A Framework to Emotional Communication: Allowing the Other to Feel

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

At Talenox, we are always trying to find ways to create the healthiest environment and framework for people to have quality relationships with one another.

We also know that communication is the cornerstone of a relationship. So how do we communicate to one another then?

Rational and emotional communication

As individuals, we are both rational and emotional; we can communicate either rationally or emotionally.

We are all experts at rational communication: sharing thoughts, ideas and beliefs, even fighting over them! But what about emotional communication?

Here’s a practical example: someone close to you is having an emotional moment. What do you do? How do you communicate? How do you help?


Whose moment is it?

To answer those questions, I will ask another one: whose moment is it? Is it yours or is it their moment? Well, it seems to me it is their moment.

Too often, I see people trying to give advice, proclaiming that things are going to be ok, giving reasons why one shouldn’t feel like this, trying to make one feel better.

This sharing, albeit having good intentions, shifts the focus from them to you. To put it bluntly, you are impeding on their moment.

You are not letting them experience it.


What you should do

Let them feel, let them experience the moment. Be there for them in their moment. Listen. Listen, listen, and listen.

Because it’s not about you. It’s about them. It’s not about you and your experience and advice.

It’s about the other and what they are feeling, what they are experiencing at this moment. It’s their moment. Be there for them. Listen to them.


A framework for emotional communication

Apart from listening, what you can do is guide them through the emotion. And here is an easy to learn framework to emotional communication: “What happened E.L.F.E.?”

  1. What happened? Make sure it’s short and concise
  2. Emotion: What emotion are you feeling?
  3. Le plus difficile (the most difficult): What’s the most difficult for you?
  4. Face it: What helps you the most to face it?
  5. Show Empathy: I am here for you.

This framework was developed by Dr David Servan-Schreiber and shared in his book: “The instinct to heal: Curing depression, anxiety and stress without drugs and talk therapy”.


Closing remarks

When communicating, listening more allows you to get a better grasp of how the other party is truly feeling. Always take a step back and ask yourself if it’s their moment, or if it’s yours. Lastly, use the framework mentioned above as a quick guide on how to communicate emotionally.

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