Friday, March 22, 2013

The Fine Art of Communication.

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.
 

 

2 comments:

Hermione said...

Morningstar, you reminded me of a woman I used to work with. Her cubicle was next to mine, and if I ever popped my head around the corner to speak to her, she would invariably, after a few sentences, pick up the phone (desk phone, in the pre-cell days) and call someone. It was usually a work matter that I was addressing, so she shouldn't have been giving me the brush off that way. I figured it was a control issue, and thought she was incredibly self-centred and rude.

I'm sure you will be missed for many reasons.

Hugs,
Hermione

Ordalie said...

You are absolutely right! My father always said to my sister and I it was important to LISTEN to anyone who was talking to us and never to interrupt.
Good advice! If you want to really know somebody, it's the only thing to do.
BTW My sister and I have grown wary of talking and become downright taciturn.