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Nurturing


Nurturing Skills

(1) Touching skills:
Hugging. Offer a hug to someone who is sad or scared. Give them a nice warm non-sexual hug.
Holding. The most important nurturing skill is touching. When a child is sad or scared, we pick them up and hold them. When an adult is crying or frightened, hold them as though they were a child. Give them a safe place to relax into feelings. Don't react to the feelings your sweetie is having. Put your own feelings on the back burner while you're there for them. You can be held in your turn, later, if stuff comes up you need to deal with.
There's a way to hold an adult as if they were a child. Sit on a couch, and have them kneel on the couch next to you, facing the back of the couch. Then have them lean over, and put their head on your far shoulder. Hold their head firmly with one hand, and wrap your other arm around their torso, so they don't have to support their own weight. Hold them tightly enough that they feel held. The job of the holder is to stop thinking, relax, and sink into warm paternal or maternal feelings. The job of the person being held is to direct the holder till it feels right, and then sink into feeling. If there's a river of turbulent feeling that needs to pour through, nows the time to let it.
Patting. Don't overdo it, but a little patting is soothing for most people.
Hair-stoking. This is soothing for almost everyone.

(2) Verbal skills:
Not speaking more than you have to. Especially not judging, criticizing, blaming, lecturing, or being sarcastic. Or using words to avoid feelings.
Murmuring. "Mmmm." "Mm hmm." "Ah..." "Yeah."
Agreeing. "Yes, you're right." "Un huh." "Of course."
Expressing sympathy. "You poor dear." "I'm so sorry you're in pain." "I'm sorry this happened to you."
Active listening. Repeating back in your own words what your sweetie is saying, in a soothing tone.
Deferring debriefing. "We'll figure it out later."
Encouraging feelings. "That must have been painful." "How awful for you!" "What did that feel like?"
Encouraging self worth. "You didn't deserve this." "That wasn't fair."
Praising. "You're a wonderful person." "You have a good heart." And later when it feels right, debriefing and problem solving.

Here's a version of Nurturing you can download:

Download 22_5-Nurturing_Skills.rtf