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  #11  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
I still struggle with determining IF this is the right time for bringing up something negative (Do we have the time and, if needed, privacy to deal with this right now? Do they have the emotional resources to deal with this right now?

Thank you so much. That is exactly what goes through my mind, and trying to balance the need for communication against their ability to absorb and cope with a stressful issue.
Sometimes it seems as though relieving your own stress by adding to someone else's burden is sheer selfishness instead of maturity. I've lost count of how many posts I've read here about how someone is sturggling because their partner told them a truth about the relationship that they didn't want to hear.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2013, 11:45 PM
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I occasionally use that phrase with the 5 year old. Becuase she gets on a whiney complaint train that is just about complaining.

On the other hand-our general rule at home is like galagirl said, time and place.
There is a time and place (and method) for addressing and discussing topics that aren't "happy/friendly/nice" etc.

There is a book called nonviolent communication.
ALso-check your local college for a class on "interpersonal communication" and see what they list as the curriculum. You may find they have a book or two on the topic. You can usually find those books at Amazon.
Also-Barnes and NOble tends to carry a lot of books that are "educational" so if you go to their website and type in communication or some such-you may find some things. Also-you can go to their stores and ask them where they would have something like that.

I find that using the word "interpersonal" in front of communication tends to help get to what is useful in search engines. And the business models are OFTEN VERY helpful!
They do a great job promoting communication in the classes aimed for employees.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:52 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Is your relationship to your girlfriend a one-sided one? Like patient-caregiver?

Because with my Alzheimer dad, that's part of the deal now. One sided. He CANNOT handle certain things and cope. And to expect him to is not realistic. As caregiver mom just no longer expects to have a healthy two-way dynamic. Neither do I.

Another type of needed "one sided" relationship is that of parent-baby. The parents KNOWS they are dealing with another human being who cannot realistically be expected to play ball in a health two-way-street thing because the child is underage... maybe not even able to talk at all yet.

If your relationship is moving to you in caregiver role -- expecting things to get to the one-sided place because your patient is losing skills? It's a hard row to hoe. But there are support groups for caregivers to help deal with caregiver burn out and caregivers getting their own needs met.

If your patient is capable though... the more normal interaction the better.

GG
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2013, 12:51 AM
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My partner's health condition is one of those frustrating ones that swings between flare-ups, where she is very ill and can lose coping skills due to severe malnutrition causing cloudy thinking, and remissions where she can expect a virtually normal quality of life, with just diet restrictions and meds.
It did suddenly occur to me that our being here (if she was always ill) would have looked a bit bizarre.
I have been doing that reading about non-violent communication. It looks very promising, and I will find a way to learn these skills.
Thanks to everyone who reached out to me on this thread and gave me such valuable food for thought. You guys are awesome.
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:09 AM
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I've always known that phrase, but mostly thanks to Bambi. I think the movie does a good job of demonstrating the kinds of situations it's really meant for: don't say something mean if it there's no good reason.

There are ways to tell someone something negative while still "being nice." For example, last night my husband and I were out at a lounge with two of his work buddies (railroaders, so 3 "typical guys" and me). I don't know what got into him, but his behaviour was deplorable. I won't get into details, but I was starting to wonder if I'd sat down next to the wrong husband.

We had some words after. I was pissed off and I didn't take the time to calm down and formulate my complaints in a compassionate or constructive way. I got in the car and said "OK, you were acting like a real ass in there" and proceeded to list the things he had said and done.

I'm not happy with how I presented it. Oh, make no mistake, I said what needed to be said. But afterwards, he was completely dejected and felt like a failure as a human being. That was not my intention, and in hindsight, I wish I'd focused on my feelings and his behaviour rather than reverting to juvenile name calling. He puts a lot of stock in what I say, so "You were being an ass because of this and this and this" made him feel like he is an ass. But he's not, he was just behaving like one.

So the point is... being nice is not always about the content of what you say, but the delivery. There are ways to be "nice" and still say what needs to be said.
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Last edited by SchrodingersCat; 01-28-2013 at 02:15 AM.
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  #16  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
My partner's health condition is one of those frustrating ones that swings between flare-ups, where she is very ill and can lose coping skills due to severe malnutrition causing cloudy thinking, and remissions where she can expect a virtually normal quality of life, with just diet restrictions and meds.
Then perhaps NVC could help reduce the "volume" some when she is in a "bad phase" of her condition. And when she is in a "good phase" of her condition it can help reinforce to her that you are NOT out to get her, you will treat her with the same, kind but firm manner?

If she is capable, perhaps she can learn NVC skills too? Perhaps learning together could also help bond you better?

I don't know if there's anything local for you both in terms of "dealing with chronic patient" stuff. As the patient or the caregiver -- we get classes like that posted in our library and hospital so... maybe check those out where you live? Extra support couldn't hurt.

Galagirl
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  #17  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by StudentofLife View Post
I've lost count of how many posts I've read here about how someone is sturggling because their partner told them a truth about the relationship that they didn't want to hear.
I'm wondering if you perceive a difference in things one might not want to hear, and things one needs to hear even while not wanting to.

I don't want to hear that my paycheck is being reduced, but I need to know so that I don't go buy a car before that happens. It would cause me a great deal of stress to have my paycheck reduced; it would cause MORE stress to hear it later, rather than sooner.
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  #18  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by StudentofLife View Post
My question is how can someone learn these communication skills necessary to have the types of relationships a lot of you have?
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Originally Posted by StudentofLife View Post
Today I tried to communicate something to someone I love, something I knew would upset them, something "Not Nice". It's taken me a year and a half to be able to even bring the topic up.
I'm wondering how that went for you? Was it a good conversation? I take she didn't flee, nor collapse, nor break up...yes?

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Originally Posted by StudentofLife View Post
Where did you learn to communicate? 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?
Why yes, I have. I so appreciate the question! I get really frustrated, because almost all the people in my life now, did not know me when I was really nutty. Most of them don't believe I was ever that dysfunctional.

My conditioning was not quite as oppressive as yours; but my family was seriously fucked up. I was molested by family members and strangers for years. My parents were obsessively involved with each other, I had one therapist say she thought I suffered from what is called benign neglect. I had food, and clothing, and shelter, but not so much nurturance. I spent way too much time alone in my room. (I was an only child, until they divorced and married other people with children)

Somehow, I got the idea in my head that other people were happy (and functional) and that if I could just figure out what they knew, then I could be happy too.

So I did every thing I could get my hands on to help. I did free workshops. I did therapy when I could afford it. I read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I did fellowships. I talked to strangers until I was tired of telling my stories (and that took a long damn time) Literally, anything that sounded like it might help, I did it. NLP, rebirthing, massage, rolfing, Esalen, meditation, internet (once that came along - my first support group was newsgroups in tin), I'm sure there are more.

And eventually, I got better. And then some more, and then some more. I'm not all better, I'm certainly not fixed. But I've mostly stopped seeing myself as broken.


I'm also wondering if something that might be useful to you would be ... crap, I don't know what it's called. The therapy that helps you learn to tolerate anxiety in small bits. desensitization, that's it. It can help you learn to tolerate your own anxiety, and other's anxieties.

I'm encouraged to see you undertaking this journey!
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Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
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with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
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  #19  
Old 02-04-2013, 06:53 AM
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[QUOTE=NovemberRain;182543]I'm wondering if you perceive a difference in things one might not want to hear, and things one needs to hear even while not wanting to.

Yes, I believe I can grasp the difference.

1. "There was a huge-ass gross spider on your chair an hour ago, and it probably left spidercooties right where your hand is."

2. "There is a huge-ass gross spider on the back of your chair, RIGHT NOW, get up, run! Run!!
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  #20  
Old 02-04-2013, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
I'm wondering how that went for you? Was it a good conversation? I take she didn't flee, nor collapse, nor break up...yes?

Somehow, I got the idea in my head that other people were happy (and functional) and that if I could just figure out what they knew, then I could be happy too.

I'm also wondering if something that might be useful to you would be ... crap, I don't know what it's called. The therapy that helps you learn to tolerate anxiety in small bits. desensitization, that's it. It can help you learn to tolerate your own anxiety, and other's anxieties.

I'm encouraged to see you undertaking this journey!


Thank you for checking in with me, that's kind of you. Our conversations went extremely well. There were some tears at first, and concerns, but we stuck with it, and after several long talks, everything is really good. The fact that she is moving into remission really does help, as well.


"If I could just figure out what they knew..."
That does sum it up brilliantly. Perhaps for people with families which never saw communication as a needed or desired life skill, it does seem like arcane knowledge. It's something to aspire to, like speaking Italian, but not something that seems quite realistic for yourself unless a lot of work is done.

I agree with you about therapy. We did enjoy some progress, our first talk was only 15 minutes long. By the end, we were talking for 2-3 hours at a time about things which seemed impossible a couple of weeks ago. The stress level definately dropped with each conversation.
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