We all want to feel appreciated and understood. However, many of us stand in our own spotlight by not always communicating effectively. Sometimes the problem is emotional reactivity. The primitive part of our brains has persisted from neolithic times onward. And while it did a good job of protecting us from early predators it isn’t quite nuanced enough for the world of today. Sometimes we see danger in comments and ideas, triggered by the primitive parts of our brains that are really not the predators to our egos that our primitive mind would have us believe they are. So, to get a better communication vibe going we first have to tame that overly vigilant part of our brains. Interestingly, but perhaps understandably the ancient danger-seeker in our brains is drawn to hands. Data shows that those on trial that fail to keep their hands visible are often seen as far more sneaky and sinister. So, keeping yours where others can see them is a good step, as is touching. It needn’t be excessive, but touching is soothing and in the case of babies absolutely essential to their growth and survival. Other ways to ensure good rapport with those you spend time with is to remember to preface conversation with gentle questions and think about the words uttered so that you are responding to them, rather than reacting in a knee-jerk manner. Try to match the emotional level of the person you are communicating with, as this is key. Practice empathy and be open to expressing your feelings in the moment.
- The primitive part of our brains that harks back to neolithic times can cause us to overreact to stress, making us see a threat where there is none.
- It’s a good idea to keep hands visible when talking and to encourage light touching for bonding.
- Develop empathy for the best communication skills and try to match the emotional level of those you talk with.
“If only there was something people could do to read your mind and feel your emotions. Right?”