Levels of Communication

It is no secret that meaningful communication enhances the marital relationship. It is equally true that a lack of communication or negative communication will undermine a marriage. While most people are aware of these well established facts, few make a concerted effort to improve communication with their spouse.  Indeed, it can be a rather daunting undertaking.

There may be several reasons why couples are reluctant with respect taking measures to improve the communication in their marriage. Some simply don't know what to do. Others may be intimidated by the flood of information on the topic. It is easy to be confused regarding how to begin the task of improving communication.

Many marriage counselors are setting aside the exhaustive communication techniques and toolkits in favor of more simple, practical, and authentic approaches. One of the easiest ways to get started down the right path is understanding that there are progressive levels of communication. This is not a strategy or a technique, but simply an understanding that the content of what is discussed in our conversations dictates the level of emotional bonding that is created between two people.

There are basically five levels of communication. All five of these levels can be positive, and all of them are needed in a healthy relationship. However, the intimacy factor between two people deepens with each level - with one being the lowest level of intimacy and five being the highest.  The five levels of communication are: facts and information; ideas of others; your own ideas; personal information; and feelings, emotions, and needs.

Articles in this series:

Levels of Communication (Introduction)
Level One: Facts and Information
Level Two: Ideas of Others
Level Three: Your Own Ideas
Level Four: Personal Information
Level Five: Emotions and Needs
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