If you have ever had a massage and a painful knot is found, a good masseuse knows just how much pressure to apply that helps work out the knot but not create pain. They have learned to listen to your body to know how uncomfortable you are or perhaps you verbalize to them how much they can do. But imagine if you told that masseuse the pressure they were applying was too painful and you were ignored. You certainly would think they don't know what they are doing, you wouldn't want to go back to them again I bet, and you probably would lose trust in them too.
Listening to your animals when you first start these touches and techniques is the most important thing you can do. If your touches makes them jump, back off the pressure a bit. Change locations. Stop all together and and just breath gently and watch their eyes soften. You will gain more trust by doing that then giving them the best tasting carrots.
When I'm not even working with my alpacas, I'm still listening to them. As I walk by an alpaca and I see them jump or take a step away, I often will take a step away from them too. It is showing them I hear them that I moved into an uncomfortable area of their personal space and since I'm not working with them or needing to catch them, I can show them I am listening to what they just communicated to me and take a step away from them. Almost every single time I do that, I see them stop and instead of taking more steps away, they just stand still. They get that I heard them.
Practicing these listening skills with our alpacas can help our listening skills in other interpersonal relationships. Listening is becoming such a lost skill in our culture and yet is probably one of the most important skills if we want to have successful relationships, business, and lives.
|Learning to listen to what my alpacas like in their TTouches. Miss Marple prefers gentle TTouches under her chin.|