Communication is a part of every relationship in our life. While there are many types of communication, public speaking, presenting, etc., it’s interpersonal communication that we receive the least amount of training in. We receive teaching on business talk, like how to share data to accomplish a task. You probably had an assignment or two in persuasive speech, how to convince others to think like you think or feel like you feel, around some subject. Did you have an Emotional Communication 101 course? Probably not.
That’s what this course is about, effective interpersonal communication–especially around emotionally charged subjects. Most conversations are pretty straight forward. We share information about an experience, navigating a situation, or accomplishing some task. Then there are the conversations that are laden with emotional intensity. They contain the potential to blow up in us or on us. They might be composed of some or all of the following pieces…
- Confronting Sin–Healthy confrontation, about drawing attention to an apparent incongruence between a person’s stated beliefs and their choices in a given situation, when they have invited you to speak into their life. Confronting sin is not about applying one’s own convictions to someone else’s life. It is the work of the Holy Spirit alone to bring conviction of sin and lead into Truth.
- Violated Expectations–Sharing about hurt feelings, frustrations, sadness, confusion, or disappointment in a situation.
- Strong Opinions or Convictions–Discussing subjects where there are strong opinions on either side.
- Fear–Angst about harm or loss, either physically or emotionally, intensifies any conversation.
The emotions these situations stir up can make communication difficult. We feel vulnerable and unsafe, so we go into a defensive mode. Our adrenal glands pump stress hormones into our blood stream causing a fight or flight response. It’s at this point the worst of our bad communication habits come out.