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.
While the occurrence of sexist harassment online is well documented, we less often consider what might be driving this behavior
During negotiations, high-intensity anger elicits smaller concessions than moderate-intensity anger, a new study suggests.
People who think their knowledge and beliefs are superior to others are especially prone to overestimating what they actually know, new research suggests.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Our facial expressions stem primarily from what we want out of social interactions, not our feelings, new research suggests.
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...
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...
This sentence begins the best article you will ever read. Chances are you thought that last statement might be sarcasm
In old age, many people experience a decline in their physical health, which can mean they are less confident about getting around and socialising as they used to.
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.
When people are sad they are often said to be “blue”. Jealousy is implied if someone is described as being “green with envy”.
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.
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.
I 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...
One of the reasons we often don't speak out is that we feel hopeless about being heard. It's probably true that you haven't been heard in the past — by your parents, siblings, spouses, or friends — and so, there's a part of you that says...
Do 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).
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.
There'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."
Sometimes, 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.
How does the mainstream Western research approach, characterized by the laboratory experiment, compare with an Indigenous approach? Danny Musqua, the Anishnabeq elder who is my spiritual father, tells a story about his Indigenous research effort.
American 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”.
People discuss their problems with friends in the hope that they’ll gain some insight into how to solve them. How problems are discussed, though, can be the difference between halving a problem or doubling it.
Can you be bold to love the world? Can you put your love for the world first? When you do, when it’s the real thing, you discover that “you” is not really “I,” it is “we.” Such a fundamental identity shift is disruptive and liberating.
Parents 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.
I 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.
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.
While we often hear about the negative impact social media has on children, the use of sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is not a one-size-fits-all activity.
Fraud investigators have warned that people are being targeted by scammers who persuade them to invest their pensions in self-storage units.
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.
What 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!
Part 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.
With just a little practice, you'll be able to recognize the emotions underlying other people's demeanor, words, and actions. And rather than getting sucked into a knee-jerk reaction to their abrupt tone, negativity, or finger-pointing tirade, you can get to the heart of the matter and extend a communication "bridge."
Why are our eyes so expressive? It started as a universal reaction to environmental stimuli, new research suggests, and evolved to communicate emotion.
In 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.
All 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...
To 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.
Standard advice about preparing for disasters focuses on building shelters and stockpiling things like food, water and batteries. But resilience - the ability to recover from shocks, including natural disasters - comes from our connections to others.
Many 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...
Most of us dread dealing with them, but call centres are hard to avoid as an increasingly ubiquitous aspect of modern life.
Politicians 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.
We can start difficult conversations by speaking from the heart and sharing our wish for a world where everyone is safe and free.
The 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.
Centuries ago, hearing voices in one’s head was thought to be a sign of communication with God – and if not that, then with the devil.
Doctors don’t just “get over” rude treatment from patients, research suggests. In simulations with an angry parent, the performance of pediatricians suffered dramatically.
There 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...
People worldwide love 😂, except the French, who prefer ❤️, according to a new study of global emoji usage.
It’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”...
Donald 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?
What do you do when you get a gift you really don’t want? Do you frown and give the game away or do you feign enthusiasm? And is there a secret to buying the right gift?
Empathy guides us in the accurate understanding of situations and relationships. When we live with empathy, we realize that it is a kind of virtual reality: we put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, absorbing her experience...
Around this time of year, we all hear friends and acquaintances voicing dread about their upcoming family visits. From the sister-in-law who can't stop offering advice about how to raise your children to a father who has something negative to say about almost anything.
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.
“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.
Put-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...
Three years ago, on the 18th of November, 2013, the Oxford English Dictionary named the term “selfie” as their Word of the Year.
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...
As 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.
Assess 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...
As 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.
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.
Almost 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.
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...
To 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 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.
At 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.
We 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 ...
When 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...
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.
Just like Colorado aspens or giant California redwoods need each other for support and to survive, so do people. Science now substantiates what we intuitively know: It feels good to be part of a team effort. When you have a shared goal you can go to greater heights of creativity and success.
Traditional 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.”
Someone 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...
If 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.
Many of our "life lessons" come to us through what we might usually call a "negative" experience, or possibly a "negative" person in our life. However, the addition of the term negative to any person or situation is simply a perception, or a judgment, on our part.
Chances 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.
Statistics 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.
It’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.
For 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.
What 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...
If 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.
I don’t believe we ever “master” the art of learning to communicate effectively. But we do get more skilled at witnessing ourselves and making new choices. One note of caution: Speaking your truth does not mean you always say everything you are thinking.
We asked psychologists, user experience designers, and writers what web users could to do to promote more empathic interaction in online places. Here's what they said...
If your family interactions are tattering your soul, you cannot afford to indulge them. You may need to step away for now. Hopefully at some point you can reconnect on higher ground. For now, you must...
“What’s wrong?” “Nothing.” How many times have you had this conversation? Something is obviously wrong, but it is not being acknowledged. Hiding places do not work in healthy relationships. Never have. Never will.
I was raised with the concept of "white lies". Here's how I understood it. There were two kinds of lies: the bad, real serious lies (the ones you might go to hell for), and then there were the lies which were more or less "OK", the white lies. Those were...
Asserting yourself may not come as naturally to you as it does to others. I know, I know. You're saying it's not that simple to do, especially when emotions are maxed out, the topic is super-sensitive, and you're strung out beyond belief...
Our words have a tremendous power to bring healing and strength to another person or to hurt in a very deep way. We should never underestimate the power we have to use our words for a positive effect on a person’s life or, in some cases, a lasting negative effect. When I was growing up...
Everyone has unique words they need to hear. These words are like a magic sound to their ears, for they have perhaps longed to hear them all of their lives. The important thing in our relationships is to...
You need to be 100% genuine with yourself. If being completely connected and honest with the way you feel about everything sounds stressful to you, then I’m sorry. Sweeping things under the rug is not allowed...
When you ask someone a personal question, do you sit back and listen to their response without any interruptions? Or do you fill in the waiting period with more questions and other talking? Most of us would right away say that we are like the first type of person or at least we want to be. Oddly enough, most people are like the second and don’t realize it.
by Susan Campbell, Ph.D. Honesty does not come naturally to most people, but it is a skill that can be practiced and learned. I feel a deep sadness when I hear people tell me how much they have been hurt in their dating relationships and how this has caused them to approach each new relationship with fear or to give up on relationships altogether.
by Rebecca Z. Shafir, M.A. CCC. 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...
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...