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My father, Scott Felten, leads a marriage group with his wife, Barb, at Veritas Church. He was so kind as to share with us some knowledge about the five levels of communication.

Level One of Communication

Clichés. Hi. Good morning. How

How is the weather.

How about the game. Have a nice day. How are you doing. Notice that none of these had a question

Have a nice day. How are you doing. Notice that none of these had a question

How are you doing. Notice that none of these had a question

Notice that none of these had a question mark at the end. That is because no one really expects you to answer the question – it is not a question or even a statement.

It is just something we say as a greeting or to fill the void or to acknowledge someone. Clichés are the most surface level communication that we express verbally. It’s as if we have to say something when someone gets in our personal space. There is no risk here, in the U.S., we can literally ask strangers; “How are you”. And they respond simply; “Hi, how are you”. No one expects an answer. No one gets offended. It’s just what we do.

When should we use clichés? We can’t avoid it, really. It’s how humans can live in close proximity without engaging or risking too much. Wouldn’t it be funny if a total stranger asked you how you were and you replied with a 20 minute status of your life; from your physical state to your emotional needs and your spiritual relationship. Most likely that person really is just moving on passed you and using clichés as the grease necessary to provide friction-free movement through society. Next time you hear clichés, try to make eye contact and see if that person even notices you. Don’t take offense here.

Remember, there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of relationships in our lives, even ones that only last a second or two, and if we took the time to communicate more than this for each of them, we’d never get too far.

Bottom line is that there is almost no risk of relational conflict when you are at this level of communication.

If you would like to learn more about relationships and communicating contact Veritas Church and join their marriage class on Wednesday’s nights.