relationships are all about communicating and having meaningful conversations…

[aside: in 1997 and 2003-2004, I had this extended conversation with Christine about relationships — Relationship Theory email dialogue and the follow-up blog]

great summary of John Powell’s book, Why am I
Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?
, at:, describing 5 levels of communication: phatic, factual, evaluative,
gut-level, and peak

25 guidelines for good communication

excerpt from “Will the Real Me Please Stand Up?” by John Powell

Assumptions and Attitudes Necessary for Good Communication

  1. We must be committed to communication.
  2. We must be convinced that we are a gift to be given, and that through their self-disclosure to others are a gift offered to us.
  3. We must be determined to be honest with ourselves.

Guidelines for the Successful Practice of Sharing Oneself (Speaking)

  1. In sharing ourselves with others, we must always take full responsibility for our own actions and reactions. As a consequence of this, we will make “I statements,” not “You statements.”
  2. We must speak only for ourselves. In communicating I should make it clear that I am speaking only my truth, and not the truth.
  3. We must share all our significant feelings with those to whom we are relating.
  4. We must be courageous enough to share our personal vulnerability with one another.
  5. We should express gratitude to our listeners.

Guidelines for the Successful Practice of Sharing of Another (Listening)

  1. We should be “present” and “available” to others who offer to share themselves with us.
  2. We should accept others wherever they are.
  3. We must listen attentively to learn the “inner consistency” of others.
  4. We must not indulge in mind reading by judging the intentions and motives of others.
  5. We should register empathic and reassuring reactions to others when they are sharing themselves with us.
  6. We should clarify the message that is being delivered, trying always to understand accurately the meaning of others.
  7. In the role of listener we should offer only suggestions and never directions.
  8. As listeners we should avoid all blocks to communication.
  9. We should explicitly thank those who have shared themselves with us.

General Practices that Promote Good Interpersonal Communication

  1. Good communication requires that the communicators spend special or quality time together.
  2. Touching is an important form of communication.
  3. To become more effective communicators we must “stretch” beyond our “comfort zones.”
  4. We must be ready to apologize when an apology is appropriate and helpful.
  5. We must avoid a buildup of tension.
  6. At times of crises in communication we will need to use special approaches.
  7. Whether speaking or listening, the motive of the good communicator must always be love.
  8. We must pray for the enlightenment and the courage to communicate well.

9 myths about intimacy

from THE INTIMACY FACTOR by David & Jan Stoop

  1. Intimacy is being able to read each other’s mind
  2. Sex is intimacy and intimacy is sex
  3. Intimacy will grow automatically once it’s started
  4. Love and behavior are not related
  5. People who love each other can accept constructive criticism
  6. Someone either loves me or not- and that’s that
  7. Knowing everything about the other person is an essential part of intimacy
  8. Romantic love is essential for intimacy
  9. The relationship can grow only when we feel good about each other