1. Small talk:
Small talk can be a very important part of the daily, friendly chit chat we carry on with others. Small talk can also be very useful to break the ice to initiate conversations when mixing in a crowd of strangers. Intimacy suffers when we are afraid to reveal ourselves for fear of being judged and the need to feel safe. Intimacy also suffers when our focus is inward and we express no interest in committing our time to learn about others.
2. Fact finding questions and answers:
The communication at this level is very safe. It generally includes short questions and answers about the facts of what is going on in the world, our lives, and the lives of others. We ask questions and reveal answers about what we did today, the weather, the results of a sporting event, etc. The answers a person gives to a factual question can determine if the level of conversation is going to step up the ladder in intimacy or get shut down.
3. Revealing Our Feelings:
It is impossible to share intimacy without sharing your feelings. The roadblock to the free expression of ones feelings lies in the fear of rejection and the fear of feeling vulnerable. But to communicate our feelings is necessary in order for intimacy to exist. Imagine a relationship where you keep your feelings covered up for the fear of retaliation and confrontation. Intimate relationships can only thrive in an atmosphere of freedom where we feel safe to reveal our true feelings.
4. Revealing Our Faults, Fears, and Failures:
We all have fears and failures; we all need help. When we are comfortable knowing that those whom we have intimate relationships are dedicated to helping us become the best version of ourselves, we will be willing to reveal our faults, fears, and failures.