A contact is a form of communication, wherein we communicate with every other thing in our environment. Contact often refers to getting in touch with someone.
There are 5 basic contacts as follows:
Looking-Sometimes looking allows you to get in contact with an object. There are two types of contact with looking as there are with all senses: looking to get in contact with something else (evidential contact) and looking at a contact for the sake of it. Staring at someone for too long, however, is equivalent to bombarding them with reiterated words, which may not make sense to them after a point. Some people have their focus projected on the relevant and may ignore the overall context of the scene, which could enhance their perspective and experience.
Listening/Hearing- An individual can listen to the sound of people, like listening to a podcast, and develop ideas accordingly. Chaos is not appreciated, which is why they usually prefer to speak without interrupting the speaker. I said “usually” because many people do not value listening, which is why it is pleasant when a speaker finds a keen listener. There are different kinds of listening like for criticism, for support, for information, for condescension, for complexities, for simple facts.
As you listen, different people may be sensitive to different aspects of the speech, of the expression, to sexuality, to hostility, etc. When the listener feels that he is in good contact, and when the speaker knows he is being heard his contact is enlivenment.
Touching- There are taboos against looking and listening: “don’t eavesdrop, don’t stare”, however, the taboo against the tactile sense is even stronger. “Don’t touch” is emboldened on hazardous objects in a factory, “don’t touch your genitals” is instilled in children. Sometimes people feel constrained to touch someone who is not ready or does not want to be touched. With new behavior comes awkwardness, self- consciousness, often seen in young teens. Gestalt aims to use touching as contact rather than an initiation rite of membership in a new order.Once we enable touch, we also enable a range of prohibited actions that may result in touch, like assuring someone or talking intimately with them. The seemingly impossible gap between what you are and what you could simply be is a neurotic problem.
Talking- Talking has two dimensions: voice and language.
Voice- the voice is the prototype of an expressive tone, as is the precursor to song and melodies. The voice also has direction and momentum, and a target which the individual wants to reach through the medium of sound.
Right from infanthood, we develop the ability to perceive people’s voices as soothing, comforting, loving, or harsh and threatening. Reaching out to someone incisively will lead to a better engagement and a pleasant conversation. On the other hand, rambling and vague dialogue can strike a discordant note. Some people’s voice is suited for intimate surroundings, and some for public speaking.
A basic Gestalt principle is to enhance what exists rather than changing it. Nothing can change until it is first accepted.
Language- Language is possibly the most powerful agent for contact. Language is possibly the most powerful agent for contact. Some people use language stingily, using exact words, with precision and accuracy. Some people speak with a torrent of words, with an array of colorful ideas to take away the tawdriness. Some resort to leisure talks, whilst some have a constant need to be right and certain, in which case their language ends up like a legal contract. Jargon helps people avoid contact, they are pre- packaged, like combo meals and lack personal taste. Repeating oneself is another way to prevent having contact, it attempts to get the other person to only engage with the message you would like to hear instead of what they need to hear.
Smelling and Tasting- These are relegated to subordinate importance, in the leisure of eating one's favorite ice- cream, or a trip to a rocky beach.People have become so reliant on automated signals that they no longer need or rely on their senses. Tasting is an evaluative act to establish if food is tasty, eating is a metaphor for engagement with the world. The gustatory sense brings immense comfort to people. Some people are connoisseurs of fine taste and a sharp sense in evaluating the fitness or non-fitness of actions and objects. Olfactory sense, however, has two distinct sides. It may create an infatuating bond of attraction between two organisms, or it may provide major olfactory distress to someone.
"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve."
-Mary Kay Ash