by Melissa Reynolds, LCSW
Contact is the process of transmitting meaningful information through touch, emotions, nonverbal gestures, and positive energy. To do this we must know how to communicate. To communicate effectively, there are several objectives to consider. Surprisingly there are more non-verbal than verbal forms of communication.
- Eye contact
- Tone of Voice
- Body Language
- Facial Expressions
The GOAL to communication is MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING.
It is obvious that many of these cannot be accomplished when texting or e-mailing. Talking on the phone at least allows for tone of voice. Many times when communication is only through words, there can be a lot of miscommunication. I’m certain each one of you can recall your own experience with reading an e-mail or text message the wrong way and perhaps ending up in tears over it. I believe our youth are losing these skills and it is important for parents to model these non-verbal forms of communication and help their children to become aware the importance they play in communication.
Once an individual can learn to become mindful, engage their five senses, label their feelings, and communicate then they hold all of the skills necessary to achieve empathy.
Empathy is the feeling or capacity for awareness, understanding, and sensitivity of another person’s experience.
The answer to violence lies within each one of us.
“Our bodies carry the potential for self-knowledge, self-healing, love and compassion. By reawakening our perceptive skills of feeling, sensing and initiating, we allow the wisdom of the body to emerge, to guide, and inform us.”
“PEACE begins where we live, in our bodies. By working sincerely and directly with our present bodily felt condition, we can begin to affect our life as well as the lives of others. When we heal our self, we heal others.” Janice McDermott
- Janice McDermott, M.Ed, MSW and Joan Stewart, MSW, Grand Ideas from Within, 2009.
- Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl and Molly Stewart Lawlor, “The Effects of a Mindfulness-Based Education Programs on Pre- and Early Adolescents’ Well-Being and Social and Emotional Competence”.
- Aysha Schurman, “Ten Effective Communication Skills,” http://www.life123.com/relationships/communication/effective-communication/effective-communication-skills-3.shtml.
- Elizabeth Scott, M.S., “Communicate: Improve Your Relationships with Effective Communication Skills,” December 10, 2010, http://stress.about.com/od/relationships/ht/healthycomm.htm