“Communication is critical to developing mutually beneficial and mutually enjoyable relationships. Relationships require trust, and one of the best ways to develop trust is to focus on helping the other person feel heard and understood.” Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
Communication has always been essential, but now more than ever, when we are cooped up with family members and everyone is getting on everyone else’s nerves. When that happens we can revert to behaviour that has been there forever that really doesn’t serve anyone. Maybe you’re the woman in the household, trying to do some work, be the teacher & keep the place running as usual. Maybe you’re the man of the household worrying about the financial situation because your hours have been cut or you have no work at all. Either way, this is a time of stress for most of us, and we may then take it out on the ones we love, with the words we use. In other words, how we communicate.
A couple of core limiting beliefs are that I’m not good enough, this maybe in some particular way, or that I’m not heard or understood. Where they came from, is immaterial at this point. They are there and creating barriers to having a loving, compassionate relationship with those we love. Jack Canfield talks about Trust in his quote. Trust is at the base of all good relationships. If we are stressed we struggle to access trust because the 2 of them live in different parts of the brain. Stress releases hormones that shut down the part of the brain where trust lives, and we have more difficulty relating and interacting with our family, friends and co-workers. Because stress is also the culprit in so many of our health concerns, not the least our immunity, it is crucial that we learn how to ‘manage’ it. Uncertainty is very closely allied with stress, but don’t use that as an excuse. Most people are in the same situation. The media is reminding us all of how we can reduce our stress levels, and this may be the time to learn some new skills by following and practising what the various groups are offering on TV or our computers.
From this place you will find it easier to feel compassion and love for those around you who are also struggling. Where the trust lives is also some neurological cells that help the connection with others. It is also the area where the hugging hormone is released. This may then help you to ‘be present’ with those around you. This means listening with 100% attention. Maybe even have a conversation when things are a little ‘quieter’ to reach an agreement as a family that everyone is going to work on this. This listening skill is essential to make a good connection. So make it a goal to ask questions that encourage a conversation and actively listen to their reply – really listen, not waiting for your turn to jump in and say what you think. This will help your friends, colleagues and loved ones feel validated. Knowing that someone is listening to us in this way, helps to develop trust. What if this was something positive to come out of this imposed isolation for you and your family?
Enjoy helping others feel heard and understood!