Emotional Atyachaar: Use it to Communicate Effectively - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Emotional Atyachaar: Use it to Communicate Effectively

Jul 18, 2014


Do you think of yourself as a reasonable person?

I did. I always had great belief in my power to list facts and figures, use logic and rationale to prove my point in an argument debate...use reason to show that I'm right, and change my opposition's mind.

But if I'm completely honest, it never worked. Even when I was undeniably right (in my oh-so-humble opinion) ...and have an army of facts to fight on my side, I have never changed another person's belief.

What could be more convincing than reason, I wondered?

Then I saw this story:

"I'm Blind. Please help me" the crudely scrawled sign said.

Hundreds of people walked by, the occasional coin was tossed into the beggar's can. Then one woman stopped, turned over the sign and wrote something on it. Soon, everyone walking past was giving money and the can was overflowing.

What had she written?

"It's a beautiful day. And I can't see it."

This video was created by UK-based content creation company Purple Feather, to illustrate the power of words.

I realized then that the power of words was not in the lists of reasons they could give, but in the feelings they could evoke.

The prolific award-winning writer Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

For me these words sum up the power of words - the power to evoke emotion, to get a reaction, to make people change their minds.

When we believe something is true ... our mind 'sets' like cement... we start to see everything through that mind set .. it narrows our perception of reality and causes tunnel vision. When we have tunnel vision, we only see what agrees with our belief...everything else - reason, logic, arguments... will not be able to penetrate our tunnel.

For example, if you don't believe in God, no matter how many treatises you read on the existence of God, your psychology will not let you change your mind and start believing.

However, what can make you start believing is when something penetrates your tunnel vision... logic can't do that ... but I believe emotion can. People are often changed after they go through intense emotional experiences - surviving illness, loss of a loved one, or financial troubles.

The greatest communicators understand the power of evoking emotion through their words... Watch Obama stand up in a crowd of thousands and move them to tears... listen to Modi's impassioned voice rise and fall, bringing our nation to its feet ... and you will understand what I mean.

You can use the power of emotion in your communications. Be it a debate, a negotiation, or a meeting, adopt these strategies to make your communications more effective.

Get up-close and personal: We tend to get so defensive of our feelings... we build walls around ourselves guarding our deepest fears and greatest desires like some khazana. But your fears and desires are not that different from everyone else's... unique as we may be... human beings are motivated by the same basic emotions - fear, vanity, greed, lust and so on...

If you let your real emotions come through in your communications, chances are people will see the honesty in you and connect with your thoughts.

But don't try to fake it. We know what real emotions look, feel, and sound like... we all feel them. So unless you're Aamir Khan, faking won't work.

Body language: I have to contradict myself here. Actually, there IS one way to fake it in one-on-one conversation. By understanding how your body communicates you can use it to make connections with people.

Mirroring is an effective tool to create a rapport with your listener. It is the practice of matching your tone and actions with the other person's - so if a person is soft-spoken, use a soft voice to communicate. If someone tends to use a lot of gestures, do that... if they have their arms crossed, do that.

This may sound a bit awkward, you wonder if they will notice and think negatively of you. In actual fact, the opposite happens. Naturally good communicators automatically do this. When you are mirroring someone they subconsciously start feeling 'yeh mere jaisa hai' and become more comfortable with you, and more open to your message. As you practice this method it will also begin to come naturally to you, making you a better communicator.

Let your eyes speak for you: This may sound a little filmy, but your eyes are the windows to your soul... your most powerful asset in communication.

It's said that a real smile involves two muscles - the zygomatic major in your cheek that pulls your lips upwards, and the orbicularis oculi around your eyes which make them crinkle. You can force your lips to form a smile, but true positive emotion is reflected only when your eyes smile as well. Eyes are that important. They can convey happiness, sadness... joy, seriousness... falsehood, and honesty. When talking to someone look into their eyes.

If it's too difficult to hold their gaze look above their eyes at the bindi spot... it makes it look as though you are gazing into their eyes. Looking into someone's eyes will make them feel connected to you, they will automatically nod their heads...maybe even subconsciously start mirroring you.

Use positive imagery to tell a story: For effective communication, tell stories and use words that give hope. When Narendra Modi was campaigning he focused on 'Achhe din aane waale hai' ... message of hope that spread across the country ... like an 'ugta hua suraj'. He never focused on 'desh ki haalat kharaab hai' which is the same message, but the words are not positive and instead of hope it evokes visions of poverty and corruption.

In the video I mentioned above the words on the sign evoked the depressing thought of a blind person, a thought everyone wanted to avoid - no one wants to deal with that while they're going about their busy lives. When the words were changed - they now evoked the image of a beautiful day, brought a smile to people's faces, softened their moods, and had them reaching for their pockets.

Use your reason to think, analyze and assess situations, but to communicate let your reason play a supporting role and let your emotions take center stage... use what I joking call the method of emotional atyachaar. Make people feel ...to make yourself heard.

Communication is greater than just the exchange of words - it is the sharing of ideas, the development of thought, the building of relationships, and the shaping of societies.

To honour the birthday of one of the greatest communicators and leaders the world has ever seen, I'd like to end with the words of Nelson Mandela:

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart"


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14 Responses to "Emotional Atyachaar: Use it to Communicate Effectively"

Rohan kadam

19 Oct, 2017

I wanted you to tell my story what happened between me and my partner how we broke up and then how I came to know that she was cheating on me. My relationship lasted for 2 years and 5 months but ended very badly.


13 Apr, 2016

Hi.. I m writing this just to give you a compliment that u all are working excellent to show these stories but thr r some tthings which i didnt like . As in like Season 4 Episode 12. i object that i think he did wrong what he did with that girl. it was her profession. all ppl need love it doesnt mean thr profession is bad than u can say anything or etc etc. i think u all need to help them too to make up some relationships if you all can logically. parveesh i want to salute you that you are listening so thrilling and horrible stories. but i m sure u can help ppl too to be of each other who they are guilty for thr relations.. thanks.

Dr Bhalchandra Gajare

04 May, 2015

Hi, I am medical practitioner. It is a great knowledge about communication. I realised it when when I communicate with patients. Patients open up when we talk in their own language and emotions involved; We can't convince them by logical reasons.So most of the quacks are good communicator as the study patients emotions and belief systems. More qualified (superspecilist ) doctor is, less skilled in communication. It is very helpful knowledge for me. I also send this article to my friends by WhatsApp.

Like (1)


10 Oct, 2014

Mr. Ramani you're right and I did realise this... in my newer pieces you will see that I always endeavour to provide some form of translation of every non-English word... I will certainly make this the practice from now on... my main aim is to communicate clearly and I will do whatever it takes to make that happen! Thanks.

Like (1)


09 Oct, 2014

Most of your messages were of interest to me and I read them with intend to learn at least one thing from it. I can get the full impact if you could reduce Hindi phrases. I can understand some time it is best to say in a language you are most comfortable with. I also understand that English may not provide the same impact and meaning. However, for many like me for whom Hindi is not our mother tongue, we miss the enjoyment of your communication.

S D Sharma

09 Oct, 2014

Superb.I am tempted to call it emotional sadachar

Like (1)


23 Jul, 2014

Very interesting topic


21 Jul, 2014

This is the best edition I ever read on 'Common Sense Living'. Thanks for that.


19 Jul, 2014

Thanks, you made my day. common sens living is just like a friend we like to hang around and appreciate all your efforts to give the best message. Great work, keep posting.

Girdhar Gopal Arora

19 Jul, 2014

'Shabad' is 'Braham'. The eternal truth that governs the universe. Every word we utter has its own impact-negative or positive. We can eye over the beautiful side while not ignoring the pathetic one. Focussing over a virtue bring the trail of them automatically. So, keep on writing sich beautiful ideas in future also.

chandra sekhar sarmah

19 Jul, 2014

Thw world is in turmoil because of negative thinking People Leader lead the people with immotional thought on race religion and the misfortune of the masses.


18 Jul, 2014

Nice and thought full work... Hope it may change my life...

satish athale

18 Jul, 2014

Wonderful ! Beautifully articulated. Makes lot of sense. Why can't Indian educationalists think about putting stress on soft skills in primary and secondary education in schools ? Indian education system is producing armies of techies and zombies but no eccentrics who can bring about a major change in our world ? I think your thought process at a younger age , is like a mature person. You are also using a tool to bring about a change in the reader's minds. Lage raho.

Jaishankar Jayaraman

18 Jul, 2014

Hi Anisa Thanks for the wonderful article on Emotional Atyachaar. Though I'm aware of all the things you've mentioned, it feels refreshing and good to read them. One suggestion, kindly incorporate the date in all the articles of Mark, Ritika and yours. This will help us at a later date. Many thanks Jaishankar

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