Monday, October 18, 2010

"The Seven Levels of Intimacy"

This evening was a huge night for me. I was able to hear the well-known author, Matthew Kelly, speak at one of the local Catholic parishes here in town. His topic was on his book, "The Seven Levels of Intimacy." Matthew Kelly was incredibly funny and it is easy to see how much he believes what he was telling us... Intimacy is not at all about sex. In fact it is actually about the ability to reveal our true selves to those around us.

During his talk he broke down his seven levels of intimacy. From the least intimate to most intimate, these levels are cliches, facts, opinions, hopes and dreams, feelings, faults, fears, and failures (the last three are one level), and lastly legitimate needs. He said that we go through these seven levels of intimacy throughout the day with each interaction. Sometimes we only go through a few, sometimes it ends up being the most intimate, sometimes very casual.

Cliches happen to be the most simplest of the seven. Basically it is an interaction with the expected questions being asked and hardly any answer being given back... "How was your day?" "I dunno."

Facts is basically when you speak about things you have in common, or how the stock market is, or what are the stats of sports teams. It is still pretty simple.

Opinions is usually what causes the most trouble, mainly because it causes the most conflict. We tend to try to avoid conflict with one another so instead of openly stating how we feel about something when we know how the other people around us feel we just kind of go with the flow. Apparently until you have a healthy disagreement with someone your relationship with them is still not really real.

Hopes and Dreams is the fourth level of intimacy. It is important to help those around you find ways to achieve their goals, and in return we need to be open with others about what we hope for so they will help back. It is a sad thing to never know your friends hopes and dreams because that means your friends do not feel comfortable enough to share that part of them with you.

Feelings... This is the hardest part for both males and females to get down. Males tend to know when something needs to be said but rarely ever want to say it, whereas females know want to say how they feel, but tend to always say it at the wrong time. It is just a very true fact.

Faults, fears, and failures is the sixth level of intimacy. This is when you are close enough that you are able to be honest enough with one another about eachother's not so great parts. It is through this openness progress will be able to be started to work on ourselves, and that helps us become the best version of our self.

Lastly is legitimate needs. This is the one where we can say what we need from each other to make our goals come true. It is all about who we know we can come to for help when we need it most and that is who we are most comfortable with when asking for help with something.

This is all just a little bit of what I heard tonight. I am looking forward to reading this book now.

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