Communication is treasure. At least that's what I've been told. It's a true art that you have to learn and practice on. You can't really find a course book about how to communicate - it's different in every case. That's why it's an art. Looks a bit like a chess game - thousands of possible moves and each game is different from another.
I have the opportunity to communicate with a lot of people. Different ages, different ideas about what's right and what's wrong, different views on life. These differences are what makes communication special. Because you see how other people think. Often times that's where conflicts are born. But also some of the most interesting conversations too.
I started from communication but I really wanted to talk about something else today.
In the last 7 days I met a palette of people in different periods of their lives. Each has his own aims, priorities, actions and problems.
And if we're trying to put people in a matrix of development, then psychologist have already done so. From Piaget, to Freud, through levinson and Erickson. Seems like we all go through the same path but looking at it, it could be seen so differently.
So let's go through Erick Erickson's theory of development that suits best my idea of life itself.
When a new person joins the family, the first thing you want to do is get to know him. This week I started to know my little niece. I believe it's gonna be a great friendship :) It started with monologues with a smile as a responce in her end.
In the first stage of development the child goes through the crisis of trust vs. mistrust. From being born till 1.5 years the connection to the mother is the most important. And that connection creates the basic trust in the child's mind. It later transforms into a characteristic that a person has for the rest of his life.
If you take a look outside and see little children you'll see how differently they behave. Between 1 and 3 years the child has to overcome the autonomy vs. shame stage. What's most important here is for the child to feel that it can do stuff on its own. Just in time for kindergarden, the child should feel ready to be on its own out in the world. Between 3 and 6 comes initiative vs. guilt. The child has its own social environment, some friends and the daily life is way colorful than before. The feeling of belonging to a group comes. The stimuli for games and choires gives the child a sense of initiative that later becomes him.
In the school years 6/7 till teenage years comes the industry vs. inferiority stage. That's a stage a child has to overcome in school where he spends most of his time - he has to learn to love working on projects and not feel inferior.
During the teenage years comes ego identity vs. role confusion. Or who you truly are. People spend so much time figuring out who they are during teenage years that parents often loose connection with their kids. The earlier development of hope, will, purpose and competency make the ego identity easier to find. And the true therapeutic work in Erickson's oppinion is getting to know your identity.
I have a brother and a sister in that stage. Both of them so different from one another yet both searching for their own "me".
New stage is for young adults, I'm one as well, from 20 to 35. The crisis here is intimacy vs isolation. Love and friendship become most important. And not loosing yourself by falling in love is what you have to learn to do. If you cannot build a connection to a person then you start isolating from the world.
In the most active years - between 35 and 60/65 - people go through generativity vs stagnation. During that stage people work hard on their dreams and goals in professional and personal perspective or closes himself and concentrates on regrets. That the time when we feel most busy - family, work. And that's the stage where my parents are at.
Later comes my grandparents' stage. I love all of them and love spending time with them - they ask me what I'm doing and they tell of their youth. We always have stuff to chat about. The crisis at their age is ego integrity vs dispair. The last virtue to obtain is wisdom. People say it's the time to be happy surrounded by grandchildren and to remember youth. The wise man turns back to his past life and looks at it all without regrets.
And just like this we went through one whole life. Yet it's so much more than this... Even small stuff happen to have something to do with who you are. And people you meet and communicate with are the most interesting part of life. They are what makes you feel alive and important!
Till next time,