Ever wanted to be a good communicator? I think we all have at one point in our lives! This is something that I’ve struggled with. It can be hard to know what to say to someone else, not knowing how they are going to react. Fortunately, I found some guidelines that I think will help a lot of people out. When using them, They sure helped me out, even if I still make mistakes. All it takes is practice to get them right.
7 Stages of Friendship, written by Ed Dickerson and Bill Underwood, is a list of 7 stages that a friendship goes through. At each successive stage in the friendship, more trust is involved than the last. You aren’t just going to explain to a newly made friend your darkest secrets, are you? You have to understand the stage you and another friend are at first. The 7 stages are summarized below, showing the kinds of conversation that is expected at each level.
The Seven Levels of Friendship
- Surface: Weather, time of day, general information–the kind of thing you might say to someone in a queue at the grocer’s or the airport
- Facts and reports: More specific information, including personal, but not private information such as name, marital status, occupation, time of next bus, etc.
- Opinions and judgements: What you think about a whole range of things from current events, sports, your favorite TV show – to religion, politics and morality
- Feelings: Your personal emotional status and reaction to various situations
- Vulnerability: Admitting your faults to another
- Intimacy They can tell you about faults you do not see in yourself
- Complete: Total openness, total trust
I really feel that understanding these stages can help anyone to be a better communicator. You can read more on Ed’s article here.