Why Emotional Fluency is Key for a Successful Relationship

It’s a skill that’s very much learnable, but probably not covered in your fancy liberal-arts education, unless you went to a super-progressive school. “We’re just not trained to speak in emotional language,” Gleason says. But in an intimate relationship, you’re constantly feeling some sort of emotion, whether it’s longing or anxiety or joy. So it would behoove those of us interested in having actual long-term, growth-oriented relationships (they’re possible, really!) to be able to put those emotions into words, to have a medium for your partner to know what’s going on. “The more that we’re able to put into some sort of language and convey it to our partner, that these are my inner experiences right now, the more empathy there is in the relationship,” he says. “The obverse of that is that the less I can say, this is my inner experience, the more my partner is going to be reacting to my outer behavior, oftentimes with judgement and frustration, rather than where they would relate to your experience with empathy.”

 

Read the full article here.

Deaf Discrimination

Hearing privilege is a real thing. Most people are at least marginally aware of the Deaf community, and the proliferation of ASL in high schools and colleges has helped shed light on the traditions and history of American Deaf culture. In spite of this increased visibility, little attention is paid to the continued social and economic barriers the Deaf community face. Contrary to the myth of mediocrity, the full potential of Deaf people is often limited by oppressive and marginalizing social policies, norms, and general public obliviousness. Lydia Callis writes about audism and its implications (don’t know who she is? Learn more about her).

“Last thing you remember, you were walking down the street– now you are lying in a hospital bed. The lights are so bright you can barely see, and your whole body is in pain. You try asking for assistance, but none of the medical staff can understand you because none of them communicate by using American Sign Language (ASL). They hand you some paperwork and ask you to write your questions on a note pad, but all you want is a conversation. What happened to you? How did you get here? What are you supposed to do now?”

Read the full article here.

Music Crosses Boundaries

Religious boundaries, physiological boundaries, emotional boundaries… music reaches deep. “For a split second, we became one person.”

Watch Naomi Feil sing her way into the heart of a woman with Alzheimer’s. You’ll need tissues.

Cultural Exchange, Cultural Appropriation

Jarune Uwujaren, on Everyday Feminism, dispels the confusion around when something represents sincere exchange between cultures and when a culture is being destructively appropriated for another’s consumption. While acknowledging that the line is easily blurred, Uwujaren begins with introducing principles to keep in mind when evaluating which side a behavior falls on.

“One of the reasons that cultural appropriation is a hard concept to grasp for so many is that Westerners are used to pressing their own culture onto others and taking what they want in return. We tend to think of this as cultural exchange when really, it’s no more an exchange than pressuring your neighbors to adopt your ideals while stealing their family heirlooms.”

Mutual understanding, equality, and respect should guide any legitimate exchange.

Read more here.

Death and Compassion

A new study published in the peer-reviewed journal Personality and Social Psychology Review looks at the ways our ideas around death impact our relationships.

“Authors of a new study reviewed earlier research that had set out to determine how the awareness of death might influence people’s positive behaviors towards others and themselves. Lead author Kenneth Vail and his team discussed some of the noteworthy findings. One study, for example, found that people are actually more likely to help out others when they are in the immediate vicinity of a cemetery.”

Read the whole article here.