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How To Communicate With Older People Without Conflict: Advice From A Psychologist - Society
How To Communicate With Older People Without Conflict: Advice From A Psychologist - Society

Video: How To Communicate With Older People Without Conflict: Advice From A Psychologist - Society

Video: How To Communicate With Older People Without Conflict: Advice From A Psychologist - Society
Video: 5 Pieces of Advice for Dealing with Toxic People | Digital Original | Oprah Winfrey Network 2023, December

Coronavirus and self-isolation for many families have become a litmus test of relations between relatives. The longer people are locked with each other in four walls, the more grounds for conflict appear. It can be especially difficult to communicate with elderly relatives.

Irina Sulima, a psychologist at the federal network of private nursing homes for the elderly, Social Systems Management Company, tells how to maintain peaceful and friendly communication with the older generation.

Understand and forgive

The most common ground for conflict is mutual misunderstanding. Therefore, the first thing to do is to understand the fact that communication with our elderly relatives implies acceptance and consideration of age changes.

The older a person is, the more difficult it is for him to assimilate new information and adapt to new conditions. Therefore, the stress of self-isolation, that is, changing the usual way of life, the old people feel very strongly, although they are not always aware of it.

Self-isolation poses a serious threat to older people: growing anxiety translates into resistance that the person himself cannot explain. Against this background, aggression appears, and then panic. Panic states are extremely harmful to health, including they suppress the immunity that is so necessary for everyone now.

The generation of children and grandchildren is more resilient in this situation, so be tolerant of grandparents. It is more difficult for them now, even if from the outside it seems that it is not so. Make a "discount" for age and remember that someday you too will grow old. Communicate with relatives the way you would like to communicate with you at that age!

Time travel

Very often, the reason for the bad mood in older people is the feeling of their own insignificance. Phrases: "Yes, I have already outlived my … who needs us, old people" are vivid examples of this.

If family members do not emphasize the importance of grandparents, do not remind them of what success they have achieved in life, then the feeling of uselessness and abandonment among the elderly accumulates, the mood becomes chronically bad, and more and more complaints and discontent arise with everything: from the government to the taste of sweets for tea.

Talk to older relatives about their past. About the achievements, about the difficulties that I had to go through in life; focus on what they did, what they could, what they can be proud of. Such travels during their youth will help grandparents not to lose their sense of their own need and value. And this is one of the basic conditions for a stable mood.

Healing gratitude

As mentioned above, grandparents really need to feel in demand. Ask relatives to help with the housework if possible. It is important here not to overload with work, but to give an opportunity to feel useful. And be sure to sincerely thank for every little thing: a washed cup, a book read to your grandson, baked pancakes or watered flowers.

The more gratitude, warmth and respect emanate from you, the calmer and kinder your older relatives are - this way they understand that they are loved. And on this basis, scandals do not take root.

The magic power of compliments

Every person wants to feel attractive, smart, appreciated. And old age does not cancel these needs.

Compliments to appearance, intelligence, skills and abilities still cheer up and dispose to the interlocutor.

"Grandma, this jacket suits you very much", "Grandfather, how can you play checkers, no one can!", "Mom, with eyes like yours, I suppose, in his youth, the suitors did not give a pass", "Dad, I suppose I was the first guy in the area on a motorcycle,”- such simple phrases, spoken in a friendly and loving manner, not only raise mood and switch attention to pleasant things, but also reduce stress.

The more friendly communication and focusing on the good, the lower the stress level and the less likelihood of conflicts.

Personal space

Personal space is a basic need for every person. In conditions of self-isolation, it is very easy to violate personal space and personal boundaries. Children often think that they know better where to put grandmother's cup or what order to put on grandfather's table. And such "doing good" happens the more often, the more time the family is staying within four walls.

Before you improve the life of an elderly relative, ask if he needs it. And if you don’t need to, direct your efforts to something else.

The fact that people at an age speak more slowly, forget some things, become less attentive to their appearance, is not a reason to take away their right to personal boundaries and personal space.

Respect for old age is the acceptance of an older person with all his characteristics. And it is acceptance that is the key to conflict-free communication with our old people.

Communicate with the elderly in understandable language

Words can be set to positive or indicate distance. According to the psychologist, fashionable slang, anglicisms - everything that an elderly relative does not understand is likely to cause irritation, which will surely break through sooner or later.

One must be aware that cognitive functions often decline with age. And adaptation to newfangled speech patterns can be difficult.

“The rate of speech is often slowed down among older people,” says Irina Sulima. - Get used to adjust to it. Speak louder if necessary, grandparents' hearing often decreases."

Tactile contact

Everyone has different needs for tactility. It is generally believed that a person needs at least four hugs a day for a good mood. “Pat your grandmother or grandfather on the hand, pat on the shoulder, kiss goodnight, hug when you meet. But on condition that your relative loves it, and you do it with a sincere affection, says Irina Sulima. - However, all tactile contacts only after the end of the quarantine regime! In the meantime, more goodwill, respect and warmth on your part. When communicating with elderly relatives, “turn on” the sun inside and generously share its light!"