Body-language and nonverbal communication

When the words “I love you” are so shocking








When the words “I love you” are so shocking

Well we in in the western world have heard so much about the difficulty of showing up emotions in China or in East Asian countries. And it seems even worse to talk about emotions. Especially being said by parents to their children or children to their parents.

Candice Chung from the “daily life” writes about this difficulty and the difference to look on this difficulty from the Chinese perspective. She states this difficulty, she also talks about the challenge she had experienced in her own family trying to confront her parents with ……………….the open words like “I love you”. And she also writes about the need to look on  the cultural Background.

She also shows nice examples of how chinese parents show signs of their love by acting. And it seems that Chinese parents do it quite often like:

“Like many Asian families, we’d become incredibly proficient at reading cryptic emotional signs. There may not be big hugs and open praise, but once in a while, mum would put an unexpected fried egg in our noodles or …………”

Insofar she points out that it can be even shocking for Chinese parents when they are addressed by their schildren with the words “I love you”. SO one could think there would be something wrong. Chung also points out that it is not a matter of being right or wrong. It is a matter of being different. And the difference is embodied in the various many ways of showing up parents` feelings by acting.

And yet on the one hand from my perspective as someone from western countries it sounds strange or unbelievable. Of course I know the difficulty to put emotions into words and yet finding words, all Kind or very personal or even poetic words for one`s own feelings is a treasure for communication and relationship.

On the other hand, the human competence to put something into words, to have a language, a verbal language, is a very important difference to other creatures in the world.

And finally as psychotherapist I know since more than 35 years of practice how important it is to find words for your experience, for your communication, your relationship and your emotions. So to say psychologically seen it is existencially necessary to find words to what you experience and feel. Otherwise you cannot build up a secure and well grounded Self.

To come back to the difficulty of Chinese parents to listen to “I love you” messages and to accept and integrate them, there could be drawn an a analogy between those parents and children who did not learn to put their feelings into words.

The one cannot bear the words “I love you” and the others are not able to express themselves. This Expression so to say would bring light into the dark room of nonverbal communication.

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