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Linda Poindexter once said, “one small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.” Disabilities are a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities according to Google.com. It is important to assure you have a healthy relationship with a mentally or physically impaired individual because they have a different mindset, it is harder for them to comprehend feelings, and they have more chances of over assuming.
Ways to maintain a healthy relationship are; learning the ways of communication, emotional support, the effects of positive and negative attitudes when working through difficult times, and the mutual desire to step outside the box.
Effective communication can be reached in many different ways. Three of which include verbal, nonverbal, and written communication. Learning about these ways may make one a much more effective listener and communicator.
Verbal communication is the use of words and sounds to express oneself, one can use this type to send information to another.
An example of verbal communication is saying “No” when someone doesn’t want something to happen. There are many different ways to express verbal communication skills. One must be able to comprehend in order to have an effective conversation, from being able to speak clearly as well as, listen to bigger skills like clarifying and reflecting on what the person is trying to convey. When starting a conversation with someone the first impression can always shape how the conversation may end up based on how they look, sound, or others’ perceptions.
This again may be why it can be more difficult having an effective conversation with a physically or mentally impaired individual.
Next, not only is verbal communication important but also physical/social cues are normally included in nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication includes facial expressions, gestures, posture, body language etc. The use of nonverbal communication is a very important concept because it can be just as important, if not more important as verbal communication. When using this type of communication, it may not be as clear to oneself when using it, and one should be aware of the continuous wordless signals that they are giving and receiving. Poor posture like crossed arms can be seen as closed off, and when some people have the habit of crossing arms it may not be clear to them that they are doing such a thing, the same goes for slouching. It is important to be able to notice nonverbal communication in order to tell one’s emotions.
Written communication is used mainly with people that have clients or are members of a business. Ways to use written communication can be letters, proposals, instructions, websites, brochures etc. Although written communication may not always be as effective as other methods of communicating, it is a very quick and simple way to get the point across when needed. This method may be harder to tell one’s emotions and sometimes even when trying to convey tone. The effectiveness of written communication depends specifically on the person’s word choice and sentence structure to be able to make it easier for the reader to tell the emotions of the piece. Written communication may also be much more lengthy and complex which is much more difficult to distribute verbally. The person receiving written communication also has an unlimited time to answer back which may make it much easier or harder to have a conversation because the person can either answer very in depth or overthink their response.
Emotional support, especially when around people with known differences like physical and mental disabilities is a substantial skill one must be able to develop and use correctly. The ability to give empathy, compassion and genuine concern for a person is emotional support. There are many different ways to show emotional support with a person including understanding their situation, listening to their experiences, and/or being able to distract them, attempting to make them feel better. Effective emotional support is also crucial to add to the importance of active listening, how it relieves pain, and how it may give a sense of purpose.
Also, active listening is not only important in emotional support, but also areas like workplace environments. It is a skill everyone should eventually be able to grasp and understand how to use. These skills include being able to observe the speaker’s behavior and body language. Being able to observe the speaker’s body language makes it easier to comprehend the attitude and message the speaker is trying to pass on. An effective way to show the listener is actively listening is to paraphrase what the speaker has said after he/she has said it. It truly helps one to comprehend what others are saying in conversations, and not just what they want to hear, or think they hear. There are many great benefits that can be concluded from active listening including avoiding misunderstandings, improving productivity, and overcoming disagreement. It is important to reassure one is receiving the correct information or messages. Not receiving the correct information can lead to mix-ups or evening damaging relationships. By finding an active way to bring in information, like asking questions, it is much more common for one to retain the information.
Being an active listener is significant to negative thinkers and people with excessive pain. When showing another they are being listened to, it can release a great amount of stress and heal some pain. In order for one to be able to show they are listening, the other must be able to show they have the pain they do by finding the coping and healing skills of pain. There are many different coping and healing skills of pain; honoring your pain, reaching out, taking a break, learning from it, and/or moving on. These ways may or may not help depending on the person.
When emotionally hurt or confused, it is very useful to have people there to help and be by your side. Emotional support can help with other significant factors like slowing down your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, reducing stress etc. Pain has many different influences including emotions and physical change. One must be able to understand their thoughts and emotions to be able to understand the pain they are going through which makes it very helpful to have someone by your side for emotional support.
Emotional support also can help give one a sense of purpose. It is important for one to be able to become comfortable with at least one person they can trust and know will be there to help and listen. When that time comes and the person is able to interpret their feelings to this so-said individual, they will be not very comfortable with releasing the things going on inside their head but also will genuinely be happier that they are able to do that. As one may experience pain, everyone has different thoughts on how one should live their life with the pain being experienced. These thoughts may range from just sitting inside emotions to being able to talk it out and express those feelings. It is important to be able to express your feelings to someone because keeping them in may just compound everything and make things worse.
When going through pain or difficult times, it is necessary to have a willing attitude to work through difficult times. Learning to find a positive attitude to work in different situations is key. There are always effects to positive and negative attitudes. Going along with emotional support, negative thought processes spread which is why one must talk about their feelings quickly. A single person’s bad attitude can have an effect on everyone else around. Although negativity is found to be a part of temperament, researchers believe that negativity can be brought on by habit. Negativity is a habit that is learned from repetitiveness so being able to teach yourself to get out of those habits is very possible by some steps including; rethinking your window, examining your expectations, practicing gratitude, taking responsibility, giving others the benefit of the doubts, focusing on yourself etc. Indications of a negative attitude may include seeing the worst in others or themselves, expecting negative outcomes without cause, and blame.
As many know, change is very possible. Positive thinking when working through hard times is just about the opposite of the negative attitude effects. “Positive thinking doesn’t mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life’s less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst.”(mayoclinic.org) When adding a positive attitude to a friendship, it is much easier to get along with the other person because attitude is a very boomerang effect towards others. If someone is sending off positive vibes it is most likely that the people around them will begin to have those same positive vibes. Having a positive attitude is very helpful when being around others with a negative attitude because one can simply lower their negativity by sending extra positivity. Positivity always outweighs negativity, one must learn how to use the powers and when to use them.
One last important part in a healthy relationship is understanding the aspects of the mutual desire to compromise. Different aspects include finding the greater perspectives, making higher quality work, and making creative problem solving. Stepping outside the box is used in place of thinking differently or from a different perspective.
When using the aspect of finding the greater perspective when talking about the desire to compromise means to be able to think positively and efficiently while figuring yourself out, that can be very difficult when there are constant negative thoughts running through the brain. An article on marketwatch.com explains how a 16 year old girl with Aspergers Syndrome speaks about the differences she has and how she goes about them. The article adds ”Thunberg previously tweeted, “When haters go after your looks and differences, it means they have nowhere left to go. And then you know you’re winning!” “I have Asperger’s and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm,” she added. “And — given the right circumstances — being different is a superpower.” This young girl has developed a very positive way of stepping outside of the box and thinking in an understanding way. Creating a positive perspective can lead to a happy mind which is important to having a good lifestyle.
Looking and finding higher quality work blends together with creative problem solving when one has the mutual desire to a compromising and healthy relationship. When having both, it is more fulfilling and enriching to succeed and complete the work one may put in. One may become frustrated when they are working hard but aren’t getting very far. “Creative problem solving (CPS) is a way of solving problems or identifying opportunities when conventional thinking has failed. It encourages you to find fresh perspectives and come up with innovative solutions, so that you can formulate a plan to overcome obstacles and reach your goals.” (Mindtools.com) This method can also release a lot of stress that comes from getting work done. When using this method, it is much simpler to have high quality work when using the creative problem solving method.
In conclusion, there are many different values to a healthy, positive relationship; from being an effective listener, to understanding how to maintain the desire to compromise through hardships, or knowing the effect of positive and negative attitude. When learning how to have a healthy relationship with someone that has disabilities one has to be more focused on all of the values of a healthy relationship because their mindset isn’t the same and can be more hesitant to want to maintain a relationship because of their differences and fears of not being good enough or the same as everyone else.
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