Calm Communication: Skillful Strategies for Stressful Social Situations
Guest Contributor for My L.A. Lifestyle
We live in a noisy world; one that is often overwhelming for even the toughest of us. For many introverts, the noise of life and the incessant social situations in which we find ourselves can be mind-numbing and exhausting.
I’ve been studying the ‘quieter’ folks of the world for years. I grew up in a family of introverts, married a couple, and am raising an introverted son. I’ve also worked with hundreds of introverted clients who have struggled to stretch into a larger world, to connect with others who could help them attain their next opportunity. So when a former client contacted me to see if I’d be interested in offering a class for people like her – someone who has achieved a lot, but who finds the social demands of her work daunting – I happily said “yes”.
All of us, quiet or rambunctious, wrestle with our fears of saying or doing the wrong thing. Extraverts often feel the need to talk things through with others, before they settle on what they really think, or know what they want to say. They may feel self-doubt, but they’ll push through that in order to connect verbally. They love to process verbally. Speaking before knowing is typical for the extravert.
Introverts, however, may have a tendency to undermine themselves with negative internal ‘self talk’ that creates self-consciousness and anxiety. And even if they aren’t shy – as in, uncomfortable talking with others – people may associate an introvert’s quiet demeanor as aloof or withdrawn, when they really DO want to be connecting and socially available.
Starting on June 20, at 7:00 PM, I’ll be leading “Calm Communication”, a six-week program that addresses the strengths and gifts of introverts. We’re holding this program at InsightLA, the lovely mindfulness meditation center in Santa Monica. This six-week class will provide a compassionate container in which to learn techniques to recognize, and quell, the discomfort of self-judgment that often arises in social and work situations requiring you to show up with a bigger presence and voice. I’ve helped many clients feel more grounded and able to speak up, and calm down, so that they feel more verbally effective while being themselves.
As a practitioner and teacher of mindfulness meditation, I know that this practice serves us to tune in and hear ourselves; it’s the perfect antidote to the often annoying inner critic who chatters away when we’d rather be giving voice to something valuable. This non-judgmental and safe container of a class will provide the opportunity for each person to work at their own pace, and to try out new behaviors as appropriate for them.
Wouldn’t it be a relief to approach a new social situation with confidence, and the knowledge that the unshakeable you can be seen contributing the gifts that you know you have to offer? For more information and to register, please visit Calm Communication: Skillful Strategies for Stressful Situations.