Truly Understanding Someone Else

If you truly want to connect with your child or someone else, you need to focus your attention on that person. You have to put down whatever you're doing, including any digital device that you may be using, and look at him or her.

Child psychiatrist Daniel Siegel explains that to know what’s really going on with others we need to begin with having eye contact. The muscles around our eyes are directly connected to the emotional parts of our brain which is why the eyes provide a window into someone's mind.

Siegel points out the other things you need to observe in the person are:
  • Facial expression
  • Tone of voice
  • Posture
  • Gestures
  • Timing
  • Intensity of response
All these factors will give you insight into truly understanding that person. If you are communicating using email or texting, most of these factors are absent which is why truly feeling understood is difficult. Spending face-to-face time with your children will increase your understanding of them and their feeling of being understood.

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