Last night I watched the movie “Adam“; a romantic story about a young man with Asperger’s syndrome who falls in love with his neighbour. A beautiful movie that made me reflect on the topic of communication; what is obvious and not-obvious, what we take for granted when we speak, how much of our communication depends on emotional perception.
There is a point in the movie when Adam explains to Beth what his syndrome is about (I am paraphrasing here), and he says “I cannot read what people think and feel, I have to ask them what it is they think and feel”, and “I cannot assume that you may feel what I felt; I have to ask you if you felt that”.
I found this honest and direct attempt, if you will, to understand the other person – to understand life for that matter – very special. There is no sugar-coating, especially as he meets Beth’s family, when one says one thing but s/he means something else, or when instead of saying thank you whole heartedly we expect the other person to understand that we are thanking them by our body language alone.
Sometimes we have to say things as they are, as if there is no emotional attachment involved but only a true and honest desire to know what the other person feels and thinks, without taking anything for granted. How would it be if we were communicating in such a way? It is a matter of balance.
As far as I am concerned, I have not mastered yet the art of telepathy, and I was inspired to reflect on how I can improve my communication skills.