“Fragile, Handle with Care.”
When we think of the many things this label could be affixed to in the world of objects, there are literally infinite examples that can come to mind.
In the world of psychology, or as it is also commonly referred to as the “study of human nature,” this phrase most aptly applies to one’s sense of self throughout the life span.
In the formative years, we begin to discover our sense of self in the context of a much larger world. I often use the image of a newborn colt trying to stand to symbolize to clients the normal process of discovering confidence in ourselves. That is why it is critical that that we are mindful of the style of our communication with youth as parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, congregations, communities etc.
Regardless of our role, we communicate with others through two main types of communication channels – non-verbally, such as facial expression, and verbally.
Both forms of communication are powerful; a raised eye brow is just as judgmental as a harsh word.
It is important to also keep in mind that we are only human and that we can make mistakes as encouragers of youth and others. That is why consistency is the goal and not perfection.
A wise man and a pioneer in the field of psychology, Alfred Adler, coined the phrase, “the courage to be imperfect” to encourage us to sustain our confidence in ourselves through the journey of life, regardless of our age.
Please stay tuned as next month’s topic is entitled “stinkin’ thinking.”