Playfulness helps adults to release stress and connect!

I am really enjoying incorporating more silliness and playfulness into my relationship. My husband says that he’s noticed me bringing more lightness and humour into our relationship, particularly during stressful moments, since I went to my first laughter yoga class last year. He also says that he finds it very reassuring, almost a signal of safety for him.

Yesterday morning there was some tension in our interactions, we were both a bit reactive, not listening to each other well and feeling frustrated and irritated. When hubby went to the bathroom, I grabbed these two baby giraffe toys that I bought for us last year, and set them up in this position in our kitchen, as though they were kissing each other!

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If you aren’t familiar with Nonviolent Communication (NVC), its creator Marshall Rosenberg incorporated two animal metaphors. Giraffe is used to represent the compassionate side of communication, and jackal represents the violent side (including judgement, criticism and blame). The term “baby giraffe” is used to describe a person who is still finding his or her way with compassionate communication and who sometimes relapses into “jackal”. That is definitely us, and I imagine it might always be, although we have a lot more awareness these days!

Hubby rejoined me in the kitchen and when there was a lull in our conversation I pretended to pat one of the little giraffes and said “Aawww”. In a sense, I was playfully offering us both some compassion and acceptance for where we were at, our little baby giraffe selves who were struggling to connect and listen. This led to us exchanging some lighthearted words and sharing some laughter, which helped us both to release some tension, feel relaxed and move back into connection. We went on to enjoy a very aligned, energetic and fruitful conversation.

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