Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Communication is a skill that takes a lifetime to develop, enhance, practice and master. We use communication to express our needs, to exchange information and to make connections.
We use communication to soothe a hurting soul, we use communication to support ourselves when things are tough, we use communication to share excitement. Unfortunately many people are suffering because they feel no one can understand what they go through and that is excruciating for someone already experiencing emotional difficulties.
We all have physical and emotional needs, and the importance of meeting these needs varies from one individual to another. I am going to focus today on the need of being heard, listened to understood, and validated.
One of the most important skills in communication is listening. What makes it more challenging to acquire the listening skills is that a person has to be emotionally stable to be able to hear the message another is communicating. For example, you could be in a survival mode facing a lot of stress at work, deadlines, annoying colleagues, a stressful manager, demanding clients. Depending on your coping mechanisms and your past experiences, you can carry that stress with you at home, affecting your diet, your sleep and the way you interact with those close to you. Your partner or your child might demand from you to look after their needs first adding more to the pressure you are already experiencing, and here you are arguing or avoiding interaction, not being able to hear what those around you are saying and vice versa. From here onwards, it is so easy just to slip down the route of closing yourself down, not feeling supported and understood, the route to depression. Sounds familiar?
I strongly believe that our thoughts are influencing how we feel and behave. And equally any of the above variables can influence one another. Therefore, when we are experiencing an intense and especially painful emotion we tend to react in a way that is not tolerated, accepted or beneficial for those around us or even for ourselves. What we have to realise is that it takes two to tango, and there is a domino effect that will only reinforce and lead to repetitive reactions from those involved. I would also like for you to have in mind that we all hear and listen through our own life experiences, therefore there are many ways we can perceive and interpret the world around us. The reality is multifaceted, and there is a saying that I relate to: "there are as many realities as people in a room, and each of them is right." What can we do about this?
It is primordial to find ways to give yourself a break from all that tension you are experiencing. You can do that by speaking with a trustful friend, a therapist, you can take some time for yourself, going for a walk, reading a book, watching a movie and reminding yourself that you are loved and you love.
Build bridges, improve connections, make people feel you are there for them. Diana Dan MBPsS GQHP TAP dip. is a professionally trained and experienced Graduate Psychologist, Cognitive Behavioural Hypnotherapist, Life Coach and Learning & Development Consultant based in London Greenwich. Diana is part of the Superpow! portfolio of therapists.