Theory in Your World Onion Theory in Communication

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Theoryin Your World: Onion Theory in Communication

OnionTheory in Communication

Theonion theory reveals how relationships work. It explains thedifferences in communication as regards interpersonal relationships.It depicts that relationships can become intimate through mutualself- disclosure. Two psychologists developed the theory IrwinAltman and Dalmas Taylor. Peeling the onion exposes the breadth andthe depth. The depth part, which is the inner portion, shows deeperinformation such as feelings and thoughts. Conversely, the outer partrepresents a person’s appearance, movements, and speech (Griffin,Ledbetter, &amp Sparks, 2014).The movie GoodDeedsapplies the onion theory of communication in its story line.


GoodDeeds,a box office movie by Tyler Perry, premiered on February 24th,2012. The Deeds Corporation headed by Wesley Deeds is a multi-billionbusiness. Wesley Deeds is a well-mannered, neatly dressed man who hasa drunkard brother and beautiful fiancee. On the other hand, there isLindsey Wakefield who is a cleaner at the Deed Company and a singlemother to one daughter. Wesley and Lindsey met the first time whenshe was about to be evicted and needed to get her check from herworkplace. Lindsey works overnight and ends up cleaning the office ofWesley who works late. The two talk and exchange pleasantries. Thisis the first stage of the self-disclosure known as the orientationstage where individuals observe mannerisms and interact based onsocial norms. Little is said at this stage.

Theexploratory affective stage is evident in the movie when Wesley andLindsey discuss music where Lesley walks Wesley through a playlist ofTupac Shakur. Wesley was an uptight workaholic who did not know muchabout music or movies. The two alongside Lesley’s daughter go outfor pizza and bond with one another. At this stage, they do notreveal any personal information to each other rather, they build afriendship.

Thechild services take Lesley’s daughter because they are homeless andhave little to eat. Wesley finds out and offers to help her by givingthem a rent-free apartment in one of their Deeds apartments (IMDb,2012).The affective stage is portrayed here when the two begin to disclosepersonal matters. They chat, and Lesley opens up about her strugglesof lacking a home and sleeping hungry. Wesley helps her to regaincustody of her daughter. The two felt comfortable enough to even goon a motorcycle ride. They even kissed, thereby developing feelingsfor one another.

Thestable stage of the onion self-disclosure theory is when disclosureis comfortable and open. Wesley and Lindsey realize that they loveeach other. Consequently, Wesley breaks up with his fiancee. Wesleydecides to quit his position at the company and travel around theworld and invites Lesley and her daughter.

Thefinal stage is where the two parties withdraw from self -disclosureand end up in a relationship. Wesley gets on a plane and finds Lesleyand Aerial waiting for him, and they kiss. They travel to Nigeriatogether as a family (IMDb, 2012).They both withdrew from self-disclosure because they realize thebenefits.

Tosum up, the theory of onion is all about relationships. It is amanifestation of how they work. The theory is evident in the GoodDeedsmovie wherein Wesley and Lesley meet at the workplace and becomelovers. Their interactions are casual at first, which is theaffective stage of the theory. However, with time, they feel aspecial attraction. This time disclosure becomes comfortable.Finally, Wesley abandons his fiancée for Lesley, a moment when theywithdraw from self-disclosure.


Griffin,E., Ledbetter, A., &amp Sparks, G. (2014). Afirst look at communication theory.New York:


IMDb.(2012). GoodDeeds. Retrieved from