Connections- Who is listening to you?
I attended some training last week about the relationship between client and therapist and it got me thinking about general relationships and connections.
Connections and relationships are a crucial part of being human. We are social animals and all need different degrees of connection with other people.
What makes a ‘quality’ connection?
If I mind- map it then I personally come up with the following:
- Suspending judgement
- Knowing when to give advice and when to listen
- Being able to comfort- whether with words or a hug
- Banter and laughter
- Knowledge, using it to help rather than sabotage
- Owning your own part in fall outs/ arguments
- Knowing when to say sorry and when to stick up for yourself
- Being allowed to be heard and encouraging a voice
It’s not an exhaustive list but these feel important to me and what I would look for in relationships with friends, family etc.
What’s on your list?
The training spoke about connections in the therapy room, and asked us to consider what we think, feel and say when we connect with a client and really consider that experience. It was talking about the ‘depth’ of the connection.
Have you ever had a conversation where you simply KNOW the person is not interested in what you have to say? It could be a really personal or painful or exciting for YOU, but for them, in that moment they just aren’t WITH you; they are somewhere else, connecting with something else.
Can you recall the last time that happened to you? Do you remember who is was? Did they put you down, ignore the content and make an excuse to leave? Or did start speaking about themselves? Or, put you down and diminish your topic/ plan/ concern?
It feels pretty rubbish being ignored and even worse if that conversation took some courage. I can resonate with that; I’ve felt that before.
It can be hard to speak out especially in groups or with people you feel inferior to or even dislike. Do you feel like a burden even attempting to talk about something difficult? A common one I hear in the therapy room is: ‘other people need this slot more than me; other people have it far worse than me. I’m just complaining about nothing.’
Chances are, if you were able to book a counselling session and then attend it, then that ‘nothing’ is definitely SOMETHING.
From my earlier list of ten things that constitute a quality connection, can I ask you to visualise receiving those things?
Consider what kindness might look like, feel like and how it might impact on you right now…
Consider receiving no judgement about whatever is making you feel sad, lonely, despairing and hopeless…
Consider having support and someone to help you along, to help get you to where you need to be…
Consider not feeling like a burden…
Consider being heard and speaking your mind…
It’s one step away, put yourself first and reach out. I can work with you online, via the telephone or email. Whatever works for you right now in lockdown.
Small steps will lead you to great achievements, and you don’t have to do it alone.