You are here


Feelings and communicative actions in the medium of feelings are always part of any human interaction. (Stacey, 2001, pp 118)

Communication is a bodily activity. The systems of the body -- the mind, vascular, endocrine, digestive -- are all engaged in rhythms of bodily energy. These temporal bodily dynamics mesh into a symphony of rhythms having particular time contours marked by beat, duration, and variations constituting what Stern(1985, 1995) calls vitality affects, and Damasio (1994, 1999) calls background feelings. In other words, feelings are rhythmic variations of the body, its spatial and temporal dynamics.

While all humans share these physiological characteristics in general, each individual seems to have their own unique pattern of bodily time contours. These unique time contours constitute a person's feelings as unique experiences of self, or identity. A bodily sense of self, an identity, is actualized through the way in which others respond to that person's unique bodily time contours and the way in which such responses are experienced.

Stacey, 2001, pp 102-103