(Photo by Selma Komisky)
The Lowdown on Body Language
Hello, Marked Ministry tweens! It’s Marissa and this month we are going to discuss what we should know as we grow up. The main point I am going to be covering is empathizing with others and communicating with appropriate body language.
Knowing how to empathize with others will help you get a clearer perspective of what that person may be facing in their life. When you see things from their point of view, you can better understand their situation. Empathizing with others – listening to them and putting yourself into their shoes – will come in handy if you ever get into an argument with someone else. Empathy allows us to show grace to others when they fail us. When you chose not to accept what that person has to say about the disagreement you may never want to forgive him or her, which can lead to holding a grudge against that person.
Withholding your judgment will most likely prevent a heated conversation. Focusing on what that person is going through and making sure you don’t share any offensive opinions will assure a conversation that is comfortable for both you and your peers. Making sure that your conversation is comfortable and not awkward is important. Offer a piece of advice! If they need help with something, do the best job you can to attempt to provide guidance. Sometimes just listening to them will make them feel better.
When you approach a friend that is not having the best day, you should come to them with a positive attitude and with appropriate body language. When you show that person you are willing to hear what they have to say, they will feel more comfortable talking to you. If you slouch, cross your arms, stare off into the distance, or fidget with things, then your peer will not feel respected. This can result in people not wanting to talk to you when they need someone to socialize with. Sitting up straight, making eye contact with the speaker, and having an open posture are all ways to show appropriate body language.
James 1:9 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” When we are listening to one another, we need to make sure that we don’t get angry with them or interrupt them while they are speaking.
In my 6th grade year, my best friend broke the news that she and her family were moving to Texas at the beginning of the summer. She didn’t want to move so that caused her to cry. I talked and listened to her, but I felt sad because she was the only best friend I had. I comforted her when she talked about how nervous she was moving to another state and not knowing anyone there. We cried together, hugged each other, and I encouraged her. I miss her dearly, but we still stay in touch.
Act On It:
- Next time you start to feel annoyed, be intentional about your posture and see what happens!
- Try memorizing James 1:9 to help when you feel angry and pray with a loved one before you have conflict resolution
- Practice being present this week for a friend
“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
– Theodore Roosevelt