Acquiring a tool box around good communication with family members that can easily become over passionate, and quickly de-escalate into toxic or angry outcomes is very important in learning how to navigate difficult situations and conversations when you find yourself on the opposing side.
Contained within are a few secrets for good communication with some rich tips and tools on how to communicate effectively in a much more grounded and relaxed manner that will help you navigate those difficult situations with a greater sense of ease and understanding. These simple tools that we will be discussing will teach you how to gently connect with others during thorny debates.
1. Grounding Yourself
This technique will help you be present in the conversation without having any knee jerk reactions that you may later regret.
- Begin by grounding yourself and allow yourself to feel safe in your own energy. Take some time prior to meeting up with your family members to sit quietly, while taking deep breaths and landing in your body. This allows you to be more present in the conversations you are about to have with your family member(s)
- While you’re in this state of total connectedness to yourself, start asking yourself simple logical questions such as: What is 2×2? Or what are the last 4 digits of my phone number? You’re asking these questions to train your mind to be able to be in a fully connected meditative state at the same time that you are thinking logically and present in any given situation. In this way you are connected to your own energy along with what is going on externally.
This is a great way to begin any kind of difficult conversation. Being rooted in yourself and your own energy first.
2. Reflective Anchoring
In order to establish trust in your conversations with someone, reflective anchoring is an extremely useful tool.
- This is done by reflecting what the other person is saying to you, back to them. For example, the hypothetical question posed for the sake of the demonstration is: Tell me something about your day today: After you hear the response you would repeat back what you heard: “So what I’m hearing is that you…”
- Maybe even describe what you heard in the reflection of their voice. Did their reflection sound excited, overwhelmed, happy, sad etc.
- Reflecting back and repeating what you’ve heard creates a sense of trust within the person you are communicating with. Creating this cadence as the base of the conversation is important. For example, expressing something that you may not understand by saying something like “I’m feeling puzzled about what you just said, or I’m not sure I fully understand what you are meaning”. This is a much gentler way to express your feelings and concerns without putting the other person on the defensive.
- Body language is also very important, if you are seeing someone shutting down by crossing their arms across their chest, frowning, pacing, tapping their fingers, etc. may mean that the conversation is in the process of breaking down. At this point the best advice would be to use the skill set called “Stroking”. Stroking is where you find a genuinely positive aspect about the person and weave it into the communication. Even in the heat of a vehement dispute, pointing out a positive aspect of the person you are in the conversation with, indicates that you respect the other person regardless of the heated disagreement taking place in the moment.
- Remember that everyone gets to be right when you are working towards a peaceful communication and equitable relationship
3. Overcoming Differences
If you need to defuse a situation immediately then remember that you love or respect the person in front of you and go back to that inner sensation of calm and ground yourself back into your body. Agree to disagree and find some common ground.
If there are completely different points of view then find a way, in the heated moment, to respect the other person’s opinion, because they may have something to teach you that you previously didn’t know about. Use the opportunity to learn something new that you may not have previously thought about. Instead of confronting, it may be more in your benefit to ask them to explain why they think the way they do so that inadvertently you are showing respect by asking the person to teach you something new instead of escalating the conversation into an unnecessary and uncomfortable argument.
In the heat of an argument remember that you have a commitment to yourself to always agree to disagree regardless of whether the other person does or not.
Even in the event that there is a lot of antagonism between you and the family member, and you have been pegged into a specific role that you are expected to somehow fulfill, it’s important to define your own personal role within yourself first then let that roll be known and seen within your family unit by shifting how you chose to interact with each member of your family.
About Komala Ute-Rohde
Komala Ute-Rohde is an internationally respected teacher and consultant. Her background education includes certification as a therapist, nurse, naturopathic practitioner, and counselor. She is renowned in the areas of Stress Management, Color, and Sound Healing. Creating and teaching trainings that deepen the understanding of color and subtle energies for many years has been her passion as much as loving music and sound and using them as a gateway to approach right brain intelligence through the senses.
Komala developed the Sound Resonance Training and Sound Resonance Voice Spectrum Analysis for evaluating the human energy system. The significance of sound and vibration on human health and well-being is gaining wide acceptance as a new and evolving science in psychology and medicine.
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