Human Connections Counseling Services, Mark Felber, Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor, Certified Experiential Therapist, Plano, Texas, 214-796-2323
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Two Basic Intentions Observed When Communicating

N.B.Conflict only exists when one or both partners feel misunderstood.

By contrast, when partners feel mutually understood, their differences don't trigger conflict.

1. TO UNDERSTAND AND TO LEARN (OPEN)

  • I intend to really listen to you, to understand your point of view.
  • I want you to know I'm bringing up this subject because I care about you and our relationship.
  • I am committed to making this dialogue safe for both of us.
  • It is my intention to get to a good place where we feel connected and close.
  • I really want to find a win/win solution for us.
  • I want you to know in this dialogue that I am on your side.
  • I commit myself to listening to you with an open heart and mind.

2. TO PROTECT, DEFEND, AND ATTACK (CLOSED)

Polarization involves a certain sequence of beliefs:

  • I feel misunderstood by you.
  • My needs are not being met by you.
  • You do not want to meet my needs. You don't care about me.
  • I see you as hostile and malicious.
  • I can't be me and be loved by you. You do not see or hear me and you do not want to see or hear me.
  • Whatever I do for you isn't appreciated or is never good enough.
  • Why should I be in this relationship at all?

Adapted from article by Bruce Wood, Imago Dialogue, Spring 1998.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     


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