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  1. #31
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Okay so forget about what "nice" people want or if it's important. This thread is about distinctions between different appearances of "nice", regardless of whether niceness is valued or whatever. So get back on the topic of niceness, darnit or I'll smash you like a puny little bug!! :steam:

    So back on course, when you, the reader, are friendly to someone, how is it different if you are just being civil/sociable vs. when you are invested in the person in a deeper way?
    When I'm being more than "just nice" I first have to feel like this is a person capable of a mutually satisfying connection. I have had people want to draw closer to me me and I've refused by keeping things superficial (but nice!). I've had people that I want to go deeper with refuse me as well. It seems like you've both got to want the same thing at the same time.

    What I do when I want to make a stronger bridge is I start letting out more revealing personal information about myself that's not so deep that I can't snatch the lure back if the person doesn't seem responsive, but if they pick up on it and pursue or self-disclose as well it's a beginning. I also usually do more personal things for the person and give little gifts. This isn't anything that's extravagant, it can be as simple as bringing them a cup of coffee.

    I made most of my close friends at college and at work. When I meet my college friends I'd want to spend time with them outside of class or keep in touch with them between semesters. Work friends I do the same thing, meet outside of the place we're forced to be.

    So when I want to deepen a connection I do things for the person, I contact them more regularly, I self-disclose at a higher level (reveal my true thoughts, feelings, ideas on a matter, personal problems) and I start emoting on their behalf, more serious/forthcoming, and most importantly I ask them a lot of questions about themselves. I want to see how self-aware they are and how they think.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #32
    Senior Member
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    How can one tell the difference when you are showing deeper personal connections vs. lighter social exchanges?
    I've always thought that actions spoke louder than words, so that's how I usually try to tell the difference. There's a context that precedes deeper personal connections that usually involves a series of gestures.

  3. #33
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    So back on course, when you, the reader, are friendly to someone, how is it different if you are just being civil/sociable vs. when you are invested in the person in a deeper way?
    Hm, this is interesting to think about.

    When I first read the question, my initial thoughts were that there isn't a difference. I seem to interact the same with strangers and friends. But no, as I thought about it, I realised that there are differences, though they're subtle, and someone watching me may not notice.

    With a stranger/acquaintance, I tend to be polite and attentive (although my actual recall is soo poor), and respond more to what they're saying than come up with things to say to them. Most people talk enough for the both of us, anyway. I smile and chuckle and do all the right things, but somehow... I don't know how to describe it, but I'm not really engaged with the person I'm talking to... I just appear to be.

    With friends, I'm more casual and informal. I talk more. I'm not afraid to be silly or juvenile or random. So I probably come across as less attentive and absorbed in what the other person is saying, because I'm enjoying myself more, too.

    Whenever I compliment, I always base it in fact - I feel like I'm lying if I make a compliment up out of nowhere. Even if I don't mean the compliment that sincerely. I don't recall ever being dismissed as just being 'nice', though. So I guess for the most part it comes across as fairly genuine.

    Although I actually feel like I'm missing the question a little, to be honest.
    Extraversion (52%) ---- Introversion (48%)
    Sensing (26%) ---- iNtuition (74%)
    Thinking (16%) ---- Feeling (84%)
    Judging (5%) ---- Perceiving (95%)

    9w1 so/sx/sp

  4. #34
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Well, I try to engage in basic cordiality throughout the day, to Say "hello" or give a wave. I don't go out of my way to do this...only if someone looks my way or I can't avoid it. Cordiality requires no "investment" from either party...It is just a little oil for the social machine...

    Being "nice" goes a little beyond being cordial. I believe the difference is going a liitle further towards actively engaging/considering the others POV or emotional condition. Nice is then a very basic form of empathy, one that would not imply over-familiarity, but frank concern. "Fake" nice-ness is worth less than cordiality and in some ways is an act of passive aggression and is of course just plain dishonest.

    Friendly behaviour assumes that I would like to get to know the person in any situation and learn more about them. Friendly behaviour involves a level of trust that can be subjective...sometimes I am wrong and mis-judge the potential for a real exchange between equals. I do not indulge in friendship lightly...but I can be quite casually cordial and nice. Once I have established a friendship there is little that I would not do for a friend. This has led to some disappointments.

    I believe that social interactions are basically economic exchanges. We each set our own exchange rate...Perhaps we interact best with another when our rates of exchange are mutually beneficial.

    But you cannot control what others will do or how they will respond to your attentions at any level. You can just be who you are...put it out there and see what happens. Hope for the best for everyone.
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

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