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Old 01-26-2013, 04:33 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,277

"If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all."
The word "nice" also means "accurate." Most people go with the definition of "nice" that is "pleasant" or "agreeable." But the word "nice" here to me is for "accurate" -- accuracy in your manners.

So this phrase used as a reminder to others on their manners -- is about "time and place." More specifically, THE HOW and WHEN of your communication. Not the TOPIC of conversation. More like...

"If you can't say anything accurate for this time/place don't say anything at all."
"Is this the time? Is this the place?" I use with my kid rather than "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all" because I find that is clearer for her as she learns her manners skills in childhood.

I do not want to shut her up and not have any communication at all. That will not serve her as an adult. But, time and place matters. So... just PAUSE it there, kid. If at this time you cannot contribute accurately to the conversation (ex: kid stuff smack in the middle of big adult conversation about mortgages) hold on, and we'll get to yours in a bit. (She struggles with interruptions right now too -- waiting for the moment to add to conversation. Young kid.)

There are times where difficult topics MUST be broached. You cannot ignore the times where it is time to apply conflict resolution skills. Ignoring things that need addressing is not "nice-accurate." Ignoring things can lead to bigger problems!

My question is how can someone learn these communication skills necessary to have the types of relationships a lot of you have?
Communicate with people and learn what works and doesn't work from direct experience/observation. Take a class, read books.

I think I communicate well with my real life people but I'm still taking a local Non-violent communication class with spouse.

Could look up communication things online -- here is one example. Sometimes business models, while geared toward business communication sometimes really spell it out well. Communication styles, the verbal, the paraverbal, etc.

I spent hours yesterday looking for something that functions like this forum but is dedicated to the topic of communication in relationships. I didn't find anything that looked like it would help. Does such a forum exist?
Yes. I don't know about other systems but there's lots for NVC.

Where did you learn to communicate?
At home. While my parents did not have all the skills to teach and they were not great at conflict resolution skills, they did teach manners, ettiquette, polite conversation, etc.

Then more in real life. Certainly at college -- it was required to take at least the one oral communications class for GE's.

Then more in personal growth stuff -- books, classes, etc.

Have any of you had to overcome entire lifetimes of conditioning in order to have the type of love in your life that you want?
Not my experience. At least not to that implied degree.

My own home life didn't cut off all communication. It wasn't perfect and it isn't how I raise my own kid -- but neither was it like yours sounds.

Part of growing older is to reconcile the believes and teachings of childhood with the beliefs of adulthood. We all come with our peculiar mixture of "baggage" -- nobody is baggage free. But taking the time to reflect and sort and cast off things that no longer serve one well -- beliefs, habits, attitudes, etc -- helps one travel light in Life's Journey.


Last edited by GalaGirl; 01-26-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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