We know communication is vital to any relationship. Communication is the heart of the human connection. It can be verbal, or it can be nonverbal. Either way, rest assured, communication exists whether you are saying anything or not. It is the pathway by which we get to know one another better. Our likes and dislikes, joys and sorrows, similarities and differences are all shared through communication. But, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are communication levels that must be considered, especially when it involves intimacy in your relationship.
Practice These 5 Communication Levels to Boost the Intimacy in Your Marriage
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So how does communication become intimate? Well, there are five communication levels with true intimacy being the fifth level. We move from one level to the next. Once we reach level five we move back and forth at will.
5 Levels of Intimacy in Communication
Level One: Superficial Talk
This includes talking about surface or cosmetic ideas like the weather and the news.
Level Two: Sharing Facts
This includes talking about clear-cut information—things such as I need to go to the garage today. My tire went flat.
Level Three: Stating Opinions
This includes sharing personal opinions. When conversation reaches this level, vulnerability enters the picture.
Level Four: Sharing Feelings
This includes talking about deeper feelings. Vulnerability is now a big part of the communication process. Opening up and sharing your true feeling with another exposes your heart.
Level Five: Sharing Needs
This includes an openness to share even your deepest needs and concerns. Once you reach this level of communication, your heart is open and vulnerable; and it’s okay with you. Here you’re willing to share your hearts desires big and small because you know you’re in a safe place. The two of you are on the same team.
Intimacy in communication is progressive
Intimacy in communication happens over time. This is the main reason couples just starting out spend so much time on the phone. Conversation seems endless and exciting. You can talk to one another for hours. The world is calm and beautiful when you’re in touch with each other.
Communication does take two people being in touch. Every word spoken, every gesture made speaks something to your partner. The way this information is received and reciprocated will determine how quickly you move from one level of communication to the next.
Going from talking about the weather to giving your opinion on a television show to sharing your feeling to sharing your needs and desires—all this is a very vulnerable move into intimacy. When you are vulnerable, your defenses are down because you trust your mate will bring good and not harm. This is the reason for such devastation when you are wounded or hurt.
With broken trust or even hurt feelings, the level of intimacy in communication moves right back to level one and you must start over again. Think about it, when you feel violated by your partner, communication goes back to level one or two. You state facts – the kids need to be picked up. The doctor called. We are out of bread. Restore trust and thus restore the intimate level of communication.
Intimacy in communication is beautiful and needed in strong healthy relationships. It takes two people who are willing to move through the process together. They must be willing. You will see it, and experience the spirit of agreement between you. Once you reach level five, you will never want to go back. It is fulfilling to open yourself up to another and know they have your best interest at heart.
BMWK, where are you in your level of intimacy in communication?
Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on August 10, 2016, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.