Relationship Essentials: Skills to Feel Heard, Fight Fair, and Set Boundaries in All Areas of Life

Lauren Reitsema and Joneen Mackenzie. New World Library, $17.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-60868-761-9
Mother and daughter team Reitsema (In Their Shoes) and Mackenzie, both with the Center for Relationship Education, provide in this valuable guide to talking things out sensible, easy-to-follow instructions on how to effectively communicate with everyone from toddlers to the elderly. Methods include “AAA” (avoid unnecessary surprises, ask for feedback, affirm understanding); setting ground rules for both speakers and listeners, especially during fraught conversations (key for both: avoid attempting to mind read, and paraphrase what the other person is saying to ensure comprehension); three C’s of communication (context, content, and connection); and simply asking open-ended questions while establishing clear expectations (the lack of which the authors believe are at the center of most misunderstandings and conflicts). For example, when “becoming a parent drastically changes family dynamic,” couples can focus on affirmation rather than blame. The simple fill-in “Forgiveness Formula” alone could save scores of relationships (“I was wrong when I ___________. I recognize that my actions hurt you.... I am truly sorry. I will work hard to try not to ___________ again.”). The commonsense advice assures that conversation partners are both heard and feel respected. It’s a pitch-perfect guide for readers looking to fine-tune their talk. Agent: Chip MacGregor, MacGregor & Luedeke. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/22/2021
Release date: 11/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 168 pages - 978-1-60868-762-6
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