Would you like to be more in control while communicating with your children? How about in general when communicating? Who wouldn’t right?
You can and I’m going to share a technique I call “The Two Second Ninja Pause” to achieve it. But first, let’s look at one of the biggest roadblocks to effective communications.
Reacting and Overreacting
We as humans are rational and very ill-rational at times. We often suppress, deny and become extremely defensive when it comes to our ill-rational nature. So before we move on, let’s agree that we’re ill-rational at times and just be okay with it. Denying it will just hold us hostage to our ill-rational nature or what some self-help gurus call “Our Lower Self”.
What I’ve observed with myself and in other parents is a tendency to respond too quickly when communicating with children (and adults, especially the ones close to us). The first response is almost always an ill-rational response. Responses that are defensive, judgmental, controlling, denying, etc…
Reacting in an ill-rational way may give us a sense of control but it’s shallow, temporary at best and does not serve us, our children or the greater good for the long haul. In other words, it’s not sustainable.
The good news is we can train ourselves to respond differently. A response that is good for us, our children and others we interact with.
A more effective way to respond is from a caring but subjective position, loving but passive. Doing this will make you strong mentally. It also teaches your children, this is a choice too they’ll have on how to respond when communicating. However, responding this way takes training, practice, and time.
So what can you do right now?
Awareness is where it starts…
“Awareness builds its own momentum” – Dr. Steven Covey
To get control of your ill-rational responses the first step is to just be aware you’re doing it. Often times we are not even aware of our ill-rational reactions.
Awareness at times is all you may need to shift an undesirable behavior.
A great way I’ve found to gain awareness is to pause for two seconds before responding. I call it “The Two Second Ninja Pause”. (I picked the Ninja because I live in Japan and because they’re very calculating not reactive.) “So you’re telling me to be calculating?” Yeah. It’s much better than reacting with no thought.
What will happen over time?
You’ll start to feel your first response. You’ll start to question it. You’ll start to control it. You’ll start to redirect it.
So what do you do to fill the pause? If you have to say something, try okay, I see, I’m listening, I can’t respond yet or something similar.
Another big tip would be to have a belief that says “I never respond to someone until I fully understand and appreciate them (You don’t necessarily have to agree with them to achieve this).