Even without a caption, we can infer that the dad in this photo clearly wants his son to listen. This graphic explodes with emotion. Negative energy stirs within ourselves as we look at it. It awakens memories of similar conversations where emotion overwhelmed reason. We can hear our own personal "inner" soundtrack replaying the audio from our own experiences.
When yelling occurs, it supersedes communicating. Both persons involved in the "conversation" feel overwhelmed, angry and "injured" to some degree. Neither is listening. Resentment and anger amplify; each person focuses on the righteousness of his own position. This hyper-focus tends to negate or invalidate the opposing viewpoint. When emotion hijacks* our intellect, little or no communication occurs.
Effective communication requires mutual respect and openness. [ctt template="7" link="xsc3b" via="yes" ]Yelling and demonizing one's audience defeats the purpose of conversation. Angry screaming provides an emotional rush but simultaneously makes communication impossible (or at least extremely unlikely.) [/ctt]As Intentional parents, we will want to practice ways to ratchet down emotionally charged conversations. Develop strategies for addressing frustration and anger in the moment. These skills take time and practice to master!
We must regularly remind ourselves of this intention. Save the earnest discussions for times when parents and children are not in meltdown.
The second photo, on the other hand, conveys the polar opposite emotional content from the first. Both father and son appear engaged and attentive to one another. They are emotionally open and available to hold a meaningful conversation. For most of us, the picture triggers personal memories of feeling heard and validated. It is in these types of interactions that communication and connection occur.
The point of this post holds true for all of our conversations, not only those between parent and child. [ctt template="7" link="3Zc72" via="yes" ]Yelling and demonizing one's audience defeats the purpose of conversation. Angry screaming provides an emotional rush but simultaneously makes communication impossible (or at least extremely unlikely.) [/ctt]
How will you use the insight gained from this blog to help you improve your communication at home and out in the broader world?