Skip to main content
Social Sci LibreTexts

10: Listening and Disclosure

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Human relationships are built on communication. As we speak and listen, learn about each other, and get to know each other in personal ways, relationships grow and thrive. Our relationships are defined by how we communicate, including what we talk about, when we talk about it, and how we respond. The substance of relationships is how we communicate. Interaction is comprised of what we tell each other (disclosure) and how we attend to each other’s disclosure (listening).

    • 10.1: Listening
      We engage in four communication behaviors: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Of these four, listening is by far the most frequently used. According to the International Listening Association, "Listening is the process of receiving, constructing meaning from, and responding to spoken and/or nonverbal messages" (Verderber and MacGeorge, p. 197).
    • 10.2: Disclosure
      As we send messages about ourselves, we engage in disclosure. Disclosure (also called self-disclosure) is the act of revealing new information about ourselves. The key to defining disclosure is the word "new." When someone learns something about us they did not previously know, we are engaging in disclosure. Although we often think of disclosure as referring to the sharing of deep, dark secrets, disclosure is a common occurrence.

    This page titled 10: Listening and Disclosure is shared under a CC BY-NC license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Keith Green, Ruth Fairchild, Bev Knudsen, & Darcy Lease-Gubrud (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities) .

    • Was this article helpful?