Allowing yourself to be vulnerable helps the other person to trust you, precisely because you are putting yourself at emotional, psychological, or physical risk. Other people tend to react by being more open and vulnerable themselves. The fact that both of you are letting down your guard helps to lay the groundwork for a faster, closer personal connection. When you both make yourselves vulnerable from the outset and are candid in revealing who you are and how you think and feel, you create an environment that fosters the kind of openness that can lead to an instant connection — a click.
Phatic: These statements have no emotional content: “How are you?”
Factual: These share information, maybe personal information, but no strong opinions or emotions are involved: “I live in New York.”
Evaluative: These statements show opinions, but they’re not core beliefs:“That movie was really funny.”
Gut-level: Here’s where it heats up. The first three are thought-oriented. Gut-level communication is emotionally based. It’s personal, says something deeper about who you are and is focused on feelings: “I’m sad that you’re not here.”
Peak: The most emotionally vulnerable level. Peak statements share your innermost feelings. “…feelings that are deeply revealing and carry the most risk in terms how the other person will respond.” These statements are rare, even with people we are very close to: “I guess at heart I’m terrified I’m going to lose you.”
The authors spell it out clearly: “We can help to create magical connections simply by elevating the language we use from the phatic to the peak level.”
Does this really work? Yes.