Psychological stroking

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Psychological stroking (don’t be confuse with this!) is an effective technique at any levels of communication.  This is an interaction with other people, where you give all of your attention to the partner. It’s when you gave signals to your partner that you recognize him/her as an individual.

Strokes can be a smile, compliment, support, affirmation words that can show the sense of the importance of your partner. This is not necessarily a physical contact between two people.

But don’t be confused with flattery.  Psychological stroking is one of our vital needs.  We need it as much as we need food, water, oxygen, and heat. It’s our thirst of incentive if you want our need for physical and mental stimulation.

Types of stroking: positive, negative, and internal (those you give to yourself as a reward for something or feel better), social (those we give to others). Physical (the actual physical contact), unconditional (you get it just the way you are) and contingencies (for doing or not doing something).

People get stroking from a lot of different ways. Someone get it from being hardworking and responsible employees. Someone fights for that with their mischievous behavior. Someone gets this type of attention from the way they look like, and someone just uses manipulations.

And those who don’t have it, or have very little become emotionally week and receptive to manipulation.

For our well-being, it is very important to be able to give, to receive, seek and reject (if it’s negative) strokes. It seems easy, but sometimes it takes a lot of efforts. People in general often prefer to give negative strokes (criticism), in other words, they say that they don’t like rather than things they like.

In conclusion: Give all of your attention to your partner.  Just listening and reflecting him/her is not enough. You really have to show your interest. Be generous on smiling and affirmation words. Support is critically important. All people have problems or buzzing thoughts. Just find what it is. Most of the times people will start to talk about it without even ask. That means that they very comfortable and trusting you. And you don’t have to run and solve their lifetime problems (of course, if you don’t want to). Show them your participation, your sympathy that will be enough. Problems and buzzing thoughts become less offensive when you retell it several times.

The material has been written for this course.

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