Author: Hyabiel Daniel | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2023-24
In the forum, Mr. Ames focused on the concept of IPC (interpersonal communication) and shared his journey of taking a class on IPC to enhance his relationship with his wife, despite being married for a significant amount of time. He emphasized that effective communication begins with individuals who possess a clear understanding of their own identity and beliefs. Self-reflection and introspection play a vital role in becoming better communicators, but it is important to be aware of negative influences and actively replace negative thoughts with positive ones, drawing inspiration from biblical teachings.
Mr Ames stressed the significance of maintaining a positive and tranquil mindset for overall well-being, citing verses such as Philemon 4:8 and Deuteronomy 30:19 to support his point. He shared a personal anecdote where he demonstrated the importance of prioritizing service, assistance, and encouragement by asking his wife what she wanted to do, even when he initially did not feel willing to participate.
Furthermore, Mr. Ames introduced the “You and I” principle, suggesting a shift from accusatory language to expressing frustration or irritation as a means to encourage better communication. He also explored differences in communication patterns between males and females, acknowledging that while there are many similarities, one common complaint from females is that men often fail to listen, which led him to emphasize the significance of providing a listening ear, rather than solely offering solutions and recognizing the need for personal space.
To enhance interpersonal communication, Mr. Ames outlined five key principles:
- Practice biblical principles for loving communication. (Ephesians 4:11-15, 4:25, 4:29, Matthew 12:34, James 3:17, Proverbs 1:1, and Proverbs 9:10) These verses guide how to engage in communication that fosters love and understanding.
- Speak the truth in a loving manner rather than resorting to hateful speech. This involves conveying honesty and authenticity while maintaining a compassionate tone.
- Consider the emotions of the person you are conversing with and respond with grace. Understanding and empathizing with the emotions of others can lead to more meaningful and effective communication.
- Analyze your transactions and be mindful of interactions, such as parent-child, adult-adult, and child-child interactions. Recognizing the dynamics and outcomes of these interactions can help navigate conversations more effectively.
- Practice positive reinforcement by appreciating and acknowledging behaviors that are enjoyable or beneficial. By expressing gratitude and offering some form of reward or recognition, individuals are encouraged to continue engaging in positive communication patterns.
Additionally, Mr. Ames emphasized the importance of sharing your life with others, both through physical acts of assistance and through storytelling. Utilizing resources to help others and engaging in personal stories can deepen emotional connections and encourage increased connections within relationships.
The forum concluded with a reminder to love your neighbor and a call always to speak the truth in love while implementing these key principles. Mr. Ames highlighted the power of prayer in utilizing these principles effectively and maintaining a commitment to genuine and compassionate communication.
Hyabiel Daniel is a first year Living Education Student. She is from London, United Kingdom, and typically attends the Seven Oaks Congregation. She enjoys studying social sciences and also loves spending time reading books, baking and spending time with loved ones.