Healthy Communication

Don't Talk it Out

Maybe you are like me and when you find yourself in conflict you want to work it out right away?!

I have found over the years that there are many times when this is just not the best idea.

Why?

Because talking it out with the person who you are in conflict with isn’t always the most efficient or even effective strategy to get needs met.

Dangerous Assumptions

In working with hundreds of people over the years, and of course being human myself, the issue of assumptions has come up again and again as a great source of disconnection and suffering.  We have explored some key assumptions that seem to be particularly troublesome.

I Want to Kill the Cat!

Last week I walked out to the pond in the morning to feed the fish as I always do.  I immediately noticed the plant that was astray and then looked down to see a fish on the cement, pretty ripped up and obviously dead.

I became a bit frantic, immediately called Steve who wasn’t there, hung up and screamed, “I want to kill the cat!”

Some important additional information required here:

What if They Don’t Want To?

When people approach me to do coaching (or come to a workshop) because they want a more satisfying partnership relationship, one of the first concerns I hear is, “What if my partner won’t come?”  

My answer has always been, “It isn’t necessary.”  Creating a satisfying relationship —if you want one, is your job.”  That response is usually met with disbelief, and the relationship remains the same.

Shop Your List, Not the Store

When I saw this title on a blog post I read, delivered to me from one of my favorite websites – Food 52, I immediately thought - oh yes, this is what I say to people over and over about relationships.  

Compassion vs. Power?

Sometimes when someone is doing something we don’t like, we find it very difficult to are about why they are doing/saying it, and we find it very easy to label them as wrong.  Some things are just so awful to hurtful to us, we lose our capacity to react any other way.

Has this happened to you? You really want to understand what motivated someone to do something —you sometimes even think you are trying to understand what motivated someone to do something.  Your voice is pleasant, you insist that you really are curious.  Yet, when it comes down to it, you really are furious, or disappointed, maybe full of despair.   If you were able to slow it down enough and check in, you would be able to notice it.

I Can't Hear You

Has this ever happened to you?

You are having an important conversation with your partner (or friend, or co-worker or parent) and it is crystal clear that they (consistently) aren’t understanding what you are saying?  You believe they aren’t listening, or they are taking what you say too personally.   They get upset when you think they shouldn’t.  You are feeling frustrated.  You are certain that you are communicating clearly.  How could they be misunderstanding you again?  Possibly you have tried to have a particular conversation before and run into similar situation.  Possibly it happens regularly. 

It’s all too annoying.

Fireworks.

Sexual chemistry is fun.  Our neurological and biochemical response to meeting a mate haven’t evolved much in the past 13,000 years. When you meet a person you like and who likes you, and has the promise of forever, biochemically, your body is telling you that you are safe.

In this day and age, it is often difficult to think in those kinds of practical terms. You just get happy.

New Years Resolutions ~ Turning Intentions into Reality

I’m guessing your inbox, Instagram, blog subscriptions, podcasts are blowing up with ways for you to make your turn your New Years Resolutions in to reality.  Just like last year.

Do you wonder why it is such a challenge for most people to make their resolutions last?

I do.

New Year, New You. Why?

Every New Year you think about making resolutions.  You are going to be the new, better you?  

I don’t know, doesn’t that imply that there is something wrong with the old you?  Which is the you, you are right now.  

It is so easy to think there is something wrong with us.

What About Sex?

Oooh!  A big question.  A complicated topic.  One that so rarely gets talked about with the curiosity, depth and sensitivity that it requires.

Sex can offer us some of the most pleasure and ecstatic experience possible.  It is also can be used to take someone’s power away, and create (in some cases) life long pain.

I Want to Tell You How I Feel

In Nonviolent Communication classes we spend a whole bunch of time figuring out how to feel our feelings.  How do we notice them?  How to distinguish feelings from thoughts, games to discern one feeling from another.  Practices to enhance our capacity to say what they are.    We have sheets and cards and magnets and games.  All so we can know what our feelings are.

And now you want to share them.

A Little Give and Take

I talk with a great deal of people some of whom share with me that they are ‘so ready for a relationship!’  These are words I understand and remember saying myself.

And, I wonder.  Are you really ready?

Split the Check

I went to dinner last night to celebrate a friend’s birthday.  There were 11 of us.

We bought plates for the middle of the table and shared whatever came out.  The food was delicious.  The conversation lively.  The evening was enjoyed by all.

When it came time to pay for the meal...

Will You Please?

When you say to someone “Will you please (fill in the blank)?”, how delighted are you when receive a no in response?  Your answer to this question is critical to the success of your relationships.  When I say success, I mean how much you enjoy relating with other people.