Unformatted text preview: le Support: Support we provide
someone that he/she isn’t aware of. • Why? Costs of receiving social support (face
• Problems: lack of reciprocity
32 16 10/9/2012 Social Support: Special Issues
• Reciprocity of social support is one of the greatest
predictors of relational satisfaction.
• What does this mean for invisible support? 33 Social Support: Key Terms
• Social support is effective when it meets the coping
needs of the situation at hand.
– For example, offering someone money (tangible support)
when their dog just got run over by a car (emotional trauma)
is not a good match.
– Giving them money when their car breaks down, however,
might be a great match. • Social support’s effectiveness depends on who is
– Ex: support groups.
34 17 10/9/2012 Social Support: Special Issues
• Something we are quick to give when someone has a problem.
• Why are we so quick to give it? • Labeled as both one of the most helpful and most
UNHELPFUL forms of attempted support.
• Keep this in mind : Are the looking for advice?
35 Social Support: Special Issues
• The placement of advice affects how we
interpret the message. • “You know, you should stop eating as much
fast food and start exercising more. Maybe
36 18 10/9/2012 • 37 38 19 10/9/2012 Hierarchy of Comforting Strategy
Sophistication (Burleson, 1984)
• Sophisticated (good) comforting messages are all about
how you address the other person’s feelings. Burleson
explains that the effectiveness of comforting messages
can be judged by three attributes, specifically,
comforting messages are effective to the extent they
(3) Elaborate on the distressed person’s feelings.
39 Performing each of these actions leads to
the following outcomes:
Projects a greater degree of involvement with
distressed others and their problems.
More feeling centered.
Generally more accepting of the distressed other.
Cognitively oriented explanation of feelings (may help
distressed person process through and gain insight on
their situation). 40 20 10/9/2012 • Don’t ignore the emotions.
• Don’t chastise or ridicule someone for feeling the way
• Don’t try to distract them or take their mind off the
• Don’t talk around the emotions (e.g., “that sucks.”).
41 So, how well does a message
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- Spring '08