365 Days of Fun in Marriage

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Deepest Level of Communication

July15

Tip # 76

 

It’s Unfortunate, but Few Know How to Go There  

from Clipart.com

Many people never learn how great one-on-one communication can be because all they talk about is superficial drivel. It takes a lot of heart and guts to bare your soul to others. It requires taking off the facade everyone sees you wearing and becoming real. People can live, then die but never reach the deepest level of personal communication.

When you study communication skills, there are  5 levels of communication.  (Some researchers number the levels in ascending, some descending order, but the meanings are still the same.) 

  • Level 1 – Phatic communion:   Hi, how are you? How are you doing? What’s new? What’s up? Where have you been?  Phatic meets social graces with clichés and small talk but isn’t communicating out of viable interest in another person.
  • Level 2 – Reporting facts:   Provides more information but it’s information easily observed. I left school early. I went for cheesecake with my friend. I ran errands this afternoon. We went to church on Sunday.  I just started a diet. I’m cleaning house today. I need to pick up the dry cleaning.
  • Level 3 – Presents ideas and opinions:   I think the dog is sick. I’d like to redo Pete’s study. I like this new TV series. I’m ready for a vacation.  It shares more of what the person is like, but the person still isn’t risking anything by what is said—it’s just talk.  
  • Level 4 – Sharing feelings and emotions:   Naturally, this is communicating more about the feelings, beliefs, emotions of a person. However, it’s not that hard to converse on this level. People who are close friends usually speak on this level and most married couples do.

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  • Level 5 – Peak communication:   Some people never go here and never will their entire lives. This is communicating about your deepest fears, anxieties, dreams, core beliefs, internal struggles. It takes a lot of risk to share on this level. Most people won’t delve into this level for fear of what others might think. They may be afraid of hearing their own thoughts out loud or fearing someone won’t like them if they tell someone who they really are inside or what/who they’ve been in the past. People who do share on this level also know how to respond to others when sharing. They share back and forth in the communication. They would never drop the subject, change the subject, or ignore the subject.

If you can have one friend in life who you can communicate like this with, count yourself very fortunate—rarely will you have a second whom you can share so deeply with.   

If you and your spouse can share on this deepest level, value the marriage relationship and know that you have something very special. 

(How’s your conversation level with your spouse? Can you talk more easily with close friends than your spouse? You can comment below.)

~ Glenda  (gj)

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