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Posted on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 : 6 a.m.

The top three communication no-nos

By Chris Wucherer

Have you ever had conversations that sound like gobbledygook?

Despite good intentions, communication can go down a slippery slope to nowhere fast, so far off the beaten path of the original intention of the point of the converstion that heads are spinning.

Here are the top three communication rules to keep your communication from sounding like gibberish:

1. Never have an important communication when you are emotionally flooded. When you are overwhelmed with strong feelings, the prefrontal cortex of your brain, where logic and reason lies, is not functioning, so the primitive part of your brain is in charge. When this happens you may say and do things you will later regret.

A good way to break emotional flooding is to do something physical like go for a walk or lift something heavy.

2. Never use the word 'you', such as "You ran late again and made me late..." or "You let me down," because the other person always get defensive. It's a natural human reaction to defend and protect the self. So avoid this nasty little trip down unproductive and frustrating conversation lane and stay focused on your needs, wants, feelings.

Use the word "I" to communicate heartfelt "I" statements such as, "I want to find a way to coordinate when I am picked up. It's important to me to be picked up on time so I can get on with the rest of my day."

This tried and true method of communication works like a charm. Speaking your truth from an I-centered position will bring you closer to understanding and resoulution. It's hard to argue with someone's feelings.

3. Never talk in absolutes like "You always" or "I never." Relationship communication is tricky and the most important and satisfying conversations happen in the in-between gray areas of 'all' or 'never.' Life is not a black and white experience; shades of gray give great depth and connection to communication.

What communication tools do you find most helpful? What kinds of conversations are most tricky for you?

Positive communication is great for saner living!

Chris Wucherer is a life coach, business coach and psychotherapist with 28 years of experience helping people create saner lives. She writes a blog and has a website. You can reach her at 734-669-7202 or by email.

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