Communicating with a Demonstrator About Personal Needs
Demonstrators are the neighbor everyone wants to have. They’re outgoing, helpful, and friendly. They live to help others. They turn any meeting into a social occasion, they’re on every committee, and they are natural cheerleaders—happy at other’s successes and willing to be a ray of sunshine on everyone’s darkest day.
However, demonstrators are often so good at caring for others that they can forget themselves and their own needs. As a caregiver or loved one, you may find it challenging to discover what their needs are and to persuade them that those needs are important, maybe even urgent. Since demonstrators tend to live in the moment, they may also resist attempts at long-term planning. However, there are a few things you can do to make conversations about personal needs more effective and enjoyable.
General Tips for Communicating with a Demonstrator
- Begin with a compliment.
- Gently redirect the conversation from tangents.
- Be spontaneous.
- Start with feelings.
- Focus on the big picture, save details for later.
- Work together on formal plans.
- Be prepared to move on quickly.
Grounding the high-flying demonstrator in uncomfortable realities can be difficult, but communicating in a style that reaches them can make the conversations easier.
Discussing Personal Concerns with a Demonstrator
Demonstrators age well and tend to have rich social connections, but that can bring on its own issues. While every person faces unique issues in their daily lives, the following broad categories sum up many of the issues you’re likely to encounter.
Staying Positive Helps Demonstrators Deal with Personal Needs
Demonstrators often seem to forget that they have needs beyond getting out and seeing people, so it’s important for their caregivers to bring them back to earth occasionally. When you focus on emotions, try to stay positive, and help with boring or repetitive communication tasks like phone calls for appointments and updated calendars, you can help your demonstrator meet her personal needs and enjoy the relationships and experiences she gets her energy from.