I have a lil guy at school - i have been working with him for 3 years. He has aspergers syndrome. He is extremely bright so I don't work on tutoring or any form of academics.
We work on skills needed in life....... like not having major melt downs.... that's how my lil guy handles problems - he curls up in a ball and howls. He sounds like a wounded animal.
We work on communication skills (for lack of a better term). Things like looking at people when they speak to you - keeping eye contact - using appropriate / socially accepted and expected greetings........ like "hello. how are you?" and "good-bye have a good weekend". My lil guy is blunt - he wants to know why he should ask how someone is if he doesn't really want to know........ or why he should say "good-bye" if everyone knows he is leaving cause after all he has his coat on and is going out the door.
He is one of the few I will miss terribly when I retire in June. He makes me think, he makes me smile and he challenges me.
I was thinking about communication skills with him the other day. And then cause that's how my brain works - I was thinking of all the 'normal' adults who don't understand the basics of communication and making someone feel like you are "hearing" them.
We (my lil guy and I ) work very hard to keep eye contact when talking - we work very hard at putting down what we are doing....... look the other person in the eye and talk to them.
And then I go through my life and watch adults - with no excuse - talking while they are texting on their smart phones - or are typing on their computers - or watching television - or obviously listening to something else. And I realize I feel that my words - my thoughts - ME - are not all that important. Because.......... if they were ......... in my world .... people would put down what they are doing and LISTEN.
I have been to BDSM munches recently where the majority of those there have their smart phones out on the table and they are constantly checking the messages streaming in - and answering them. It reminds me of high school where the girls would cluster together and whisper and gossip.
Take a minute and think about someone who makes you feel special - with whom you feel a special bond - even a special friendship bond. I will bet you that when that person talks to you they look you in the eye - both when they are speaking and when you are speaking. They make you feel special - they make you feel that what you have to say is important. They do one thing....... LISTEN.
And I will bet their body language and facial expressions make you feel they are listening and are enjoying their chat with you. I will bet they smile at you and lean towards you. I will bet their facial expressions will change to suit the words. They aren't stone faced - with one eye looking elsewhere.
People are so quick to say "communication is the most important part "of BDSM - of LIFE - yet so few people actually know how to communicate. People are so self absorbed - so sure that what THEY have to say is more important than anything you have to say..... I bet most people are framing their response to you while you are still making your point.
People for some reason like me. Take to me. I never really understood why. Until yesterday. A parent was talking about how much they were gonna miss me when I retire - that the person taking my place will have big shoes to fill. And truthfully I was confused. Anyone ....... ANYONE........ can do my job. And I said so. This parent said "no one will listen like you do." And those words made me stop. All those lessons I learned when I was child about "listening" and "talking" took, I guess. I do it all now without consciously thinking about it......... and obviously it works.
And so - for the next 3 1/2 months I will continue to work with my lil guy - try and teach him about eye contact - and body language and making people feel that they really do matter. And I will continue to grind my teeth and silently mourn the loss of communication skills with the adults in my world.
Communication is so much more than words strung together in a sentence. Communication should be a bond (if even only for a few moments) between two people.