Good afternoon everyone.
I’m currently working on strengthening my communication skills. In one of the tutorials regarding communication&strengthening skills, there a particular portion that says, to help you connect with&better communicate with them, say you can imagine their situation,frustration&what it may be like,however, I’ve said Several times especially to my significant other, in certain situations, that I can’t imagine being in their position & how Awful they may feel. Not to Invalidate them or their situation, but to let them know that in some inststances, I haven’t experienced exactly what they are going through at certain times. I validate their feelings,situation,am understanding of them,and am supportive of them & will remain by their side.
Is this approach to communication in certain situations unacceptable or does it seem manipulative?
I am just wondering what other people’s views are on this.
Your input is appreciated! Thanks in advance!
I agree. Sometimes, implying that you understand can be disastrous. For example, if you say that to someone who is suicidal, things could go really bad.
For tough situations, you can try saying “I can only imagine what it must be like” and even tell them you can’t understand. But you are still being supportive, you are still establishing rapport, which is important if you want to communicate.
I’ve seen this taught in crisis counselor training.
Whether methods like these are manipulative is something you might have to decide in the moment. But it’s a lot safer than say, taking control over someone empathically and controlling their emotions, images, thoughts, etc. That’s a lot more ethically risky and is usually only good for helping others in certain situations. Use it the wrong way and you’ll learn about how Karma works.
But with more simple communication techniques, I wouldn’t stress out about it too much. Listen to what your gut is telling you.
- Dale Sellers
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