Also, be careful of taking on other people’s emotions when they are reactive in conversations. Negative emotions are sticky.2 If you embody the emotions you pick up from someone, you will live with their suffering. You may find yourself feeling angry, depressed, and resentful even when you started the conversation with care. If you instead, notice how they feel, and compassionately release the emotions in your body so you can hold the space for them to safely express themselves, you can better help them find solutions to their dilemmas.3
Every conversation has the possibility of creating mutual understanding and feelings of being cared about. There is also the possibility of being misunderstood and hurt. Even with the best intentions, outcomes are unpredictable. Take care with your conversations. We, humans, are social animals—we survive through connection. Hopefully, you will have many times where your speaking and listening evokes personal and relational transformation.
1. Ursula K. LeGuin. (2004) “Telling is Listening” an essay in The Wave in the Mind: Talks and Essays on the Writer, the Reader, and the Imagination. Shambhala; 1 edition. 2. Klodiana Lanaj and Remy E. Jennings, “The Costs of Being a Caring Manager” HBR blog, January 6, 2020. 3. Marcia Reynolds, “Can You Have Too Much Empathy?” Psychology Today blog, April 15, 2017.
See more tips on having effective conversations at www.Covisioning.com
Written By Marcia Reynolds Originally Appeared On PsychologyToday