Castlebar Trialogue 12th May 2015

Theme: Communication

There are comfortable and uncomfortable silences. About 15% of our communication is in words. The rest is non-verbal, tone of voice, body language etc.Some communication is one way- TV news etc. Mostly its two-way communication we think of most, communication delivered and received.

No communication can lead to isolation. It’s also possible to isolate yourself while communicating with others if you feel you are not using the right words etc. Isolation can be damaging.Different cultures can use different body-language etc as they have different customs.There can be a narrow view of communication in mental health. One person does it with music or rhythm, using a variety of sounds.

The counsellors got great feedback on it. Sometimes certain music can trigger certain feelings or memories. Certain smells can do it too. Music has a great way o getting people to express themselves – dancing can make people happy.Communication can be through visual art.It uses less facial muscles to smile than to frown. It’s nicer to be the person that smiles that the person who doesn’t smile back.

There was a good program on TV recently about someone who was going to jump off a bridge but didn’t because someone else made eye contact with them then started talking etc.There’s a difference between self-acceptance and self-compassion. Self-acceptance can mean that I accept that I am flawed, where self-compassion means you accept your own humanity, that you can talk gently to yourself.Do you love or hate your thoughts?Maybe we should put our mobile phones away when we meet up. There can be way too much distraction.

Most children need a TV, phone, or computer or something to keep them occupied.Sometimes we feel we have to reply as soon as possible to e-mails, texts, Facebook messages etc. Internet psychology can be about the illusion of communication.In China in some old people’s homes there are robots to talk to them. Sometimes we can feel excluded from a conversation when we are the ones cutting ourselves out.