At first, just like what I feel with other people during the first time of meeting them, I am hesitant to share my personal experiences, views or attitude with her (my best friend). When we were in grade 3 and I had a crush with one of our classmates, I was very much cautious about sharing it with other people, because was afraid that if will let other people know about what feel, they might tell it to my crush. It is the idea that self-disclosure risks vulnerability. This experience is not just one of those childish things I had thought of because even until now, I still have the name mindset.
It was only after a year, that my best friend happened to know about it. Decided disclosing it to her because the guy I had a crush with wasn’t our classmate anymore. Till then, I started to be open with other things with her. She, in return, was able be transparent and share things with me, too. She even told me, too about her crush during that time. This would be what Alton and Taylor referred to as the law of reciprocity which is defined as the paced and orderly process by which openness in one person lead to openness in the other.
Through it, I became more confident to share y feelings to her because I know that she’s as much as willing to disclose herself to me. Although, during our high school years, we departed schools and loss track with each other’s activities and self-disclosure became limited. Subsequently, our relationship as best friends weakened but the same intensity was regained during our 4th year high school when we started to keep in touch again. In the onion metaphor, we might be on a not so shallow breadth but not so deep as well, just to the extent that she could cry to me when she has problems and vice versa.
The social penetration theory of Irwin Alton and Dallas Taylor also includes the social exchange theory, where they point out that a person engages in a relationship to maximize the reward and minimize the cost. However, an individual must not compromise the relationship for always expecting a benefit he/she may get from it. The social penetration theory is the process of developing deeper intimacy with another person through mutual self-disclosure and other forms of vulnerability. Accordingly, based from my experience, we started from superficial into a pepper or more intimate friendship and from strangers, we’re now best friends. Uncertainty Reduction Theory According to its definition, uncertainty reduction theory is the increased knowledge of what kind of person another is, which provides an improved forecast of how future interaction will turn out. To provide my own example, I had this experience, when I was paired with one of my classmates to dance for a school activity. The problem was, the guy that I was paired with was a person barely talk to and I barely had interactions with. So, my initial action was to feel awkward specially that our dance category is ballroom which there should be connection from the dancing partners.
My motivation or my reason for developing friendship with him then, was because I know that We will be dealing with each other for weeks during our practices. From the strategies stated from this theory, I had used the passive and interactive strategy to seek information about my partner. I observed the way he socializes and talks to his friends. And during our practices, tried to talk to him directly so that we could be more comfortable with each other. My level f uncertainty with my partner gradually decreased as we proceed to weeks of practice.
We develop friendship that both of us were able to self- disclose-?that resulted to reciprocity. I learned that we both like sponge which created similarity between us. That way, we had somehow clicked and the uncertainty reduced. The uncertainty reduction theory explains my anxiety or uncertainty on how will do during my interactions with my former dancing partner. In addition, through seeking information, I learned to gradually reduce this uncertainty that resulted to a positive outcome that we became friends.