My oldest Grandson is sixteen months old. Right from the start he has had his own personality with strong preferences and opinions.
Like all babies he wanted lots of cuddling and soothing when he was little. Now that he is growing his inherent introversion is showing through and I am using all my powers of rapport to build our relationship.
Now I am a fairly strong personality, and its been interesting because as Dorian grows older he responds to me the same way some people do – holding back, overwhelmed, unsure, intimidated.
Thankfully I am used to this response and so even with my grandson I don’t take it personally.
I’m taking it slow with him.
I don’t force him to hug me. And I don’t make eye contact for too long at any time. I hang out and simply let him choose the speed and distance and contact of our interactions.
When I show up at his house unannounced he gives me sidelong grins and intrigued glances. We are making progress and my heart warms.
And like with anyone, I do a lot of matching and use my body language to ensure he knows I love him.
The very introverted among us are like timid rabbits in the woods. Dorian is the same. One day at my home he went to put his finger ‘at’ the wall socket and in response to my immediate and stern ‘NO!’ he cried, ran to his Mamma, and it took us a few weeks to become friends again.
He just wasn’t too sure about me after that.
Exceptionally sensitive he has the heart of a genius and the manner of an artist. Even when just five months old he would tenderly touch my earrings, watching me, accepting feedback, never pulling, always being careful. And so, rapport is this same dance.
Careful care of each other and our own special way of connecting.
Trained as a coach (where rapport is 1/2 the job) and always naturally a matcher, I am glad that I’ve got the skills to build our relationship. I look forward to the years getting to know this little one.
It’s the same with all people. We all need those who will take their time with us. Who are invested in relationship and who are truly interested in paying attention and listening and learning alongside.
Love allows others to come to us on their terms. We do not overwhelm with our presence, we don’t demand certain responses, rather we take it easy, we welcome, we invite, and we allow relationships to form their own life.
I’ve a slow dance happening with my grandson and it is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever experienced.