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Tag Archives: Communication

How to Recognize When You’re Being Passive-Aggressive

2 woman at oddsWho among us can honestly say they’ve never behaved in a passive-aggressive way?

When I’m not being assertive, passive-aggression is my go-to. I figure it’s better than outright aggression, and I don’t seem to be wired for passivity, so sometimes it feels like the best option.

There are hundreds — maybe thousands — of subtle ways to avoid being assertive.

This week’s article, in which I happen to be quoted, is a survey of just a few of the twisted moves we make to get around saying what we mean. Read More

7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Relationships

Now that spring is here, I thought I’d offer a few tips for some “relationship spring cleaning.”

Try these with your partner, friends, family, or even coworkers.

1. Listen more. Even if the other person already does most of the talking, how carefully do you typically listen? Challenge yourself to tune in to what they’re saying, rather than letting your mind wander.

2. Make time. The word “relationship” may be a noun, but “relate” is a verb. Read More

“I’m Sorry You Feel That Way”

sister and brother problemsIf your mail carrier complains to you about your mailbox being so far from the curb, it’s perfectly appropriate to respond by saying, “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

Here’s what that statement really means:

  • “Your feelings are your problem.”
  • “How you feel has nothing to do with me.”
  • “I don’t care.”
  • “You’re on your own.”

If these are what you mean to convey — and really, what more does the mail carrier have any right to expect from you, unless she’s your sister? Read More

The Secret Ingredient in Healthy Relationships

couple in kitchenAlice’s husband, Bob, does something that hurts her feelings.

So what does she do?

Alice tells Bob he’s insensitive and inconsiderate.

This hurts Bob’s feelings. So what does he do?

Bob responds by telling Alice she’s too demanding.

An argument ensues, of course.

And it never really gets resolved.

Bob and Alice get into it like this at least once a week. Both are unhappy about it.

Neither one believes the relationship to be healthy, but they’re no sure what to do. Read More