Tag Archives: language

New Year, New Me?

Hello beautiful people! How’s your New Year going so far?

Have you set yourself a load of New Year’s resolutions or are you planning on staying exactly as you currently are? If you’re perfect already, why change?

Most of us haven’t quite achieved the ‘perfect’ status as yet and so may have some things that we are working on – getting fitter, slimmer, happier, richer, calmer, more motivated or maybe even just working on blogging more!

I’m a big fan of learning, growing and self improvement, but more importantly than all of that I’m an advocate of being kind to yourself.

I see lots of clients with various issues that they are looking to change. One of the most common factors that runs through all of them is a lack of self kindness. When I hear the words people use about themselves it horrifies me. I honestly believe that most people are bullies.

As a society, we generally frown on bullying. We dislike it when people use aggressive or hurtful language to each other. We cringe when people call other people names. We are against shaming people – and yet we seem to do it to ourselves all the time.

See if you can recognise any of these thoughts…

I’m not good enough

I hate myself

I’m so stupid

I’m fat and disgusting

I’m too thick to do that

I have no self control

I am so embarrasing

I’m useless

Now imagine saying that to someone you care about? Would you say any of this to someone you love?

You’re not good enough

I hate you

You’re so stupid

You’re fat and disgusting

You’re too thick to do that

You have no self control

You’re so embarrasing

You’re useless

Sounds pretty awful right? I know if someone spoke to me that way I wouldn’t want to hang out with them and I certainly wouldn’t call them motivational or helpful.

When I think about motivational work, I think about supportive, helpful language. Words that will encourage and lift the person hearing them. Things like…

You CAN do this

You can achieve anything you set your mind to

It’s a learning process, keep trying

Everyone has to start somewhere

You are in control

We all make mistakes, forget it and move on

I’m proud of the effort you are putting in

Look how far you’ve come

These things sound more like something I would say to a friend or someone I cared about. Think about how these words would make you feel compared to the earlier list.

For most of us, changing the way we speak to ourselves takes some practice. The chances are that we have been using bullying language for a long time, so it may take a concerted effort to change your internal dialogue – and that’s OK. It’s a learning process. Don’t give up, you are in control. If you even give this a go I will be so proud of you for trying to make a positive change – you CAN do this!


Changing the way that you think and feel can sometimes be challenging when you are trying to do all the work yourself. If you need a helping hand, take one! There are plenty of people like me who are professional therapists who’s passion in life is to help people like you feel the way you want to. Hypnotherapy is a great tool to take some of the hard work out of these sort of changes.

 

 

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The language of food and what it means.

www.talktherapies.co.uk

A lot of the people I see come to me because they have issues with their weight.

The vast majority of them want to lose weight (though some have issues around limited eating or eating disorders) and they often tell me that they struggle to control their hunger. They are sometimes ‘always hungry‘ and sometimes ‘eat when they are not hungry’. When I ask them about their ‘Newsfeed’, I often get a confused look.

Let me explain where I’m coming from.

Language is a funny thing – especially the English language. It is full of metaphor, simile, multiple meanings and interesting roots. The use of language influences the way we think – so much so that when people do brain scans of bilingual people, they can sometimes differentiate between which language they are thinking in! As a result, the words we think in can influence our feelings and therefore our behaviours.

So, let’s explore some language around eating.

Metaphors around food and eating

Food / eating metaphors are often associated with things we like or dislike

‘That’s just to my taste’  ‘You’re my cup of tea’  ‘I could eat him up’ ‘She’s the cream of the crop’  ‘That’s the cherry on the top’

or

‘It left a bad taste in my mouth’  ‘That thought turns my stomach’ ‘scraping the bottom of the barrel’  ‘I’m sick of this feeling’

There are also lots of metaphors related to food and eating when it comes to information.

‘Here’s some food for thought’ ‘Do you just swallow everything you are told?’ ‘Do you fall for it hook, line and sinker?’ ‘How’s is your newsfeed?’ ‘Do you like things sugarcoated?’ or maybe you ‘take things with a pinch of salt’. If things are too ‘plain’ or ‘bland’ do you want them to be ‘spiced up a little?’ If you have ‘too much on your plate’ do you ‘break it down to bite sized chunks’ or spend time ‘ruminating’ on it? If you ‘bite off more than you can chew’, do you find it ‘hard to digest?’ or then again maybe you just ‘choke’. Do you ‘Cherry Pick’ your information or do you want to ‘have your cake and eat it?’

One of the quirks of being us is that we often conflate things. In this case the language of eating and the language of information.

This then begs the question, are there similarities between your approach to information and your approach to food?

Do you believe everything that you see or hear, or are you particular about where your information comes from?

Do you only look for information when you need it or are you permanently on the look out for stimulation?

Do you focus your attention at a particular time or are you always open for more?

Are you fussy about what you let in?

Do you like to be entertained with fast, cheap, junk or are you looking for something that nourishes you?

For those of you on WordPress, look are your reader lists – what do you see? If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, what does your ‘newsfeed’ look like? How often do you look at it?


I am constantly fascinated with the language of metaphors and would love to know of any more that you think of, or any insights you may have.

Please leave any feedback in the comments – I’m ‘hungry to hear’ what you have to say!

 

 

 

 

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What’s your superpower?

What’s your Superpower?

A study that Albert Mehrabian undertook in 1971, suggested that the way we communicate face to face is made up from three components – what we say, the tone of our voice and the body language we use. Surprisingly, the words we use only make up a tiny part of the way we communicate with the bulk of it being taken up by our body language, or non-verbal communication.

  • Words (the literal meaning) account for 7% of the overall message
  • Tone of voice accounts for 38% of the overall message
  • Body Language accounts for 55% of the overall message

There are certain non-verbal communication (body language) skills that each of us possesses in lesser or greater amounts.

There are six main skills within the way we use our body language and there are strengths and drawbacks associated with each:

Emotional Expressiveness.

Some people are naturally emotionally effusive. They easily convey their felt emotions through facial expressions, tone of voice, gestures, and body movement. The upside is that emotionally expressive people tend to be more popular, and can be the life of the party. The downside is that everyone knows what you are feeling. Importantly, emotional expressiveness is a key component of charisma and is related to what is called “dynamic attractiveness.”

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can always tell what you think about things or people, even though you think you are being diplomatic!

Emotional Control.

This is skill in monitoring and controlling the nonverbal expression of emotions and feelings, and being able to cover felt emotional states with a different, emotional “mask.” People high in emotional control are skilled emotional actors, but they may appear distant and “hard to read.” People with high levels of emotional control are like poker players—you never know what they are really feeling or thinking inside.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people often think you are difficult to read or if you are good at faking how you feel.

Emotional Sensitivity.

People skilled in emotional sensitivity are good at “reading” others’ non-verbal cues, and are able to easily detect others’ emotional states. As a result, those who possess a great deal of emotional sensitivity are seen as empathic; these are the persons whom others seek out when they are troubled or in pain. On the downside, possessing too much emotional sensitivity can make you prone to “emotional contagion”—feeling other people’s pain and emotional states to the extent that you become “infected” by their emotions.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if you can always tell how other people are feeling and know if there is something that is upsetting them, even when they are trying to be normal.

Social Sensitivity.

This is a non-verbal skill with some elements of verbal and social competence. Social sensitivity it is the ability to “read” social situations, and to know how to behave appropriately in a wide range of social settings. It helps the skilled individual to understand the complexities of social interaction, and to anticipate others’ actions and behaviours.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can read a room and can fit in in any kind of situation.

Skill in Deception.

The ability to lie successfully partly involves being able to tell a plausible verbal lie, but also requires the ability to portray oneself as honest. Research has determined that some people are successful liars simply because they look more honest overall, regardless of whether they are lying or telling the truth. Their non-verbal behaviour, which includes rapid speech, an expressive face, and fluid body movements makes certain skilled individuals better liars.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if people can rarely if ever tell when you are lying!

Skill in Detecting Deception.

A very rare non-verbal skill is the ability to detect deception. Most people cannot detect deception at better than chance levels, but a very few individuals—what Paul Ekman and his colleagues call “wizards”—are able to detect deception through careful analyses of both verbal and non-verbal cues. This skill was portrayed in the TV seriesLie to Me.

You know this is your Body Language Superpower if you can always spot a liar – and not just because you have evidence to prove it!

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