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Newsletter Vol. #70 Thats how I see it!

Once again, would those folks who received a free copy of my newest book, Communication & Relationships and who said they would do a review or write a testimonial about the book, please forward their work to me at danrosin@drcounselling.com or call me at 204-299-9399.

Communication And Relationships,  Review of p.6



Communication Skills

Almost every day I see people in my practice who are "warring" because they do not understand that differences of opinion are healthy, quite understandable, and inevitable in a relationship. They get sidetracked because they don't know, or refuse to use what they do know in dealing with conflict. Perhaps, if they would learn to put into practice effective communication skills, they would have a chance of creating more positive outcomes in their interactions.

Remember, the goal of effective communication is mutual understanding- not necessarily agreement- and finding solutions that both parties can live with. Respect both your own and your partner's differences, and show that respect by "really" listening to your partner.

I appreciate the research done by Elizabeth Scott on this topic and here are a few of her tips on communication (with a few Rosin additions):


1. Stay Focused: Sometimes it's tempting to bring up past seemingly related conflicts when dealing with current ones. Unfortunately, this often clouds the issue and makes finding mutual understanding and a solution to the current issue less likely. It makes the whole discussion more taxing and even confusing. Try not to bring up past hurts or other topics. Stay focused on the present, your feelings, understanding one another, and finding a solution.

2. Listen Carefully: People often think they're listening, but are really thinking about what they're going to say next when the other person stops talking. Truly effective communication goes both ways. While it might be difficult, try really listening to what your partner is saying. Don't interrupt. Don't get defensive. Just hear them and reflect back to them what they're saying so they know you've heard. Then you'll understand them better and they'll be more willing to listen to you.
 
3.Try to See Their Point of View: In a conflict, most of us primarily want to feel heard and understood. We talk a lot about our point of view to get the other person to see things our way. Ironically, if we all do this all the time, there's little focus on the other person's point of view, and nobody feels understood. Try to really see the other side, and then you can better explain yours. (If you don't 'get it', ask more questions until you do.) Others will more likely be willing to listen if they feel heard.

4. Respond to Criticism with Empathy: When someone comes at you with criticism, it's easy to feel that they're wrong, and get defensive. While criticism is hard to hear, and often exaggerated or coloured by the other person's emotions, it's important to listen for the other person's pain and respond with empathy for their feelings. Also, look for what's true in what they're saying; that can be valuable information for you.

5. Own What's Yours: Realize that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Effective communication involves admitting when you're wrong. If you both share some responsibility in a conflict (which is usually the case), look for and admit to what's yours. It diffuses the situation, sets a good example, and shows maturity. It also often inspires the other person to respond in kind, leading you both closer to mutual understanding and a solution.

6. Use "I" Messages: Rather than saying things like, "You really messed up here," begin statements with "I", and make them about yourself and your feelings, like, "I feel frustrated when this happens." It's less accusatory, sparks less defensiveness, and helps the other person understand your point of view rather than feeling attacked.

7. Look for Compromise: Instead of trying to 'win' the argument, look for solutions that meet everybody's needs either through compromise, or through a new solution that gives you both what you want most. This focus is much more effective than one person getting what they want at the other's expense. Healthy communication involves finding a resolution that both sides can be happy with.

8. Take a Time-Out: Sometimes tempers get heated and it's just too difficult to continue a discussion without it becoming an argument or a fight. If you feel yourself or your partner starting to get too angry to be constructive, or showing some destructive communication patterns, it's okay to take a break from the discussion until you both cool off. Sometimes good communication means knowing when to take a break.

9. Don't Give Up: While taking a break from the discussion is sometimes a good idea, always come back to it. If you both approach the situation with a constructive attitude, mutual respect, and a willingness to see the other's point of view or at least find a solution, you can make progress toward the goal of a
resolution to the conflict. Unless it's time to give up on the relationship, don't give up on communication.

10. Ask for Help if You Need It: If one or both of you has trouble staying respectful during conflict, or if you've tried resolving conflict with your partner on your own and the situation just doesn't seem to be improving, you might benefit from a few sessions with a therapist. Couples counselling or family therapy can provide help with altercations and teach skills to resolve future conflict. If your partner doesn't want to go, you can still benefit from going alone.


Tips

1. Remember that the goal of effective communication skills should be mutual understanding and finding a solution that pleases both parties, not "winning" the argument or "being right".

2. This doesn't work in every situation, but sometimes (if you are having a conflict in a romantic relationship), it can help to hold hands to stay physically connected as you talk. This can remind you that you still care about each other and generally support one another.

3. Keep in mind that it's important to remain respectful of the other person, even if you don't agree with their actions or thoughts.


Did you know?

That the average human brain weighs about 3.3 pounds, which is about 2% of a human's body weight. The cerebrum makes up 85% of its weight. The brain has 86 billion nerve cells, and contains billions of nerve fibres.


Placebo Power

I was reading this article on the power of the placebo effect. I was in a semi--awake, nothing earth shaking here, I've heard it all before kind of state: a study by the German Medical Association, revealed half of German doctors prescribe placebos- including vitamin pills and homeopathic remedies- and that they were effective in treating minor maladies such as an upset stomach. Further, a study from Erasmus University in the Netherlands found placebos effectively treated migraines in 36 per cent of participants.

I became somewhat more alert as I read, 20 per cent of Canadian medical school doctors prescribed placebos. Now that I found that very interesting and became fully awake and focused when I read that more than 35 per cent of psychiatrists prescribed medications in "subtherapeutic" doses, or below the minimal recommended therapeutic level. Now, I'm not only fully awake, but also most interested in what psychologist Irving Kirsch found. He examined 42 FDA reviews of the six most widely used antidepressant drugs and discovered placebos to be 82 per cent as effective.

What! Placebos were 82 per cent as effective as the six most recommended antidepressant drugs? My mind was full of questions. Does this mean that drugs are not nearly as effective as we have been told they are in the treating of depression? Wow! For a great many people a sugar pill could do the job without all the side effects.

I am not sure how placebos will be used in the future in the treatment of depression and many other conditions now treated with pills but it is interesting to have reinforced how powerful the mind can be in the healing of one's body.


Did you know?

When our brain isn't sleep-deprived, it turns down our appetite. In fact, get eight hours of sleep, and production of the hunger-killing hormone Leptin will increase 15%, while the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin drops 15%. And we'll stop craving junk food, too! A University of Chicago team found well-rested volunteers wanted 33% to 45% fewer sweets, salty snacks and starches than sleepy ones. Why? When we're well rested, our brains don't send us in search of low-fibre, calorie-dense nibbles that can be quickly converted to energy.

Getting eight hours of sleep nightly can burn up to 40% more calories than when fatigued.


Communication And Relationships, -Testimonial

This book is a suitable companion and follow-up to Rosin's first book, "I can have fun on a week night!" which was published in 2002. His wide experience as a teacher and as a counsellor provides him with many insights into human behaviour and coping mechanisms.

The book is organized into many clearly categorized segments, which enable the reader to digest it in limited doses or to pick and choose the issues according to interest and need. When starting the book, the reader is made aware of the writer's avowed purpose and instructions, and he or she gets the feeling that a conversation is about to begin, one with a very sensitive and intelligent individual. The wide experience and personal anecdotes re?ect the author's fascination with the wide range of people's personalities and characters, and it is more than interest: it is caring. Rosin carefully and deftly illustrates how a successful teacher is a perpetual learner.
 
It is formatted like a handbook and the extensive "Contents" precludes the need for an index. It is designed for the modern age, concise, with intensive sound bites, a Google hit that's just what the searcher wants: the perfect tool for someone whose computer is within arm's reach. The use of Venn diagrams, charts, different types of type and summary statements appeals to many readers/ learners whose mode of learning is more visual. At the same time, the conversational tone will be comforting to the reader who is more inclined to the auditory mode of learning.  If one is inclined to write in books, which I was never allowed to do, then there is ample space to do so to add one's own insights and the book size will never create a problem as it sits on one's bedside table for ready reference.

Self-help books are wonderful but the people who should be reading them generally do not feel very compelled to read them.  It is more for those who have to cope with the foregoing. The thesis of Rosin's treatise is that we create our lives in our minds and it is up to us find coping mechanisms and inner peace through our control of our own feelings and logic. Rosin helps us see the world from the point of view of the other guy and as such is an invaluable tool as we wind our way through the web of life.  Ed


Readers response

Your research is appreciated (#69)
Very good capsules of vital information and advice.


DRIVING
 Two elderly women were out driving in a large car - both
could barely see over the dashboard. As they were cruising
along, they came to an intersection. The stoplight was red,
but they just went on through. The woman in the passenger
seat thought to herself 'I must be losing it. I could
have sworn we just went Through a red light.'
 After a few more minutes, they came to another intersection
and the light was red. Again, they went right through. The
woman in the passenger seat was almost sure that the light
had been red but was really concerned that she was losing
it. She was getting nervous.
At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was red
and they went on through. So, She turned to the other woman
and said, 'Mildred, did you know that we just ran
through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us
both!'
 Mildred turned to her and said, 'Oh, crap, am I driving?


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Have a great week!

 

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