“Hi, how are you?” This is the frequent greeting we all use neither giving a real answer nor waiting for one. How do you feel at this moment? How often do you take the time to really tune into that question? How often do you honestly answer it to yourself or others?
Like it or not, we have emotions and live by our feelings whether we are aware of them or not. Who we are, how we live, feel and even think is an embodied experience.
Our emotional state is recorded in the body for anyone to see who can read the information and for anyone to know with a willingness to look and experience it. Most people think their emotions in their head, an intellectual statement that describes an interpretation of an emotion. But emotions are experienced in the body and have energy.
BY PAMELA LAMPERELLI, M.SW.
• “You never listen to me, you don’t understand.”
• “If you loved me, you should know what I want- I shouldn’t have to tell you.”
• “If I tell him what I feel, he’ll get angry with me.”
• "She lies and can't be trusted!"
• "She's impossible to talk to because she's always too emotional and irrational!"
• "When I try to talk to him all he does is read the paper and watch T.V."
• "Whenever I talk to Johnny, he just clams up and says nothing or mumbles, 'I don't know.”
• "We just can't communicate!'
Do any of these comments sound familiar? If so, you may be having some communication difficulties. Communication is a complicated learned skill involving more than just talking. This article will review some of the problems that can develop from poor communication habits and the benefits of good communication. Specific techniques will also be suggested to improve your skills today.
“You have a few months to a year to live. Treatment at this point is only palliative.”
You can imagine the devastation we felt when an oncologist gave this proclamation to my husband, who was suffering from advanced cancer of the tonsil. I have a great deal of experience in dealing with the emotional impact of the medical community on those dealing with cancer. As a psychotherapist in private practice for more than 20 years, I have worked with a number of clients with cancer and family members of cancer patients. My closest friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and, a year later, leukemia. Two years ago my husband was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the right tonsil.