There are five levels of communication:
(1) CLICHES - Typical, routine, oft repeated comments, questions and answers given out of habit and with no real forethought or genuine intent. "How are you?" "Fine." "Having a good day?" "Yes."
(2) FACTS - Information/Statistics about the weather, the office, friends, the news, personal activities, etc. Requires no in depth thinking or feeling.
(3) OPINIONS - Includes concerns, expectations, and personal goals, dreams, and desires. Due to differences of opinion that naturally arise between two people, especially between men and women, this is typically the level at which we run into the "wall of conflict." The door to intimacy is here.
(4) FEELINGS - Having gone through the "wall of conflict" via applying the communication skills following, you both feel safe to share your deepest emotions.
(5) NEEDS - The deepest level of communication and intimacy where you feel completely safe to reveal your unique needs with each other. Truly, unless needs are known and met, a couple will remain "strangers."
Many lacking the skills to make it through the "wall of conflict" revert back to the first two levels of communication and never truly get to know each other and satisfy needs. Lack of passion towards each other is in direct proportion to lack of effective, constructive confrontation! Sharing feelings and needs makes one "vulnerable" and can/will only be done where there is a feeling of mutual trust.
Conflict is not only the wall, but also the door … for conflict is virtually "inevitable" … and it is only in passing through conflict that we are able to reach the deeper levels of intimacy. If only more people realized this they would not view it as a destructive source, but a creative one … when "confronted" in a positive manner! Conflict is, in reality, a "tool" to bring two people closer together ... as long as those two do not allow it to lead to contention. In other words, your ATTITUDE makes all the difference! The inherent differences between men and women "automatically" cause conflicts to arise … but with the realization that it is these differences that enable men and women to compliment/complete each other, they are in the right "frame of mind" to make use of them constructively!