I-Statements

I-Statements are probably the best known, most effective and least properly used technique for improving communication, resolving conflict, and setting boundaries. They usually are composed of 3 parts: 1) When you _____, (Report a concrete observation of the other person’s behavior.)2) I feel_________. (Report on how the other person’s behavior makes you feel.)3) In the future, please_________. (Make a request.) Dos Do report the other person’s behavior concretely, without characterization or judgment. Do report how you feel accurately and without judgment. Do make a specific request that is realistic, time-bound, concrete and doable Don’ts Don’t exaggerate, use sarcasm, irony, innuendo,…

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Preventing Pre-Wedding Family Freak-Out

The thought of a wedding usually brings pictures of joyous couples exchanging vows, mothers joyously weeping into lace handkerchiefs and the couple happily exiting in a shower of rice. However, before the first invitation gets printed, I have seen many brides in my office sobbing hysterically, feeling torn apart by the demands of opposing mothers, fiancés, siblings and friends. Both large questions like: Is a priest or minister going to marry us? Who should we invite? Who gets left out? And seemingly small details like the texture of your table place card paper stock can trigger emotional reactions from family…

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OK Cupid. Drop That Arrow and Move Away From Your Bow.

Valentines Day is here and I was particularly struck by how virulent our distrust of romance, relationships and marriage has become. I recently came across an article by Eric Bartels of the Portland Tribune that really captured the ambivalence that our society has regarding marriage. And, he tentatively quotes local sociologist Johanna Brenner regarding some of the relatively good news about marriage. One of the things that caught my eye was that people are waiting longer to get into marriage, they cohabit more outside of marriage and that the divorce rate has leveled out over the last 20 years. Unfortunately,…

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