Thursday, September 5, 2013

Building trust

If you trust someone, this person will be more effective in taking away your fears, but at the same time you will make this person feel trustworthy. Most people think that trust is something you get, but it actually starts by giving it. When you trust people you automatically strengthen a mutual relationship. This has to do with the laws of equilibration and reciprocity in communication. You are more likely to trust someone who trusts you, thus giving trust, having faith in someone and showing genuine confidence, can make others also trust you more. It is as if we want to keep large differentials out of our world, whether in terms of trust or any other emotional signal that define interpersonal relationships. If we see ourselves in a trusting environment we are likely to trust others, and also ourselves, more.

As a species and as individuals are more likely to survive when we can trust each other. We are actually predisposed to trust each other, something we deviate from only if we believe we have good reason to do, whether due to our past experiences in general or something we know about a person in specific. Judging trust also helped us survive, and is therefore something we are also predisposed to. However, many people are more likely to see themselves at receiving than at the giving end of trust, which may also be due to our societies, cultures and what we learn at home. It is important to our survival to be prudent and stay safe, but in many instances we underestimate how much power there is in trusting someone.

Trust has a biological component. For example, it has been shown that the neuropeptide oxytocin in the brain plays a significant role in tuning trust up or down (Kosfeld, M., Heinrichs M., Zak, P. J., Fischbacher, U., and Fehr, E. (2005). Oxytocin increases trust in humans. Nature 435, 2005, 673-676). But trust is also heavily influenced by information we already hold or receive about people. This process requires communication, and to be more able to trust others - and make less mistakes while doing so - it is important to observe how we relate and communicate with others, what helps and what does not, how accurate we are in putting together information, and how clear and effective we are in our own communication.

In the following article we will look at trust and personality, which is where communication and biology intersect in a very interesting way.

Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21 or search for "Christian Jonathan Haverkampf" on your local Amazon website or at your local book dealer. Suggestions for further explorations in communication: www.chrishaverkampf.comwww.ivy-experts.com and www.communicationweb.co. You may also want to take a look at the following sites: www.chrishaverkampf.de (deutsch), www.chrishaverkampfcoaching.comwww.chrishaverkampfcoaching.de (deutsch), www.selfhelpnet.cowww.wordfields.com (adventures), and www.wordnets.com (success stories).
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Communication to Overcome Fears

You will find that the best way to overcome fears is to talk with other people. It is not only how psychotherapy works but also what common experience tells us every day. Have you seen people holding hands on airplanes or talking to strangers in elevators or on subways. They establish bonds to conquer their fears - with the help of someone else.

Communication with other people and interacting with them can reduce fears. Especially the more generalized fears of life itself can be decreased by furthering the communication among people. This is why so many cultural and religious events take place in groups. Together we are mightier and more effective in overcoming our fears. And often it does not make such a difference whether the other person is a stranger, as long as there is another human being standing close and communicating with us ...

The word communication itself comes from Latin communicare. I would like to give you a definition of the word by J.D. Peters:
"Communication" is a word with a rich history. From the Latin communicare, meaning to impart, share, or make common, it entered the English language in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The key root is mun- (not uni-), related to such words as "munificent," "community," "meaning," and Gemeinschaft. The Latin munus has to do with gifts or duties offered publicly--including gladitorial shows, tributes, and rites to honor the dead. In Latin, communicatio did not signify the general arts of human connection via symbols, nor did it suggest the hope for some kind of mutual recognition. Its sense was not in the least mentalistic: communicatio generally involved tangibles.
[Peters, J. D. (1999). Speaking into the air: A history of the idea of communication. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, p.7]
Thus communication does not come from a higher philosophical sphere but a very tangible world. It has also to do with giving a gift, and this is something interesting to understand about communication, you can 'give' something but never run out of it. And communication has another interesting property. There is a strong sense that what you give you will often come back manifold. The gift element establishes a bond, and a channel for the exchange of messages, such as your fear and someone else's comment to your fear. You are no longer alone in regulating your fear, but it is being shared by all who are genuinely communicating with you. When we communicate with someone we begin to share, and also turn up and down, each other's emotions - as long as there is a strong mutual bond that carries.

Fear reduction has to do with trust. The more you trust someone and the more you communicate with this person the more your fear will be reduced. Trust is a property of the relation you have with someone else and describes how communication takes place between you. The more trust there is, the more effective will you share emotions and mutually control and experience them. Trust effects the communication patterns by lowering how much each of you filters the messages that are exchanged between you. Trust is a powerful antidote to fear. If you feel safe you are more willing to share information, that could potentially harm you. Often this is the information with the stronger emotional component. You will probably be much more likely to share your fears with a friend than an enemy.

Focus on how you relate with people and improve your relationships so that they can handle and help you through more complex emotional problems. And keep in mind that communication is a give and take. You may want to talk about problems that overtax you and listen to those you have 'figured out' or which do not touch you as much. A professional who is experienced and a good listener can also be very valuable at times when you feel overwhelmed.

Over the next articles I will go a little deeper into the foundations of communication and fear and discuss techniques to use the former against the latter.

Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21 or search for "Christian Jonathan Haverkampf" on your local Amazon website or at your local book dealer. Suggestions for further explorations in communication: www.chrishaverkampf.comwww.ivy-experts.com and www.communicationweb.co. You may also want to take a look at the following sites: www.chrishaverkampf.de (deutsch), www.chrishaverkampfcoaching.comwww.chrishaverkampfcoaching.de (deutsch), www.selfhelpnet.cowww.wordfields.com (adventures), and www.wordnets.com (success stories).
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.

Fears and anxieties are common

Fears and anxieties are something very common in today's world. Many people cannot fully reach their potentials because of the fears they have. Some fears may be minor and specific for something, which inhibits life, and some fears are more generalized, and can even become of fear itself. Sure, life has risks, but fears can become inhibiting when the costs of the fear significantly outweigh the potential risks.

Much has to do with our hectic life style, which is especially pronounced in societies that demand material success from the people who live in them. General unhappiness and burnout can lead to greater levels of fear and anxiety because when we are in a state of arousal, emotions such as fears are felt stronger. Although fear and anxiety have neurobiological and neurophysiological characteristics, they are to a large degree determined by information that is available to you from inside and outside your body.

Someone sends you an email that asks you to get something done "or else". The information we process and how we process it, depends to a large extent on the information we are exposed to in the world. Many people do not understand that this is where they have influence and can bring about change. We have wider control over the messages we are exposed to than many people believe. Many people who suffer from anxieties and fears have difficulties with saying "No", and this also brings with it difficulties in saying "Yes".

Some fears have an obvious interpersonal aspect, actually all have to do with communication in some way, but there are various kinds of fears. There are defined fears of specific situations and events, such as a fear of spiders or a fear of heights. You may be able to link one directly to a concrete experience, while others seem a complete mystery, like a fear of heights or a fear of open spaces, elevators, airplanes, or groups of people. On the other side, there are the generalized fears and anxieties that can embrace many areas in life, even to the point of fear of life itself. This is actually what many people suffer from, a fear of life itself, which makes so many things in life difficult that should actually be enjoyable and wonderful.

Once we understand that it is the information in the form of messages we are exposed to or have been exposed to, which can bring about fears then we already have the key to bring about change. To be more precise these messages have to be "meaningful", thus bringing about change in the recipient. If you are exposed to messages that do not have the power to affect you then they literally cannot touch you, stress you or trigger any feelings within you. It is like sitting at the sea and listening to the wild conversations of seagulls. If you have listened for a while you may get used to their cries and while it may be relaxing, their chatter no longer moves you one way or another. If, however, you are trained on bird calls, an ornithologist perhaps, you may detect ever new patterns in their cries, which can lead to endless excitement. This just shows that we have influence over how messages affect us by varying the amount of information we detect in someone else's message. If you read between the lines that the writer of an email does not have a problem with you but with someone else, the email's impact on you will differ widely.

In the next article I will discuss an important first step in looking at one's fears. Knowing what is good for you is an important first step.

Interesting books on communication by this and other authors: astore.amazon.co.uk/chrihaveltd-21 or search for "Christian Jonathan Haverkampf" on your local Amazon website or at your local book dealer. Suggestions for further explorations in communication: www.chrishaverkampf.comwww.ivy-experts.com and www.communicationweb.co. You may also want to take a look at the following sites: www.chrishaverkampf.de (deutsch), www.chrishaverkampfcoaching.comwww.chrishaverkampfcoaching.de (deutsch), www.selfhelpnet.cowww.wordfields.com (adventures), and www.wordnets.com (success stories).
© 2013 Christian Jonathan Haverkampf. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction and/or dissemination prohibited. Please note that no professional advice of any sort can be given in this blog. Always consult a professional if the situation and/or the risks warrant it. Thank you for your interest in my work. This means very much to me. Trademarks belong to their respective owners. If this article is marked as a work of fiction all references to persons, living or deceased, or organizations, including former ones, are coincidental. I know that this is reiterating the obvious, but thanks for bearing with me.