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Friday, May 10, 2013

With gentleness...

"It's not what you say...

Many of us feel that what's important in our interactions with others is what we say. 

If we say the right thing, we might make a friend feel better. 
If we find the right way to phrase it, we could really communicate with our partner. 
If we say it clear enough, our children will get it.

The truth is, it's far more important how we are.

Implicitly, below our awareness, we are primarily tracking each other's emotional states and intentions. 
What is said is very much secondary in terms of how connected we feel. And we must feel connected in order to hear each other.

Non verbal communication is a much bigger part of how we relate to each other than most of us know.

When we feel softness is someone's eyes, when we hear gentleness in their voice, we relax and open. We can connect and learn.
When we see hardness or blankness in someone's face...when we hear anger or dismissal or indifference in another's voice, our defences come up are it's hard to connect. 

We can't learn, we only protect ourselves.

The thing about this non verbal relating is that it can't be faked. Most people are extremely good at sensing a lack of genuineness. 
Particularly in the eyes and voice. The way to express our genuine care and appreciation for another is to actually feel it.
Then it expresses naturally.

In order to feel it, we usually need to slow down and connect with ourselves.

The next time you are with  slow your child or spouse or good friend see their face, their eyes - listen to the quality of their voice - feel the tension or relaxation in their body. 
Notice if this effects how you feel about them. 
See if it helps you empathize with them, down and simply take them in.

It's so easy in the speed of our lives to lose a sense of connection and experience each other from a place of irritation, blame, worry or coldness. 
This practice can help us remember how precious certain people are to us. 
Feeling that is soothing for us too."