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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Simple Model - Hard Work

According to an often used model of communication, true intimacy is attained when we withhold nothing from another individual. Over your lifetime, how many times have you been truly intimate with someone?

Nothing is quite a bar. Each time I come across this model, I'm lost in my head for a while thinking about my communication with the people important to me based on the seven stages described. The model is a fluid continuum (often shown as a concentric circle) with "ritual communication" - like you might have exchanging platitudes with your mailman or a clerk at a store - on the outer circle and true intimacy at the center. Moving from the outside to the center are "small talk", "planned activities", "shared bits and pieces", "shared feelings" & "shared hopes and dreams".

In my reflections, I often start by thinking about my routine communication with my sisters and brother. Sometimes the exercise ends right there but if any energy remains, I might move onto my adult nieces, in-laws or close friends. By then I'm usually so exhausted it's time for a silly movie or a nap. Then I steer clear of books or articles about communication for a long time, just in case that model is cited.      

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