Oct 25, 2015

When You Can't (or Shouldn't) Use Your Words... Take a Breath

"Use your words." 

Jaden pushes his younger brother away, upset that his space was invaded once again, and another of his elaborate castles made of blocks is destroyed. His mom encourages him to "Use his words." rather than expressing his feelings by pushing his brother.

Young Kayla is prompted to "Use her words." to thank her grandmother for a snack for which her dad had just clearly expressed his thanks; she feels confused.

Many of us speak during the day, often all day, but are we really good at "Using our words"?

Using Your Words - TarasBook.com

I am fond of learning languages and the nuances and even similarities among them. I worked as an interpreter off-and-on for several years, and in both the experience of learning language and interpreting, I learned a great deal about communication; how good we are at it, how bad we are at it, and when it matters most.

I felt the imperative nature of how accurately I could communicate the concern of a school principal to a non-English speaking parent about their child. While I could see the deeper concern and even pain in the parent's eyes, I could not assume that this was being conveyed without proper expression through words.

On a lighter note, I learned many nuances of sound, including the Spanish "ñ" (en-yay) and nasal sounds in Portuguese. I learned to pay attention to not tangle these languages up too much. While there are many similarities, if I let my auto-pilot run-amok it could mean the difference between saying, "I am 17 years old." and "I have 17 ***holes." Yes, this got a lot of laughs!

Like the children in the above example, we know how to communicate to a large degree. We have sufficient vocabularies and the ability to relay a message. But, like the children, what happens as adults when we find ourselves overcome with emotions like hurt or anger, or if we are confused?

If we step back and observed ourselves (a key technique I use in my teaching) we would see that we are often reacting to our emotions and/or letting auto-pilot run-amok.

Or, let's admit it, sometimes we simply don't know what to do!

I had a situation in which I was taken off-guard by someone coming to my door recently. Many would agree, I had every reason to lash-out at this person; but I didn't want to fuel any potential fires. It was a situation where I had to be clear about my boundaries, and I wanted to create an environment of care but discernment. There was a lot to consider while being taken off-guard.

By some grace of God I felt the need to breathe, to pause, to let go: to hold on to being caring, as I would treat anyone who would come to my door, but to let go of many things: how the message would be received (you can't control how others think), letting go of my feelings of the past (it's done), letting go of the "what-if's" of the future (it's not yet here), letting go and releasing all the things I had to say to this person (I forgot them all anyway).

I was blessed with breath, the pause, the moment to just be.

When you don't know what to do or say, or you know that what you feel you have to say is to deliberately hurt someone...

Before "using you words" take a breath... please, just take a breath.

Earth-types: Make sure to have a few trusted people with whom you can regularly share even (especially) your deepest feelings. When you go too long, keeping emotions inside, it's easy to feel depressed and pent-up emotions, when confronted with a stressful situation usually burst-out either in tears (this is most likely to happen, especially if they don't want to talk) or in words that finally come out- albeit, unclearly.

Fire-types: This Type is most likely to tell you exactly how they feel. Like all Body-types, how they relay the message depends on their particular Emotional Intelligence abilities- this can range from a direct but considerate talk to outright shouting.

Air-type: The Air-type, similar to the Earth-type has a tendency to keep emotions inside, reasoning that they can think their way through it and solve it all. An Air-type needs a good friend with whom they can talk regularly. They don't even need to share the deepest things, they just need to keep the thoughts and feelings flowing.

Water-type: Water-types can have varied reactions from pent-up emotions, to cold(icy)-shoulder non-confrontational back-lash. A Water-type can greatly benefit from a well-grounded friend who will talk regularly with them.

In my up-coming web-classes and programs I will be addressing the interactions among different Body-types.

Join us!