counselling, psychotherapy, life coaching, supervision

The 100% rule for good communication between partners and others

For productive, rewarding (challenging) conversations, try observing this little rule. Warning: It only sounds simple!

Each party to the conversation holds themselves and the other(s) to be 100% responsible for what they do and for what they feel.

Among other things, this rule vetoes my holding someone else responsible for what I do. That would rule out parental or military authority, so there seem to be exceptions. But of course, a parent or a general is not interested in conversation when they are giving orders. Orders are a one-way communication. The rule also vetoes my holding someone else responsible for what I am feeling. Which doesn’t mean that we necessarily shouldn’t feel what we feel, eg. anger, just that what we do with the anger is our responsibility – whether and how we express it or contain it.