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Old 08-17-2009, 03:32 PM
XYZ123 XYZ123 is offline
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Originally Posted by JRiverMartin View Post

(For any who don't already know... I'm a guy. My first name is James. And, yes, I do have a boyfriend.)
Oh my god! You're a guy!? With a boyfriend!? Eww!

(So sorry. I know this isn't useful to the thread but I couldn't resist. )
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:51 PM
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River River is offline
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But not to worry, ladies. I like both flavors.
male, bisexual & biamorous
1 long term male partner of many years.
open to possibilities.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:31 PM
Catfish Catfish is offline
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Thanks for clearing that up, sir.
Concern yourself less with love and more with loving.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:14 AM
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Default Resurrecting this thread

I thought I'd throw this thread back up here because it allows me to show Y-girl how great I am at not replicating threads (:P) and lots and lots of threads have been giving lots of advice to "communicate communicate communicate!"

I thought it would be good to revisit actual practical tools for communication. It's one thing to sit in a room with a partner or friend with the goal of talking things through and communicating, but often that's not quite enough to facilitate effective communication and understanding and many dead horses can get beaten without feeling like progress is being made. Here are some techniques gathered from the meandering experiences of mine and other friends and acquaintances.

The "What's the Worst that Could Happen" Game

One married couple I know plays this game anytime one of them is about to embark on a first date with somebody new. It's kind of their way to deal with whatever fears and insecurities that arise and letting their partner know about those fears without having to set hard boundaries for each other. They begin with the assumption that their partner will make choices that honor the relationship and the needs of their spouse.

They basically tell each other the outcomes they most fear from this date. "I'm afraid that you will find this new person more interesting than me because she does these things I don't." Or "I'm afraid that you'll fall for her very quickly and make choices that make me feel less loved", or "I'm afraid you'll come home drunk". For them, they are allowed to lay any and all fears out there. The other partner is not obligated to do anything other than listen and honor those fears. They say that it does a lot to help keep them aware of their partner's goings on when embarking in a new relationship.

The Switch-Up Debate

I find this pretty effective if there's a conflict going on and people feel like they're just not getting anywhere with the talking. Basically, each person has to switch sides in the conflict. They lay out and debate the conflict from the other person's point of view. Afterwards, you both sit down and resume talking about it from your own point of view, noting what differences in perception there might have been. Generally, it works well to not set the goal of having things resolved by the end of this game. It's more about having more perspective and information and just living with it for a bit before going back into resolving the conflict.

The "This is Me When I'm Upset" tool

One of my friends who's enjoying some lovely NRE did this with her new partner (who also happens to be an old friend of hers) was recognizing that she has very different ways of handling arguments than he does. When he and his wife argue, they sort of do it "Italian Style" with some degree of yelling and brashness, but for them they're completely ok with it and it works well for them. My friend is a bit more introverted and generally feels more disturbed by such conflicts so she will usually want to intervene to make peace. In her partner's eyes, that's the worst choice.

So one day, they sat down together while all calm and happy and just laid out how these things manifest for each other. They both said things like:
  • This is generally what I'm like when I'm upset about something
  • This is generally what I'm like when I feel hurt
  • This is generally what I'm like when I'm angry about something
  • This is generally what I need from you when I'm feeling this way. (I need a day or so of space, or I need you to ask me more detailed questions or I won't be able to articulate it, or I just need a cuddle from you first before we try to resolve it, etc.)

I'll leave it at these three for now. Anybody else have any practical techniques or games or what-not that they use for communication?

Last edited by Ceoli; 11-02-2009 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:44 AM
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rolypoly rolypoly is offline
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OOh Ooh! My kind of thread!

Hands down, bar none, my favorite form of communication is Non-Violent Communication, (NVC). http://nonviolentcommunication.com/

The basic idea is that there are giraffes and jackals.

Our conventional, "you" language, "violent" communication is done with "jackal" ears on. Jackal language includes criticism, blaming, taking things personally...

Giraffes have huge hearts, so it is used to represent the kind of language that comes from our hearts; compassionate, responsible. The basic form of giraffe listening is to hear the needs and feelings behind what people are saying.

Pardon me if I use a relevant, possibly heated example. But, I think it's ideal.

I was new once too and I figured it out, and I'm not THAT smart, but I do know how to type keywords into a search engine.
could be heard, in giraffe language as:

Feelings. I hear frustration and impatience.
Needs. It sounds like she is needing a break from educating new people about things like terminology.

In NVC, it would be expressed as an observation, need, feeling, request. So:

Observation Many new people ask questions that have already been answered.
Feeling I'm feeling frustrated because I would prefer not to sift through these questions in order to post on this board.
Need I need a break from answering questions.
Request I would prefer it if more people used the search function before asking questions.

This is very formulaic, but after trying to adopt this kind of language into my life, it's become a lot less so and more natural. I'm still working on having giraffe ears. I still take things personally and forget to hear needs and requests...

There's more to NVC than this, but this is a good start. I love it because it sorts through all the drama and gets to the point. Which unmet needs are causing the conflict here? It removes blame. (You're no longer a selfish person, rather I have need for attention that is not being met). It places the responsibility square on the lap of each person - to recognize and have their own needs met. To hear what's "clear and present" in the ones they love.

Personally, I get warm fuzzy feelings from hearing my lover tell me what s/he is feeling and needing. It is a gift when someone tells you what they're needing. Their requests are opportunities for me to give them a gift. It is one of the most beautiful ways I can give to my lover. My darling, how can I make it easier for you to meet this imporatant need?

Last edited by rolypoly; 11-02-2009 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:17 AM
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Thanks for including that one, rolypoly! That was a great explanation too. I do love NVC technique. Actually we use that technique quite a bit with children who have autism to help them better understand their feelings and how to express them. What's nice about it is that it encourages you to take responsibility for your own feelings and not defer that responsibility onto another person or partner etc. Thanks again!
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:45 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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thanks for the resurrection.

I don't really remember the names of stuff, but I do remember taking non-violent communication a million times for work and with my husband before we married.. among other workshops... I work with people with developmental disabilities (needless to say if I hear the term "retard" used I go crazy!) and we do anything to communicate. including sign, which I don't recommend using with your partners unless you are fluent. LOL

My main aim in communicating is simply to stay as clear as possible, keep it as simple as possible and say it like it is with as much tact as I can muster. All the while staying in tune with what is going on with me in my body and mind... I spend a lot of time staying in tune with myself for this reason... I can get on things quickly that way.

I find all too often people skirt around issues because of fear. Feel the fear and communicate anyways I say. The quicker a situation, feeling, whatever is gotten to the better. If things are dealt with right away they don't build and don't turn into something they aren't.

I also like to tell people what I like to hear from them. I do this with everyone... if I do something extra I will jokingly tell people that I want them to thank me. I do this BEFORE I get resentful that no one has noticed. That way I hardly ever resent anyone and hardly ever feel unappreciated.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:12 PM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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Originally Posted by Ceoli View Post
I thought I'd throw this thread back up here because it allows me to show Y-girl how great I am at not replicating threads (:P)
Impressive, Padawan! No more training do you require. Already know you that which you need.
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:09 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Default As requested by Ceoli :)

Believe me-for as obnoxious as it might sound-it freaking works. After 11 years together-we suddenly found happy doing this. And I do mean SUDDENLY-the DAY we started doing the step I outline below our whole life changed. I'm sharing it here as Ceoli asked me to after I shared some of it on another thread.

IF you want a RELATIONSHIP you have to COMMUNICATE.

Not talk.


Name calling, yelling, walking out, these aren't helpful in communicating.

Slow down!


For example, YOUR take on safe sex.

You say ONE sentence, he repeats it back in HIS OWN WORDS "If I understand you correctly you are saying _____. Is that correct?"
If so you say yes. JUST YES.
Then he can ask "is there anything else.

You get THREE sentences. THAT IS IT.

Then it's his turn and you do the SAME THING.

Once he gets his three you switch again.

KEEP GOING until you BOTH understand each other's point of view.

THEN GO HOME and digest it.

[This step is easily skipped-BAD IDEA!!!! Each step was designed for it's ability to benefit YOU and YOUR relationship. Don't waste time by skipping around-the steps work TOGETHER.]

THEN come back and do it again about dealing with it.


"I don't feel I can have a sexual relationship with you because I don't feel safe with your terms for safe sex".

"If I understand you correctly you aren't feeling safe and therefore you want to stop having sexual relationshions with me. Is this correct?"


"Anything else?" [no sarcasm, be sincerely interested]

"Yes I love you very much and I want to be friends but I don't know how to change the dynamic of our relationship without hurting you/me."

"If I understand you correctly you love me and even though you don't feel safe enough to have sex with me you want to remain friends but aren't sure how to get from where we are to being friends without causing damage. Is that correct?"


"Is there more?"

"I am scared that you don't love me as much as I love you and therefore you won't care about how important it is to me to have you in my life."

"If I understand you correctly you are afraid I don't love you enough to work through this with you so we can remain friends. Is this correct?"


"Ok so to paraphrase, you love me and want to keep me as an important part of your life but you aren't able to feel safe having sex with me due to my choices in regards to safe sex. This makes you feel hurt, frightened and disappointed. I can understand why. I would feel hurt if I thought you didn't love me as much as I love you and I feel frightened just thinking that there is a chance we can't find a way to remain friends at the very least. I imagine it's disappointing to you to think I wouldn't care about these things like you do."

At this point nothing has been "solved" but a connection has been made with your partner and understanding has been achieved about what the issue REALLY IS for your partner.

Now you switch and maybe it goes like this...
"Love As Thou Wilt"
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Old 11-11-2009, 04:23 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Default Now maybe part II goes like this...

"I feel like you don't trust me to ensure that I use safe (enough) sex practices with my other partners."

"If I understand you correctly you feel like I don't trust in your safe sex practices. Is that correct?"


"Is there more?"

"I feel like I'm using the best option I know of but that's not good enough for you."

"If I understand you correctly you believe you are using the safest practice available. Is that correct?"


"Is there anything else?"

"I wish if you had better ideas you would share them with me so that could take them into consideration because I love you and I respect your opinions."

"If I understand you correctly you love me and respect me and want me to share my ideas for safe sex so that you can decide if they are agreeable to you. Is that correct?"


"So to paraphrase, You feel like I don't trust your safe sex practices, you think you are using the best options available but are interested in hearing any other ideas I have so that you can consider them as possibilities because you love me and respect my opinion. This must make you feel hurt and discouraged thinking that I don't trust you, frustrated that I might be keeping from you a solution that would be agreeable to both of us and disappointed that I seem to not approve of you even though you are trying so hard. I can understand that because I would feel the same way if I thought you didn't trust me or approve of me and thought you were keeping solutions from me that could help us. I'm going to go home and think about this conversation. I think we can find an amicable solution. Can we talk again tomorrow about it?"

THIS is the point where you GO HOME and THINK about it.

Then come back tomorrow with ideas and DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

Our counselor says all the time
"Connect before correct"

Connect-make sure you understand, then correct misunderstandings so you can make adjustments and finally you can make EDUCATED decisions about what to do in order to ensure you meet all parties needs.
"Love As Thou Wilt"
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communication, compersion, privacy, talking

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