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Tag Archives: reflective listening
I often meet parents whose adult children who are suffering from a mental illness such as anxiety, depression or anorexia, or who are suicidal. When I hear these parents talk about how they're dealing with this situation, they often appear very stoic. They say things like “I need to be strong in order to support my son”, or remark that “I've told them that they are very strong”.
At the same time, I often notice my own feelings of emotional disconnection around these same parents during our interactions. They often talk a lot about themselves in great analytical detail but without much real emotional engagement, and rarely ask me about my own life or how I feel.
I sense that they're avoiding something in our conversations: a sense of emotional connection.
Unfortunately these behaviors are exactly the opposite of what a person with a mental illness needs in order to feel the sense of emotional safety, love and support that could potentially heal their brain and help them through a time of deep crisis.
While all parents instinctively love their adult children, mentally ill people need to be surrounded by love and support that they can actually feel.… Continue reading…
I was recently coaching a friend of mine who is highly successful in business, but really struggles when it comes to connecting with women. What I noticed most strongly in our conversation was that my friend talked mostly about what he thought, and very little about how he felt. This was a strategy that served him well in the business world, but didn't work so well when it came to establishing connections with women.
If you want to connect more deeply with women, emotions are the key. Most of us guys have received a great deal of education on how to think, but very little on how to handle feelings. We rarely disclose how we feel to other people, and we aren't good at acknowledging other people's emotions either.
Our emotions are a deeply powerful part of our experience of life, which is why they are so important in connecting more deeply with other people. Women are generally much more aware of how they feel than us men are, partly because they're biologically wired that way, and partly because they've usually spent a lot more time talking over their feelings with their girlfriends. Most men on the other hand are often out of practise when it comes to relating emotionally, because it's often been seen as weak, or as a poor second to relating intellectually.… Continue reading…