10 tricks to be an expert in emotional language

One of the great challenges of humanity is to learn to communicate, because of communication depends, often, happiness or misfortune, even peace or war. Being an expert in emotional language has many benefits, generates a great impact on our interlocutor and doing it correctly has its secrets.

Arthur Koestler in his prologue to Janus, an extremely enriching book, speaks of language as the most powerful weapon that man possesses: "Without words there would be no poetry ... but neither will war ... Language is the main factor of our superiority .. ., but considering its terrible emotional potential, a constant threat to our survival ".

How to be an expert in emotional language

1. Avoid labeling the other person. When we have to make some observation to another person we must focus on "what he does, on the facts", not on "what the other is". Labeling does not help the other person change, but helps to strengthen their defenses. For example, focusing on what "is" a person would be in this example: "You have left your keys at home again, you are a disaster"; while focusing on what he does, in fact, would be: "You've left your keys at home again, lately you forget a lot about things".

2. Avoid generalizations. The terms "always" and "never" are rarely true and tend to form labels.

3. Choose the right place and time. It is important to take care of these aspects to establish good communication:
- The environment: the place, the noise, the level of privacy ...
- If we have started a discussion and we see that it gets out of hand, or that it is not the appropriate time, we will use phrases like: "If you do not mind we can continue discussing this at another time or later".

4. Also take care of non-verbal communication. So we will take into account:
- That the verbal communication is consistent with the non-verbal. Saying "You know I love you" with annoyed face will leave the other person worse than if nothing had been said.
- That the visual contact we have with the other is frequent, but not exaggerated.

5. Do not talk about the past to bring up "dirty rags", this not only does not contribute anything beneficial, but it awakens negative emotions. And since the past can not be changed, we must try to direct all our energies to the present and the future.

6. Avoid the language of the threat, clear or covert; the coercion, the blackmail.

7. Avoid the language of authoritarianism, despotism: "Disappear from my sight! Stop talking like that! Get out!"

8. Radically eliminate inquisitive questions with the aim of obtaining information from the other against their will: why ?, when ?, where ?, who ?, etc.

9. Learn to listen. Listening is essential for good communication, so that your interlocutor feels understood. However, it is easy to fall into some mistakes to avoid listening to the other.

10. If we are going to make a criticism or to ask for explanations we must wait to be alone with our interlocutor.

Pilar Bavaria. Clinical psychologist Family Therapy Specialist

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