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.

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