If all behaviour is communication, what are you communicating?
I first came across the term ‘All behaviour is communication’ in the context of children and understanding their sometimes inconvenient behaviour. However, as an adult therapist it got me thinking, does this also apply to adults? Is our behaviour also communicating what’s going on in our inner world, I think yes, which can be interesting when observing others but even more so ourselves.
Perhaps we know the traits of others around us when they are struggling, they drink or eat more, spend more time on their phone, get snappy or quiet, spend more time at work or exercising, maybe they avoid doing anything and veg out in front of the TV or shop for things that aren’t needed.
We can be completely attuned to others and when they are not themselves but what about our tell tail traits, do we spot them or are they pointed out to us by others once they have been going on for days or weeks or months?
What if we were more in touch with our behaviour and what it is communicating inside of us?
For so many of us we wake up and check our phones for emails, news, and messages, we are understanding our external world and how the land lays for our coming day, but do we ever check in on our internal breaking news? What are our notifications for how we are feeling?
Are we ready to wake up after having a good night’s sleep or are we tired from drinking too much or numbing out in front of the TV until the early hours? Was our sleep disturbed due to thinking about something?
Before even getting out of bed our behaviour could have communicated so much to us if we can listen and interpret it, although I know this can seem like speaking a new language at first.
Say you notice some of this behaviour and decide to tune into yourself, do you have any idea what’s happening on the inside of you or is it almost like a disconnect pushing how you feel down or away.
Let’s try tuning in together……..firstly notice if you have any sensations in the body such as tension, pain, churning, fluttering, gripping or anything else.
If you have sensations in multiple areas of the body, choose one, maybe the one that wants your attention the most.
Allow that sensation to be there rather than trying to ignore it or push it away.
This may sound strange but, ask yourself if it had a colour what would it be?
If it was an emotion would it be sadness, anxiety/fear, anger, or contentedness?
If you are unsure just go with the first thing that pops in your head.
Now you have the emotion I wonder if you could take a wild guess, it doesn’t have to be right, just a guess, what is the emotion about?
You now hopefully have a sense of what you are feeling and maybe what is bothering you. It may not be a shock, or you may be surprised, either way you now have more of an idea of what you are working with and it may be that just noticing that has reduced the feeling.
The more we tune into ourselves and our feelings the less these things build into obvious behaviour that we may not like.
This may not resolve the issue however it does give us a place to start, and next steps may be to speak to someone about it, get help with it or you may even be able to resolve it now you know the problem. If you need professional help with it please do get in touch with someone, either myself or another therapist. Also, if tuning in still feels completely impossible, reach out, this can be learned with professional guidance.
As always send me any thoughts or questions either as a public comment or as a private message to me at email@example.com.