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Narrative Essay on Self-Disclosure

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Self-disclosure is a process of communicating any information about you to other people which is not known to them. Therefore, you will need to disclose this information so that they are aware. For example, if you tell someone that you are a tall person or you have black hair does not mean you are self-disclosing, as the other person can identify those details by looking at you. Conversely, letting them know that you love playing football or listening to Led Zeppelin would provide them with information that they would not know without you telling them.

Self-disclosure is very important in human relations as it replicates a positive attitude and is vital in maintaining healthy relationships with other people. When a person discloses about himself, trust is built, and the person also may receive a similar response in return, which will further develop a sense of equity and ultimately form a healthy bond.

There are different levels of self-disclosure depending on people’s personalities. Many people often prefer starting with a cliché conversation where no personal information is shared, like talking generally about the weather. These are most common among introverts. The next level of self-disclosure is providing a small detail about the self. For example, a person is asked to play as a goalkeeper in a soccer match, but instead, he tells them that he likes to play as a striker. Here, a small information is being disclosed to the other person. The next level is expressing ideas and judgments, where extra information is provided to others, such as giving a point of view for the game last night. Subsequently, the next level is the gut level, where information is shared directly with another person, such as appreciating them for cooking delicious food. Finally, the last level is peak communication, where intimate information is shared with others. For example, when a patient discusses his problems with his doctor.

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Self-disclosing can often be difficult and people. There are various factors that can influence self-disclosure. Some of them are listed below:

  • Feeling of superiority/ inferiority. A person might feel he is inferior to others, which is why he might not want to disclose himself. For example, my sister had gone for karaoke night once but did not participate in singing despite having a beautiful voice only because her friends were accomplished singers.
  • Denial. A person might be in denial and feel he is better than everyone and does not need to prove anything to others and, ultimately, not disclose himself to others.
  • Feeling of inadequacy. Confidence plays a vital role in self-disclosure, as without it, a person can always take himself as a failure and might want to disclose himself to others.
  • A previous bad experience. A bad experience plays a huge role in losing confidence which might lead a person not to self-disclose. I had a friend who was a very good stand-up comedian, but once during his performance, a member of the audience yelled that his jokes were immature and started insulting my friend. He lost his confidence and has stopped performing since then.
  • Cultural differences. It is another important factor as getting involved in a new culture is always scary and a person might take a longer time to get comfortable and self-disclose. For example, when I moved to South India, I could find a lot of cultural differences, hence I did not disclose myself to anyone, thinking my lifestyle might be unacceptable to them.

Consequently, there are ways a person can self-disclose effectively by avoiding personal disclosure, developing the foundation of self-knowledge, and understanding the cultural background.

Self-disclosing is very essential to build a healthy relationship in today’s world and not self-disclosing can lead to undesirable consequences. Some of them are listed below:

  • Personal growth decline. Not self-disclosing will ultimately decline personal growth. This is very much visible while working in an office, where your manager does not know your true potential due to a lack of self-disclosure, and it will definitely hamper personal growth. I personally have had such an experience where I worked before. One of my colleagues, who is very talented, was not appreciated much by my manager as he did not disclose much about himself to anyone. This hampered his growth, as well as his relationship with others, however, he did realize it later and he managed to overcome this problem.
  • Relationship damage. Lack of self-disclosure will ruin a healthy relationship. This can be a huge issue if the relationship is quite intimate.
  • Wastage of time and energy. Not disclosing about yourself will lead to time loss as things could have happened much faster if the information conveyed much earlier. For example, my previous department hired software engineers. Later managers found out that few people have extensive knowledge of software and could have solved those problems. If the communication was proper between the managers and the employees, the company would have saved time, energy, as well as money.
  • Losing identity. Without self-disclosure, other people do not know much information about you. This will eventually lead to identity loss.

To conclude, self-disclosure is a complicated communication process that formidably influences how the relationship with others progresses. Moreover, anything that is shared depending on time, place or people’s personality impacts the effectiveness of self-disclosure.


  1. Self Disclosure| Introduction to Communication. (2019). Retrieved from
  2. Lamberton, L. H., & Minor-Evans, L. (2018). Human Relations, Strategies for Success. 6th Edition. McGraw-Hill Canada.
  3. Derlaga, V. J., & Berg, J. H. (Eds.). (1987). Self-Disclosure: Theory, Research, and Therapy. Springer Science & Business Media.
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Narrative Essay on Self-Disclosure. (2023, October 11). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“Narrative Essay on Self-Disclosure.” Edubirdie, 11 Oct. 2023,
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Narrative Essay on Self-Disclosure [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Oct 11 [cited 2024 Mar 2]. Available from:
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