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The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication and Relationshi

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Jace-Anna Lewis-Heffering

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication and Relationshi

The use of interpersonal communication in damaging, unethical ways
What is the "dark side" of interpersonal communication and relationships?
Ex. Your roommate is going on a date wearing an outfit that you think is nice- but not on her; when asked what you think, you say "I've always liked that outfit," omitting the fact that you don't think it suits her.

Ex. Developing a close relationship with someone but choosing not to disclose the number or extent of your previous sexual relationships
Low-stake Lies (1st example)
What are the 2 categories of lies?
The Dark Side of Interpersonal Communication and Relationships
By: Jace-Anna, Kashada, Jackie & Marshall
Developed by Judee Burgoon and David Buller
An explanation of deception and detection as processes affected by the transactional nature of interpersonal interactions
Interpersonal Deception Theory
Deception by Omission (Concealment)
- Intentionally holding back some of the information another person has requested or that you are expected to share

- "Half-truths": saying that outfit looked nice (but she never said it looked nice on you
Ex. Not telling your friend that their fiancee is having an affair with someone else

- Omitting information is just as bad as falsifying information
Obsessive relational intrusion, stalking, jealousy, and relational violence
Interpersonal Communication:
To determine the seriousness of the deception: ask yourself "What would happen if the other person discovered my deception?"
The size of the stake represents how much might be gained by the deception and how much would be lost if the lie were detected
High-stake Lies (2nd example)
Categorized by Communication scholar Mark Knapp
Factors that influence the process:
1. Context
2. Relationship
3. Communication Skills
4. Suspicion
5. Expectations
- The deliberate presentation of false information (lying)
Deception by Commission
White lies
: Deception by commission involving only a slight degree of falsification that has a minimal consequence
Exaggeration "stretching the truth"

Ex. I studied for like 2 weeks for this test... when it was really the night before

Embellishing the white lie
Baldfaced Lies
To gain resources
: such as money or property or to achieve intangible goals (fostering your relationships or bolstering your self-image
Reasons for Deception
To avoid harm or loss of resources
: may be used to prevent another person's negative reaction or to protect resources (time)
To protect one's self-image
: attempting to present or maintain a certain image that they think others will find desirable
For entertainment
: teasing is a form of deception (I heard someone has a crush on you - NOT!)
To protect another person's resources, self-image, or safety
: "harmful truths", however saying I love you when you don't mean it... is not a harmful truth
Leading to incorrect decisions or actions
: if false information is used in decision making then a person may take the wrong course of action
Effects of Deception
Harming relationships
: A significant impact of deception is to harm relationships, particularly if the deception is detected; it might even lead to termination of the relationship
Harming innocent bystanders
: ripple effect and therefore hurts bystanders
Loss of trust
: hard to regain trust (repeated deception and detection may result in one person assuming that anything the person says is a lie)
Additional harm
: consequences of deception can include punishment, embarrassment, guilty conscience, and a damage reputation
- Hurtful messages are unavoidable in interpersonal relationships
Communication That Hurts Feelings
- When deceived one feels betrayed, hurt and angry (emotional pain)
- Disconfirming responses (Chapter 5)

- When someone is hurt
3 Categories of Responses
Active Verbal Response
: reactive statements that include self-defense statements, sarcastic comments, and demands for explanations
Acquiescent Response
: crying, conceding or apologizing in response to a hurtful message
Invulnerable Response
: ignoring, laughing, or being silent in response to a hurtful message
: when you have a reaction to the threat of losing a valued relationship. (the relationship is in doubt and the partner's loyalty is questioned). Ex. You become upset because your friend starts hanging out with someone else rather than with you.
: a disconnected feeling that arises from a desire for something someone else has. Ex. Wanting a nicer car because your friend has one.

Cognitive Jealousy
: thoughts about the loss of a partner, reflections on decreases in the partner's time for the other, and analyses of behaviours or occurrences deemed suspicious

- Getting your partner to pay more attention to you, or display greater commitment is risky
Using Jealousy as a Tactic
Emotional or Affective Jealousy
: feeling of anger, hurt, distrust, worry or concern aroused by the threat of losing a relationship
Factors that Cause Jealousy:
Relational Rewards
: (test the strength of the relationship, to bolster one self's image, or to improve the relationship)
to gain relational revenge (teaching or punishing a partner)
: (being too busy to get together or ignoring the other person)
Flirtation Facade
: (expression attraction or sexual interest in another partner)
Relational Alternatives
: (past and present types of relationships)
- being upfront and talking to the person professionally and calmly rather than getting violent or spying on the partner
Managing Jealousy
Obsessive Relational Intrusion and Stalking
Obsessive Relational Intrusion (ORI)
: Repeated invasion of a person's privacy by a stranger or acquaintance who desires or assumes a close relationship

- Usually annoying or frustrating but not threatening

- Marked by such behaviors as unregulated self-disclosing; trying to get the other person to disclose; offering unwanted gifts, notes, calls, and other expressions of affection; arranging coincidental meetings; and expressing a desire for physical contact
: Repeated, unwelcome intrusions that create concern for personal safety and fear in the target
- an instance of the dark side of interpersonal communication, in which unwanted communication - in the form of phone calls, face-to-face meetings, letters, and emails - is used to instill fear
Harden the target
: involves making it harder for someone to contact you or invade your space
Ex. you might get unlisted phone number, rent a post office mail box, change locks, eliminate access information on Facebook, and/or install a security system
Keep others apprised
: you should appraise family, friends, co-workers, employers, school administrators, and law enforcement officials of your situation
Ex. let everyone know you don't want contact with the person and provide photos of the person if possible
: Don't answer calls, don't respond to emails or instant messages, ignore and turn away from any approaches the person might make - don't interact
Ex. Your actions need to support your insistence that the relationship is over.
Violence: often connotes physical harm inflicted on another person
Relational Violence
Relational Violence: range of destructive behaviors aimed at the other people, including aggressiveness, threats, violent acts, and verbal, psychological or physical abuse
Partner Violence categorized into 3 types:

1. Intimate Terrorism: using violence to control or dominate
2. Violent Resistance: meeting attempts at control with a violent response
3. Situational Couple Violence: responding with violence to a specific relational conflict or tension
- Deception by commission involving outright falsification of information intended to deceive the listener

- Have more impact the behavior of those who hear them than white lies or exaggeration
Beebe, Steven A., Beebe, Susan J., Redmond, Mark V., Geerinck, Terri M., & Salem-Wiseman, Lisa. (2015). Interpersonal Communication Relating to Others. Toronto: Pearson.
- The presence of a third party
- The partner turning to others for advice
- The loss of influence over your partner to someone else
- Partner spending more time on hobbies, school, or work.
Problems with using Jealousy as a Tactic:
- Planning to improve your relationship by evoking jealousy could be very risky as it could easily backfire.

1. Your partners reaction might not be the one in which you were originally seeking

2. Your partners reaction could take a negative turn if they found that you intentionally tried evoking jealousy out of them

3. Manipulative behaviour can create defensiveness from your partner
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