An open mouth requires an open mind and open heart - TestYourself.psychtests.com Releases Research On Self-Disclosure

TestYourself's study on self-disclosure reveals that self-closing our thoughts and feelings to others takes a great deal of trust - in ourselves and in others.

MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- December 8, 2011

TestYourself.psychtests.com, a pioneer in online personality, career, and IQ assessments, is spilling the beans on results of their self-disclosure research. Their findings reveal that people who are willing to open up to others need to put a lot on the line. It requires a great deal of trust and a willingness to put our hearts and ego at risk.

Some people have no qualms about disclosing intimate details about their life - and this is without the cajoling affects of alcohol. Those on the receiving end of this uninhibited biography may raise a scandalous eyebrow, squirm uncomfortably, lap up the juicy gossip like warm milk, or secretly admire the self-disclosurer's courage. One thing remains clear, however. Self-disclosure isn't for the faint-hearted, whether you're the one pouring your heart out, or the one receiving its overflowing contents.

In an effort to uncover who we're likely to self-disclose to and the traits that differentiate those of us who spill the beans and those who don't, TestYourself.psychtests.com released two self-disclosure tests - one that assesses general self-disclosure with family, friends, and even strangers, and one that evaluates self-disclosure in intimate relationships.

TestYourself's analyses indicate that people are more likely to self-disclosure their thoughts and feelings with their partner, and more likely to keep tight-lipped with - obviously - strangers.

Gender comparisons indicate that women are more comfortable opening up to their family (score of 50 for women, 46 for men, on a scale from 0 to 100) and to their partner (68 for women, 65 for men), and are much more comfortable than men being vulnerable in general (71 vs. 64).

Age differences reveal that older age groups feel more at ease than younger age groups opening to family (52 vs. 46), partners (68 vs.63), and even friends (55 vs. 50).

"Self-disclosure is understandably difficult, because we put a great deal on the line when we do so," explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of the company. "Our research reveals that opening up our mouths requires us to be both open-minded and open-hearted because there's always a degree of risk involved. We expose ourselves fully - our fears, our faults, our feelings - so there is an immense amount of vulnerability involved. This means that those of us who choose to self-disclose to loved ones not only need to be able to trust others, but we also have to be comfortable putting our heart and ego on the line, because there is always the potential that what we reveal will result in conflict, criticism, and even total rejection. It's no wonder that so many of us wait months and years before we open up to someone - if at all."

Besides trust and a comfort with vulnerability, rejection, and conflict, people who self-disclose are also more likely to have high self-esteem, to be very assertive and, perhaps not surprisingly, to be close to the people they open up to. In addition, TestYourself's data reveals that those who are low on self-disclosure are much less likely to be satisfied with their relationships. So all those cheesy romance novels and heartfelt family flics where people express their feelings to each other are actually onto something.

But like all good things, is moderation best, even with self-disclosure? "It all depends," surmises Dr. Jerabek. "Self-disclosure does have its benefits in that it creates closeness and builds trust, but it might not be for everyone. Some couples, friends and families feel it's best to leave certain things unsaid, and that's probably true in certain circumstances - not that we're condoning lies. In the end, self-disclosing is a delicate dance between two people. Both need to be open to it in order for it to provide any benefit to the relationship."

Here are some other tips from TestYourself to help improve comfort with self-disclosure:

  • Take it step by step. No one says you have to jump right in and talk about that time in kindergarten when you peed in your pants in front of the whole class. Start off small - offer your opinion on something, talk about an interesting event that happened at work, etc. When you're comfortable enough with someone, you can work your way up to more personal matters.
  • Build trust. It can be extremely difficult to be open with someone whom you don't trust. After all, how do you know your personal information won't be revealed? How do you know this information won't be harshly judged or used against you? This is why self-disclosure should be done with consideration - and only with someone you are comfortable with.
  • Don't put a mask on. When it comes to self-disclosure, it means revealing both the good and the bad; showing your true self, faults and all. If you're only revealing your stellar side to others (as amazing as it may be), you're not giving them a chance to get to know the real you. Don't be afraid to be yourself! Wouldn't you prefer for someone to love you for who you really are?
  • Pick a good time and place. Self-disclosure, especially when it involves delicate issues, can't be done willy-nilly. For instance, if you want to talk to your partner about issues you're having with your lack of physical intimacy, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to bring it up in a public place after he or she has had a bad day. Similarly, potentially controversial announcements, such as coming out, getting divorced or quitting your lucrative job to pursue a more personally-pleasing career path, should not be done during a big family gathering, like weddings or holiday dinners.
  • Stop the stereotypes. Some men regard talking about feelings or revealing a softer side as a little feminine. Unfortunately, while they may be saving their pride and sense of masculinity by not opening up, both their emotional and physical health will feel the impact of keeping everything inside. Self-disclosure has been shown to be a good stress reliever - for both genders.

Those who wish to take the Self-Disclosure Test can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2124

Those who wish to take the Self-Disclosure Test for couples can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2126

About TestYourself.psychtests.com
TestYourself.psychtests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. TestYourself.psychtests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.

About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

Contact:
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
Psychtests AIM Inc.
http://testyourself.psychtests.com/