Open-sourcing empathic communication

I think one of the keys to bringing in the Empathic Age is to open-source the development and propagation of empathic communication methodologies (see my previous post which discusses this)

People all around the world can come together in circles and communication labs to come up with new empathic communication methodologies and then share them into a global network, where others can try out these methodologies, and maybe evolve and adapt them. There is then created a field of compassionate communication memes which remix and replicate with each other.

Heres some compassionate communication practices people are coming up with. Please feel free to try them, and evolve them. (Also if you come up with any, please feel free to share.)

BREATH

1. Synchronize your breath with the person you are communicating with. This gets the two of you into states of more energetic harmony.

2. When a person speaks both of you continue to track how both people are breathing. (Breathing does not have to stay in synchrony when talking). What this does is intriguing. Paying attention to the breath makes one more aware of the energetics of what is being said.

3. You can experiment here with saying something that you normally find hard to say, and notice how your breath varies as you speak. See what happens if you try to maintain a relaxed quality to your breath as you speak.

4. Experiment with making acknowledgements of each other e.g. I acknowledge for your how much you care about others. Notice how the breath patterns may change.

TEMPLE

One of the things that happens when we communicate is that when can sometimes we stay in our thoughts without being connected to the emotions we are feeling.

1. The listener places their hands on the speakers temple in a gentle way. This can help them to relax their temples and let go of their thoughts.

2. The speaker connects through their body to the energy that wants to speak through them. And speaks from that place. This can lead to expressions that come from a deeper place.

3. The next practice is that instead of having the listener place their hands on the speakers temple, the speaker can place their hands on their own temple to help them move out of the mind and into a more feeling place. And then they can speak from that place.

4. The practice after that is to for the speaker to find even more subtle ways to move out of their mind, maybe they can hold their own hand, or imagine a hand on their temple. In this way the speaker learns to speak from this place in more normal conversations where having a hand on the temple might look out of place.

The reason to try it with the listener placing their hands on the speaker first is that it seems easier to get out of the mind if someone else is helping. Then one can progress to where one can do it in more surreptitious manner.

WIGGLING FINGERS

Here is a playful technique.
Place your hands on your head as you talk, and let your fingers wiggle in a way that conveys the emotional feeling of what you are saying.

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2 thoughts on “Open-sourcing empathic communication

  1. Thanks!

    I think your work would be greatly enhanced by Kahneman’s perspective, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” as well. He is encyclopedic in the space of behavioral psychology. Your ideas are connection related, very, very important. But Kahneman helps us with message receipt , evaluation and transmittal. He is truly about the mechanisms of knowledge sharing. He promotes “informed Gossip” or credible stories as a vector for Knowledge AND, more importantly, Wisdom.

  2. Hi David,
    Thanks for your comment. Yes part of the open-sourcing is exactly what are the best vehicles to help good empathic communication ideas self-replicate and transmit. I havent read Kahneman, but doing a quick google of his work, it seems he has some good things to say about how these can be replicated well.

    One of the interesting things about developing empathic communication methodologies, is that those same methodologies could also be used to help spread (communicate) the word about them.

    I am also interested in the social designs that help propagate the spread of these technologies. I think a global network of nodes that pass information to each other is a social design that could work quite well.

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