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Good Communication Guidelines

Learn to speak for yourself--not for the other: Communicate using "I" statements, (I feel..., I think..., I need..., etc.,), not "you" statements", (You are..., You should..., You don't..., etc.). Everyone has a right to their own experience and beliefs. By freely and equally sharing yourself without imposing yourself on others, others don't feel as inclined to react defensively or to counterattack. Communication can become an open sharing rather than a confrontation or competition.

Learn to acknowledge both the positive and the negative: Both contain valuable information which complete the whole picture and express parts of oneself. Behind apparently "negative" experiences, feelings or thoughts lie unfulfilled needs, dreams and ideals, unrecognized assumptions or hidden feelings. By being open and acknowledging these, we become more conscious and expressive of all that we are. Learn, as well, to appreciate and share the positive in yourself, others and life. This builds bridges of love, gratitude and goodwill, for there is always much to be thankful for.

Learn to listen with openness and acceptance: Realizing that you don't have to like, agree or live up to other's expectations or needs, helps you to be more open to others. Learn to really listen without immediately reacting in your mind. Everyone has some reason for being the way they are. And within every thought there is some element of truth. Explore what lies behind the surface and you will gain understanding and improve relationships.

Learn to resolve conflicts with honest conscious communication: Be straightforward in expressing your position but respectful of other's right to theirs. Share your feelings, needs and expectations with goodwill and others will be more inclined to do likewise. Seek the inevitable commonalties which unite you. By understanding that you want many of the same goals you become more tolerant and accepting of differences in your means to those ends--and more able to come to an agreement to resolve conflicts.

Learn to express more from the heart and feelings in the moment: Learn to live more fully in the moment, expressing directly from the heart and feeling, instead of primarily "talking about" other things. By this we are better able to maintain an intimate connection to others as well as being more real. We may thereby learn to be ourselves and deepen our relationships. Acknowledging feelings, intuitions, dreams and hopes enriches and enlarges ourselves and our relationships.

Learn to take responsibility for your experience: Do not try to blame others for your reactions or feelings. Take your power back which you have given to others. Realize that you have a choice as to what you experience, how you behave and what you think. You are not a victim. You can choose how to interpret what you experience and how you will respond in a way that acknowledges your power.