“HOW ARE YOU?”
I was asked by someone recently, something I am often asked and something that I too often ask others. “How are you” It is on one level a relational question, on another a greeting of sorts, and yet potentially an opening for a deeper conversation. I must admit that I decided, rather mischievously, to discover if the individual asking would notice my response. And so I said, “not very well, having a very difficult time.” And they said, “great to hear it, have a wonderful day!”
This question, the one we are possibly most asked, is sometimes answered untruthfully. And yet we ask, again, and again, and again. And we are generally ok with it, because it has become a form of greeting in our society. In truth we don’t ask the question to discover how someone is, or do we?
Then to be asked the following question, and from someone who you are meeting with over coffee/tea; “how are things going on in your life?” shows a concern. And if they will not let you off with a trite untruthful response, you really have a friend. They care.
How many people do we know who dare and care, to peer into our heart and connect with how we really are? And who are ready with the answer? I remember a Seinfeld show many years ago where Kramer told the advisor of a mayoral candidate that an integral part of the campaign should be name tags work by new Yorkers, so people could greet each other by name. And build relationships. The candidate lost.
There are three points to this; 1) are we listening to the one we have asked “how are you?”, not just with the response but with the body language and facial expression. 2) Are we ready to answer with an answer that is truth for us at the moment? 3) Are we ready to get further involved when the answer is; “I’m having a very difficult day.”
Good mental health, is good emotional health. MQ = EQ. Even Einstein would agree.:)
“SO, HOW ARE YOU.” www.bryanhagerman.ca I do Skype. 902 471 7919.
Mango (my Nova Scotia Duck Toller) and I meet a lot of various dogs of all shapes and sizes on our daily walks. It is often the tail that gives everything away. Two wagging tails as two dogs meet, check each other out, smell the other for the first time, is a very positive first visual. Safety! And I must admit there is always a bit of initial apprehension when another dog appears between both owners, especially for me if the other dog is a Mastiff, Great Dane, or a Dogue de Bordeaux. At this point rapport of some type is essential. Or, be to ready to run, and quickly.
Rapport is “a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.” A great synonym for rapport is compatibility. This is the key ingredient for a successful client/ therapist relationship. Without it trust is undermined at the outset. There is generally just no way a client who is enduring a mental health issue, no matter how bad it is, is going to spend more than one or two sessions with a trained therapist if there is no rapport, and vice versa.
Rapport between two people in any context is never certain. However, when it comes to the healing process it is crucial. In part it is personal chemistry, in part the ability of the therapist to overlook everything and enter into the emotional world of the client. Not everyone can develop rapport with another and it should not be viewed as a failure if this is the case.
The compatibility between therapist and client allows for a free flowing, fluid conversation and professional relationship to develop and grow. The rapport is a trust characteristic. It emotionally emboldens the client to share at a deep, personal, open, transparent, vulnerable, safe level. Emotional health is advantaged. It does not wane between sessions. You just begin where you left off.
Rapport is a non-negotiable phenomenon. It is also a beautiful relational and emotional art form.
Need Therapy? www.bryanhagerman.ca I do Skype. 902 471 7919.