Posts tagged communication in relationships

Name Calling as a Way to Bypass Anger

The other day when I was running, I made a huge mistake in the middle of a busy intersection. It was completely my fault.  I was ending an exhausting run that was having a negative impact on my cognitive functioning: in short; I was totally out of it.  I got to an intersection, all I […]


Swallowing the Conflict to “Keep the Peace.”

Conflict is messy.  Not many of us are skilled at it.  Sometimes, it is tempting to try bypass it altogether to “keep the peace.”  I’m not talking about choosing a battle because a particular issue is not a big deal.  I’m talking about when someone crosses a line and you feel violated but decide to […]


Labeling People versus Addressing Their Behaviour

The other day, my daughter told me that she doesn’t like two of the kids in her class because one of them asks why too much, and the other cries. She then labeled the two children as “The Why-er” and “The Crier.” I restrained myself from laughing at the irony of this, since she probably […]


When to Give an Ultimatum

I’ve written before about why ultimatums rarely work in relationships.   Relationship ultimatums tend to go along the lines of “Change your behavior, or I leave.”  Most of these ultimatums don’t work because the person issuing the ultimatum isn’t ready to follow through with the threat to end the relationship; however, there are times when an […]


Knowing and Communicating Your Limitations

When you meet someone that you want to be liked by, you might be tempted to hide your limitations for fear that you won’t get a chance to have a relationship with that person.  This holds true in personal and business relationships.  You perceive that this person will reject you if you can’t give them […]


Communicating Your Intentions in Relationships

The way a person drives speaks volumes about they way communicate. Today, for example, I was at a four-way stop sign. There was a car stopped at the same time, directly across from me. The driver started to move forward without flashing a turn signal, so I assumed that she, like me, was going to […]


Communicating about Taking Space in a Relationship- An Alternative to the Silent Treatment

Often in a relationship, there is one person who needs more personal space than their partner. It can be hard for someone who doesn’t require much space to understand their partner’s need for it. Often, that need can be interpreted as rejection. If you are someone who needs more space than your partner, it can […]


The Things We Do To Avoid Asking Questions

My daughter knows how to ask for things nicely, but lately she’s discovered that when she does, sometimes the answer is “No.”  As a result, she’s been experimenting with ways to avoid getting the answer she doesn’t want.  Instead of asking, she announces things like, “I’m just going to have a taste of this butter,” […]


Describing the Rules in Advance vs Reacting After the Fact

As a mother of a toddler, I hear myself saying things like, “If you head-butt Mommy again, you can’t sit in Mommy’s lap anymore.” This is a rule that I regularly enforce, and enforcing it is easier because she knows that rule exists ahead of time. Our child also has rules that we need to […]


Mind-Reading, Guessing Games, and Communication Breakdowns in Relationships

“If you don’t already know, I’m not going to tell you.”  In some relationships, this is a classic response to the question, “Is something wrong?”  One person unwittingly offends the other.  Instead of speaking up, the offended person withdraws, often into the silent treatment, expects the offender to read his or her mind, and becomes angry […]


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