Communicating for Connection

So, the fact of the matter is that not all our family gatherings look like a Norman Rockwell painting. There are issues with our families that do not go away just because it’s Thanksgiving. Here are some tips to help you stay in your peace.

One of the first things that you can do, is just to decide. Decide that you are not going to be caught up in any of the drama of the day. After you decide, take a few moments before you get to the event to survey the guest list. Look at the list and determine who are the people that are liable to get you stimulated. It could be uncle Joe who always talks about how young people these days are not worth a hill of beans. It could be aunt Joan that keeps asking you when are you going to get married or when are you going to have a baby. It could even be that cousin of yours that is always bragging about how great their life is going. Take a moment to identify those people and decide on how you are going to handle them with love.

So, let’s take an example. When you’re talking to aunt Joan who’s asking you when you’re going to get married or when you’re going to have a baby, be prepared to feel sure, steady and confident within yourself. Respond from that place of strength and not from a place of weakness. Remind yourself that ” I am living my life as it is right now and I am happy”. Taking the shame out of the conversation allows you to come from a position of power and strength. You are fortifying yourself and creating a response that will create a connection rather than one that’s going to create a disconnect. Come back with a response that allows for connection and honors your beautiful self.

When you find yourself getting stimulated use the stop method. S-T-O-P. What is the stop method you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. When you get into a situation that you’re finding stimulating, use the steps with the acronym STOP to support you in communicating for connection.

When things are getting to be a little too much, your body is your friend. Your body will always let you know that you are getting tweaked. Your body will give you warnings and you should never ignore them. Your body knows you better than you do! Your body never lies.

Here are some (but not all) clues

  • Rapid and or difficult Breathing
  • Sweating
  • Eyes water (you are literally seeing red)
  • Mouth gets dry
  • Rapid heartbeat or heart feels heavy and expanded.
  • Tingling in different parts of your body, especially neck, cheeks and extremities

When you get these gifts from your body… S-T-O-P

S – Stop what you are doing. Do not respond. This is the first step for you to create space to allow you to respond in a way that aligns with your intentions and your true self.

T – Take a breath. Take two they are free. Allow that breath to increase the supply of oxygen to your brain, which stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system and helps keep you calm.

O – Observe. What is going on? How are you feeling? How are those you are interacting with feeling? Did you hear their true point of view? Do you know what your point of view is? How do you want to respond? Ask yourself if it is necessary to respond. I sometimes go into a situation where I know an interaction with someone is going to be problematic and actually plan not to respond even before we interact. I see an interaction with this person could possibly be stimulating and I decide not to bite. This choice for this person is the most loving and allows me to maintain connection and release myself from the need to convince, or persuade.

P – Proceed. You have decided how you want to respond, now it is time to proceed. Proceed with the awareness that you are communicating for connection here. If you find yourself slipping away as you proceed you can start the process again.

Happy Connecting! I am rooting for you!