normal and natural.
Interpersonal attraction:
  1. Physical attractiveness and personality
  2. Proximity (proximity)
  3. Confirmation
  4. Similarity
  5. Complementary nature
In developing relationships, what makes us attracted to certain people while others are not.

Social Penetration in Introduction to Communication Studies
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Based on research, five main factors influence attractiveness:

1. Physical attractiveness and personality

If we are attracted to someone, perhaps we are attracted to that person because of their physique or because of their personality, or because their behavior or behavior is attractive to us. So we are attracted to people who have good physique and good personality from people who don't have good personality and attractiveness.

If we speculate on the qualities of someone we don't know, we may come up with positive qualities if we find the person attractive, and negative characteristics if we find the person unattractive.

2. Proximity (proximity)

The development of friendship is influenced by the distance in which they live. The closer they live, the more likely they are to become friends and they have great opportunities to interact with each other.

Physical distance is most important in the early stages of interaction. Example: In the first days of college, closeness both in class and at home is very important. The effect of this proximity diminishes with increasing opportunities to interact with those who are more distant.

We have positive expectations about people and therefore want to like or be attracted to those around us.

3. Confirmation

Humans want to be appreciated and because of that people like people who appreciate and strengthen us. Whether the award or confirmation is social or material. (eg: compliments, compliments or gifts, and promotions). But if it is excessive, it can cause negative things.

4. Similarities

If we are attracted to someone because of the similarity of character, actions, and ways of thinking, then that person will be suitable to be our friend.

While we may be attracted to the most physically attractive people, we date and make friends with people who are similar to us in physical attractiveness.

5. Complement each other

Many people think that if there is a common interest between them, they will unite. But there is another opinion which says that opposite poles attract each other. Therefore, dogmatic people are not necessarily compatible with equally dogmatic people. For example, maybe introverts are better suited to extroverts because they need it. That's called complementarity.

People are attracted to people who are dissimilar only in certain situations.

How to build harmonious interpersonal relationships

There are five general qualities to consider, namely:
  1. Openness
  2. Empathy
  3. Supportive attitude
  4. Positive attitude
  5. Equality
1. Openness

At least it refers to three aspects of interpersonal communication, namely:

First: Effective interpersonal communicators must be open to the people with whom they interact.

Second: The willingness of communicators to react honestly to incoming stimuli.

Third: Regarding ownership, feelings, and thoughts, meaning that the feelings and thoughts you convey are yours and you are responsible for them.

An example would be to say the word I (in place of the first person).

So openness is the willingness to respond with pleasure to the information received.

Another example: Openness, clearly a brilliant idea and important instructions from a manager, will be useless if it is not understood by others. Meanwhile, more than 75% of the manager's time is allocated to communicating with other people.

Therefore interpersonal communication is very important.

2. Empathy

One's ability to know what another person is experiencing at a given moment, from that other person's point of view, through the other person's eyes. (Henry Backrack, 1976).

One thing that is very important in this case is to achieve empathy must resist the temptation to evaluate, judge, interpret and criticize. That's not wrong but usually, such reactions hinder understanding. The focus is understanding.

Example: Managers work with other people. So every statement must be easily understood and understood by others as well as he must be able to see things from the thoughts or views of other people.

3. Supportive attitude

Supportive attitude is a concept by Jack Gibb whose formulation is that communication is open and empathetic communication and communication cannot take place in an unsupportive atmosphere.

Supportive attitude is shown by being:
  • Descriptive, not evaluative
  • Spontaneous, not strategic
  • Provisional is not very sure
4. Descriptive

An atmosphere that is descriptive and not evaluative helps to create a supportive attitude. Toni Brougher, in A with Word (1982), suggests three rules for descriptive communication:

Explain what happened: I failed to get a promotion.

Describe how you feel: I feel very sad and I feel I have failed.

Explain how this relates to the other person: Will you come with me to town tonight?

5. Spontaneity

Spontaneous style helps create a supportive atmosphere. People who are spontaneous in their communication are frank and open in expressing their thoughts. On the other hand, when we sense someone is hiding their true feelings, that they have a hidden plan or strategy, we react defensively.

6. Professionalism

Professionalism is not an unshakable belief that helps create a supportive atmosphere.

To be professional is to be tentative and open-minded and willing to hear opposing views.

Example: Manager's ability to encourage and support and increase the spirit of others in achieving the best results.

7. Positive attitude

There are two ways to have a positive attitude in interpersonal communication

First, express a positive attitude

Second, positively encourage people who become friends to interact.

Positive attitude refers to: First, interpersonal communication is fostered if people have a positive attitude towards themselves.

Second, positive feelings for communication are essential for effective interactions.

Encouragement, encouraging behavior to appreciate the existence and importance of others, this behavior is contrary to non-reference. Positive encouragement usually takes the form of praise and appreciation, and we usually expect, enjoy, and be proud of.

Example: Managers with high integrity and positive attitude do things according to what they say, only word and deed. Avoid cheating, and build honesty.

Equality Interpersonal communication will be more effective if the atmosphere is equal. Meaning: there must be a tacit acknowledgment that both parties are equally valuable and valuable and each party has something important to contribute.

Equality in the words of Carl Rogers, equality asks us to give “unconditional positive appreciation” to others.

Example: Between managers and their subordinates or staff, both have an interest in communication.

That is articles about Social Penetration in Introduction to Communication Science. Hopefully, this article can be useful for all of us.

Devito, Joseph A., Human Communication, e.d. 5th, professional books, 1997
Mulyana, Deddy, Communication science an introduction, P.T. Rosdakarja Youth, Bandung, 2000.