Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas Dinner

Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas DinnerOne of the key lessons in my Life Coach Training Program is the technique of reframing, taking a situation that seems daunting and finding another way to look at it that is empowering.

Listening to Ourselves Speak... Are We Being Mindful?

Listening to Ourselves Speak... Are We Being Mindful?If we could listen to ourselves as we converse, we would probably be astounded at how often we speak mindlessly. We are so taken up with being the speaker that, quite innocently perhaps, we make insensitive comments, speak inaccurately, or talk too much, hardly aware...

How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Us Better At Expressing Ourselves

How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Us Better At Expressing Ourselves
Argument and debate form the cornerstones of civilised society and intellectual life. Processes of argumentation run our governments, structure scientific endeavour and frame religious belief. So should we worry that new advances in artificial intelligence are taking steps towards equipping computers with these skills?

Facebook Posts that Use These Words Can Predict Depression

Facebook Posts that Use These Words Can Predict Depression
Researchers have created an algorithm that analyzes social media posts to find linguistic markers for depression. In any given year, depression affects more than six percent of the adult population in the United States—some 16 million people—but fewer than half receive the treatment they need.

Taking the Risk to Listen and Be Heard with the Heart

Are You Taking the Risk to Hear & Be Heard?
We may think that because of the development of the ability to see and hear into the far reaches of space that we must be quite advanced in the field of communication. But all this has little effect on our ability to listen with our heart...

The Art of Speaking Up and Taking Charge of Your Life

The Art of Speaking Up and Taking Charge of Your Life
Both men and women have to learn to speak up in order to take charge of their lives and cultivate meaningful relationships! This applies to school, work, business, family, and social events. As scary as it can seem at first, I guarantee that speaking up will bring copious rewards and breakthrough moments.

Can You Tell Fact From Fiction In The News?

Can You Tell Fact From Fiction In The News?Have you clicked through to this article from your news feed? Are you checking it on your phone? More of us are consuming news online, and increasingly we’re turning to social media for news. Social media platforms are now the main source of news for Australians aged 18 to 24.

How Light and Life Always Guide Us Home

How Light and Life Always Guide Us Home
When I moved into a rented cottage on Maui, Hawaii, some years ago, I found a little Russian Blue cat with gray fur and yellow eyes sitting on the porch staring at me. I learned that she was feral and that my neighbor Koa called her Pepper, and that she came by around the same time every day.

Sacred Speech and Silence: From the Heart and to the Soul

Sacred Speech and Silence: From the Heart and to the Soul
We spend much of our time talking about trivial matters and practical ones -- the weather, plans for the day, routine office events, frivolous gossip, the next technological miracle, etc. So little of our conversation addresses our passions, loves, emotions, dreams, or our creative insights...

How To Know If An Online Discussion Is Going To Get Nasty

How To Know If An Online Discussion Is Going To Get Nasty
Researchers have created a model to predict which civil online conversations might take a turn and derail. After analyzing hundreds of exchanges between Wikipedia editors, the researchers developed a computer program that scans for warning signs in participants’ language at the start of a conversation...

Business for Lovers and Authentic Communicators

Business for Lovers and Authentic Communicators
I invite you to extend your circle of authentic conversations to include not just lovers, but people you encounter in situations that appear to be routine, boring, or mundane. A master teacher told me that one of the secrets of success is to “take whatcha got and make whatcha want.” 

The Four Communication Rules and Four Main Violations

The Four Communication Rules and Four Main Violations
After thirty-five years in private psychotherapy practice and decades of studying and teaching, I've found all good communication boils down to just four simple rules. Whether it's with our spouse, our kids or our boss, mastering these concepts will have us communicating with anyone about any topic, effectively and lovingly.

Why Humor Is Good For You If You Do It Right

Why Humor Is Good For You If You Do It Right
Humor isn’t always useful or beneficial for reaching our goals, new research suggests. Research from the UA's Eller College of Management suggests that humor is a good thing in certain situations, but its effectiveness depends on your end goal.

Why People Who Live In Diverse Neighborhoods Are More Helpful

People Who Live In Diverse Neighborhoods Are More Helpful
Whether or not diversity is a good thing is still a topic of much debate. Though many businesses tout the benefits of diversity, American political scientist Robert Putnam holds that diversity causes people to hunker down, creating mistrust in communities.

The Power of the Circle Improves the Quality of Our Connections

The Power of the Circle Improves the Quality of Our Connections
Most people would agree that connection is a basic human need. Yet these days, it can be hard to come by. Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General of the United States from 2014 to 2017, claims that “Loneliness is a growing health epidemic.”

How To Talk About Politics With Your Family

How To Talk About Politics With Your Family

Talking politics with people who you disagree with is always tricky, but it’s especially hard when those people are your family or closest friends.

Why Is It So Stressful To Talk Politics With The "Other Side"?

Tomb of the Ribaudo family, monumental cemetery of Genoa, Italy, famous for the cover of the single of the English band Joy Division's " Love will tear us apart".
People disagree all the time, but not all disagreements lead to the same levels of stress. Even though people can be passionate about their favorite sport teams, they can argue about which basketball team is the best without destroying friendships.

The Long Tradition Of Women Being Told To Shut Up

The Long Tradition Of Women Being Told To Shut Up
Professor Mary Beard’s latest book Women & Power: A Manifesto is a short, sharp analysis of women in the West and their ongoing struggles for a voice in the public domain.

Practicing The Art Of High-Quality Connections

Practicing The Art Of High-Quality Connections
Practicing the art of connection in small, seemingly insignificant everyday actions is the key to being able to utilize it when you’re confronting a challenge with someone at work or a crisis in any relationship. As you explore building rapport with cashiers, waiters, and others, you’ll be setting the stage for greater skill in building the relationships that matter the most...

To Really Choose a Man

To Really Choose a Man
To really love a man is to choose him over and over again. It’s not enough to say marriage vows one time, though that is certainly important. The relationship is deepened if you let him know often that you would choose him all over again if given the choice.

How You Can Use Color To Communicate How You Feel

How You Can Use Color To Communicate How You Feel
When people are sad they are often said to be “blue”. Jealousy is implied if someone is described as being “green with envy”.

Minding Our Words and Saying What We Really Mean

Minding Our Words and Saying What We Really Mean
Telepathy is the language of communication in the spiritual realm. Imagine knowing the thoughts of all the people around you and having all your thoughts revealed without speaking. No one could manipulate or pretend to be other than who they are. All our motivations, fears, and loves would be exposed.

Are You More Likely To Deny The Truth In Your Second Language?

Are You More Likely To Deny The Truth In Your Second Language?Whether you’re speaking in your native tongue, or in another language, being understood and believed is fundamental to good communication. After all, a fact is a fact in any language, and a statement that is objectively true should just be considered true, whether presented to you in English, Chinese or Arabic.

Accessing The Power of Silent Communication and Love

Accessing The Power of Silent Communication and LoveI have come to believe, through watching the etheric state, that we are all in silent subliminal dialogue with each other. I've observed the flashes of energy that pass back and forth between people, and I've seen people react to thoughts that are projected toward them. Thoughts jump...

How To Get Your Message Across In Just 60 Seconds

How To Get Your Message Across In Just 60 SecondsDo you have something important to say, but find it hard to get people’s attention? Or have you tried to listen to someone who claims to have something interesting to impart, but they can’t explain it and the idea gets lost? (Or worse, you get bored and lose interest, even if they’re trying to describe their revolutionary new laser shark).

Why Does A Period In A Text Message Make You Sound Insincere Or Angry?

Why Does A Period In A Text Message Make You Sound Insincere Or Angry?When it comes to texting, the period, full stop, point – whatever you call it – has been getting a lot of attention. People have begun noticing slight changes to the way our smallest punctuation mark is deployed, from declarations that it’s going out of style to claims that it’s becoming angry.

I’ve Been There, Honey

I’ve Been There, HoneyThere's a huge difference between sympathy and empathy, between "I'm sorry" and "I've been there." It's not that sympathy is bad. It's just that empathy invites a connection that sympathy simply can't. Sympathy says, "I feel sorry for you." while empathy declares "I am you."

Conversation Tips for Surviving the Holidays

Conversation Tips for Surviving the HolidaysSometimes, you just can't relate to your relatives. Whether it's sports, politics, or past events, gathering around a dinner table during the holiday season can be a daunting prospect.

The Horror And Pleasure Of Misused Words

The Horror And Pleasure Of Misused WordsAmerican film director Judd Apatow once confessed to Stephen Colbert that he’d been mispronouncing his wife's name for nearly two decades. He’d been saying “Lez-lee”, while she pronounces it as “Less-lee”. When he asked her why she hadn’t corrected his mistake, she said she “thought he wouldn’t be able to make the adjustment”. 

Why Having The Sex Talk Early And Often With Your Kids Is Good For Them

Why Having The Sex Talk Early And Often With Your Kids Is Good For ThemParents may be uncomfortable initiating “the sex talk,” but whether they want to or not, parents teach their kids about sex and sexuality. Kids learn early what a sexual relationship looks like.

How Men And Women Really See Each Other

How Men And Women Really See Each OtherI saw two very different shows at the Edinburgh Fringe last week, two shows that dealt with the subject of how men and women talk about each other, in very different formats and with very different levels of success.

Being and Communicating with The Elders of the Seas

08 11 elders of the sea
From the first day of our trip, we were met by the whales. Although I had been in deep communication with the whales and had received instructions for the structure and practices for the trip in the year prior our journey,  I was still blown away by the magnitude of what we experienced.

Millennial Bashing In Medieval Times: Same Old, Same Old?

Millennial Bashing In Medieval Times: Same Old, Same Old?In Sir Thomas Malory’s ‘Le Morte d'Arthur,’ a character complains that young people are too sexually promiscuous. 14th- and 15th-century texts hold a lesson for the 21st century. Anxieties about “kids these days” are misguided, not because nothing changes, but because historical change cannot be predicted. 

Learning To Communicate Honestly With Others

Learning To Communicate Honestly With Others: First Be Honest With YourselfWhat does it take to communicate honestly with other people? First of all, it takes knowing your own mind. But when it comes to communicating honestly with others, knowing yourself isn’t enough. Communicating with others is a skill – but not necessarily a skill we’re born with!

How To Be Who You Are By Expressing Your Truth

How To Be Who You Are By Expressing Your TruthPart of self-expression is claiming your originality. You are unique and special and you should tell the world who you are! One of the good ways social media has helped our culture is to encourage originality. 

Why Our Eyes Give Away What We’re Feeling Inside

Why Our Eyes Give Away What We’re Feeling InsideWhy are our eyes so expressive? It started as a universal reaction to environmental stimuli, new research suggests, and evolved to communicate emotion.

Recognizing and Honoring Uniqueness by Calling Animals And Humans By Name

Recognizing and Honoring Uniqueness by Calling Animals And Humans By NameIn the 1990s, many of the equestrians I encountered believed that ani­mals were incapable of thought and emotion. “It’s all instinct,” one of my trainers told me whenever I brought up anecdotal evidence to the contrary. Some of the local ranchers insisted that, unlike dogs, horses weren’t smart enough to recognize their own names.

How Does Culture Influence Our Communication and Body Language

Culture: The Big External Influence in Communication and Body LanguageAll animals have a culture and a language associated with that culture. Whether the language contains words or some other vocalization, all of these cultures will include body language. For example, horses are limited in vocabulary to a series of soft snickerings...

What It Takes to Change Hearts and Minds

What It Takes to Change Hearts and MindsTo get someone’s support, you need more than just facts. The most effective method is aligning communication about your cause with the most deeply-held values and aspirations of your friends, relatives, neighbors, and fellow citizens.

Why Do Men and Women Feel Things Differently?

Men and Women Feel Things DifferentlyMany studies have shown that women's brains are wired differently from men's so they can both feel and recall both positive and negative emotions more strongly than men. But, just because women seem to be more comfortable in the emotional realm, does not mean that men don't, can't, or shouldn't thrive in it...

The Most Important Thing You’re Not Discussing With Your Doctor

The Most Important Thing You’re Not Discussing With Your DoctorPoliticians and policymakers are discussing what parts of the Affordable Care Act to change and what to keep. While most of us have little control over those discussions, there is one health care topic that we can control: what we talk about with our doctor.

How To Change Hearts and Open Minds

communication 2 4We can start difficult conversations by speaking from the heart and sharing our wish for a world where everyone is safe and free.

Think Swearing Isn’t Big Or Clever? Think Again

Think Swearing Isn’t Big Or Clever? Think AgainThe use of obscene or taboo language, or swearing as it’s more commonly known, is often seen as a sign that the speaker lacks vocabulary, cannot express themselves in a less offensive way, or even lacks intelligence.

Why Being Rude To Your Doctor Makes Them Mess Up

Why Being Rude To Your Doctor Makes Them Mess UpDoctors don’t just “get over” rude treatment from patients, research suggests. In simulations with an angry parent, the performance of pediatricians suffered dramatically.

How to Expand Your Empathic Capacity

Linking Up: Expanding Your Empathic CapacityThere is a natural tendency to synchronize, to link up with others. When two violins are located in the same room and a string is plucked on the first one, the string tuned to the same frequency on the second violin will vibrate, thus sounding the note...

How Santa Helps Teach Children To Be Good Little Consumers

How Santa Helps Teach Children To Be Good Little ConsumersIt’s that time of year – the season when parents, schools and retailers sell one of the most magical lies to children: Santa Claus. But far from being a harmless way to fire children’s imagination at Christmas, the “Santa lie”...

Why President Trump Will Continue to Hold Rallies

Why President Trump Will Continue to Hold RalliesDonald Trump has just finished the last of his nine post-election “thank you tour” rallies. Why did he do them? And why is he planning further rallies after he becomes president?

Why Do We Fall For Fake News?

Why Do We Fall For Fake News?In recent weeks, the amount of online fake news that circulated during the final months of the presidential race is coming to light, a disturbing revelation that threatens to undermine the country’s democratic process.

The Surprising Origins Of Post-truth

The Surprising Origins Of Post-truth“Post-truth” has been announced as the Oxford Dictionaries’ international word of the year. It is widely associated with US president-elect Donald Trump’s extravagantly untruthful assertions and the working-class people who voted for him nonetheless.

Toxic Communication Patterns: Put-downs and Shut-downs

Toxic Communication Patterns: Put-downs and Shut-downsPut-downs are terms of disrespect, of ridicule and humiliation. I use the term shut-down for a form of communication that, instead of opening up a topic and encouraging debate and healthy conflict, shuts it off. Shut-downs may be overt but shut-downs can also be very subtle...

Why The Selfie Should Not Be A Dirty Word

selfie artThree years ago, on the 18th of November, 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary named the term “selfie” as their Word of the Year.

How Do You Talk To Kids About Racism?

How Do You Talk To Kids About Racism?Issues related to racism and racial discrimination feature in our news and social media feeds with alarming regularity. This year more and more stories have emerged...

Conscious Communication: Not Reacting from a Fear-Based Mentality

Conscious Communication: Learning Not to React from a Fear-Based MentalityAs human beings, the greatest gift we have at our disposal can also be the greatest weapon—words. We can heal ourselves, others, and the world with words; yet they can also be used in a destructive manner. Most of us are unaware that the ways in which we relate are entirely distorted and unnatural.

Learning to Ask for Help Because We All Need Support

We All Need Support: Learning to Ask for HelpAssess how you currently navigate challenges: Do you immediately isolate, put on your armor, grab your sword, and head out into the forest to slay the dragon alone? Or do you enlist the help and strategic counsel of other knights and soothsayers who...

How Donald Trump Bullies With His Body Language

How Donald Trump Bullies With His Body LanguageAs Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump ramp up for their third and final televised debate, people are still trying to make sense of what happened at their second one.

Can Great Apes Read Your Mind?

chimp 10 10

One of the things that defines humans most is our ability to read others’ minds – that is, to make inferences about what others are thinking. To build or maintain relationships, we offer gifts and services – not arbitrarily, but with the recipient’s desires in mind.

Why Don't Feed The Trolls Is Really Good Advice

Why Don't Feed The Trolls Is Really Good AdviceAlmost half the population of the planet now has access to the internet, with about one in three of those people regularly active on social media.

The Relationship Myth: "If You Don’t Have Something Nice To Say..."

Relationship Myth: "If You Don’t Have Something Nice To Say..."Many of us also have a strong tendency to withhold giving input to others that we fear may cause them to feel upset or angry. We are reluctant to say things to others that aren’t “nice.” Consequently, we may adopt some effec­tive ways of discouraging...

How To Say No Without Feeling Guilty

How To Say No Without Feeling GuiltyTo build up your courage for those really difficult "no's," start small. Practice saying no in non-threatening encounters where there isn't much at stake. Little by little, stretch yourself by saying no in more challenging circumstances.

There Are Two Voices In Your Mind—One Is Always Wrong

There Are Two Voices In Your Mind—One Is Always WrongThere are two voices in our minds. One belongs to the ego, the other to the Holy Spirit (you may call this peaceful inner mes­senger your Higher Power or Great Spirit or Universal Source or whatever name you choose). Both voices are always available to us, but one is very loud and generally gets our attention.

To Understand What Young People Think, Speak Their Language

To Understand What Young People Think, Speak Their LanguageAt times, it can feel like adults are speaking a completely different language when talking to young people. Even small generational divides feel like gaping chasms as each party tries to relate their experiences in a way the other will understand.

Truth or Sabotage? The Hidden Value in Direct Communication

Truth or Sabotage? The Hidden Value in Direct CommunicationWe all seek to express our truth. We all must express our truth. There are two ways to express your truth: directly or indirectly. If you do not express your truth directly, it will come out in odd, aberrant, and damaging ways. Self-sabotage or sabotage of others ...

So Long Social Media: Kids Are Opting Out Of The Online Public Square

So Long Social Media: Kids Are Opting Out Of The Online Public SquareWhen my digital media students are sitting, waiting for class to start and staring at their phones, they are not checking Facebook. They’re not checking Instagram, or Pinterest or Twitter. No, they’re catching up on the news of the day by checking out their friends’ Stories on Snapchat, or...

Why Is Recognizing Needs and Values Important in Relationships?

Why Is Recognizing Needs and Values Important in Relationships?Needs and values — the things we care about, the sources of our wants — matter because they are the contents of our core selves. They make up much of the terrain of our inner worlds. Needs and values are indeed highly interconnected, but there is an important distinction between the two.

Ancient Knowledge Guidance: New Archetypes For A New World

Ancient Knowledge Gives Guidance: New Archetypes For A New WorldTraditional Native American societies may be the best models of balanced societies in existence today—with only about 500 years of European contact and assimilation, versus 2,000 years. Native people viewed themselves—not their political, social, or reli­gious lives—as individuals. The names that Native groups gave themselves generally translated to “the People” or “human beings.”

You Never Need to Defend or Justify Your Feelings

You Never Need to Defend or Justify Your FeelingsSomeone once gave Barry and I a small yellow button to wear that says, “You never need to defend or justify your feelings.” I love the message on this button and, though I don’t wear it, I keep it in my desk so it is the first thing I see when I open the drawer. This little message has helped me over and over again...

4 Reasons People Can’t Quite Quit Facebook

fac4 Reasons People Can’t Quite Quit FacebookIf you’ve ever thought about quitting Facebook, you’re not alone. Maybe you’ve even shut down your account, swearing never to return, only to log back in a week later.

What To Do If You’re Around Blamers and Criticizers

What To Do If You’re Around Blamers and CriticizersChances are you’ve seen and heard an emotional manipulator at work. Perhaps you even live or work with someone who regularly pulls out their blame gun and sprays accusations on everyone but themselves. They get angry and indignant and go on and on about how stupid, ineffective, or lame others are.

Shyness Reduction Techniques: Give Yourself the Gift of Human Interaction

Shyness Reduction Techniques: Give Yourself the Gift of Human InteractionStatistics show that people who live solitary lives don’t live as long as those who enjoy deep and meaningful connections with family and friends. Each step you take to vanquish the fear that is holding you back will add more years to your life, and perhaps, more life to your years.

Taking Inventory of Your Communication and Control Patterns

Taking Inventory of Your Communication and Control PatternsIt’s really important to be able to name your control patterns and fear buttons and accept them as part of the human condition. Each item in the list below describes a behavior. Identifying the behaviors that you exhibit will help you notice when you are using a control pattern. Then you can choose your response rather than reacting automatically.

How Talking To Yourself Can Save Your Marriage

How Talking To Yourself Can Save Your MarriageFor a good marriage, who is the most important person with whom you should be communicating well? If you think it’s your spouse, think again. The most important person to converse with constructively is yourself! You need not try to resolve every situation by talking it over with your partner.

The Great Quest for Truth: Seeing Beyond Appearances

The Great Quest for Truth: Seeing Beyond AppearancesWhat keeps us prisoners of our illusions? Our assumptions—the things we believe are true that really are not. For example, on my way to work during rush hour, a guy in a Lexus speeds by, cuts in front of me, then weaves in and out of traffic at a hundred miles an hour. My first reaction is...

The Secret to Good Relationships is Healthy Boundaries

The Secret to Good Relationships is Healthy BoundariesIf we want to make the world a better place, we need to work on having healthy boundaries! And by this I mean… we understand that I am me and you are you and that each of us has a right to be here and to choose and experience the consequences of all our thoughts, words and actions.

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