Intimate Communication



Intimate communication is a two-way street.  Not only

must you listen in a way that makes your partner want to talk

to you, you must also talk in a way that makes your partner

want to listen.  Otherwise your conversation may reach a


Of course, you want to be true to yourself and tell it

like you see it.  It will help if you keep your partner’s

needs in mind as well.  And then there are the needs of your

relationship.  For the exchange to be really successful you

must serve the needs of all involved including yourself, your

partner and your togetherness.  Here are ten tips:

1.  Show that you understand your partner’s viewpoint

before you express your own.  Try to do

this without being either presumptuous or


2.  Be the world’s leading authority on everything you

say, i.e., talk about yourself, what you think, feel

and perceive.  That way you never have to argue

about the “facts”.  Be subjective.

3.  State your feelings clearly if they’re relevant to

the issue.  Remember, feelings are emotions, not

judgments or assessments.

4.  As early as possible, state the positive assumptions

and expectations you have about your partner which

are relevant to the issue at hand.

5.  If you want your partner to change, be specific and

talk about their behavior, not their attitude,

motivation or character.  Avoid generalizations like

“always” and “never”.

6.  Ask for what you want, clearly and without malice.

You have the right to ask for anything but that

doesn’t mean you’re going to get it.  If you do, it

will be a gift, not an obligation.

7.  Keep it simple.  Don’t dump all your opinions and

requests on the table at once.  Avoid overwhelming

your partner and it will be easier for them to


8.  Don’t delay addressing issues.  Deal with things as

they arise.  That way, you avoid a backlog of gripes

as well as the fear, frustration and anger that tend

to build up around unexpressed feelings and

requests.  Fear and anger are the enemies of good


9.  Do not try to communicate when you’re feeling out of

control.  Instead, wait until your emotions subside

a little so that you can communicate clearly and

without threat or hostility.

10.  Once you’ve communicated your feelings, try to be as

positive as possible.  People tend to get defensive

when they feel attacked.  To avoid this, talk about

yourself and your hopes and expectations for a positive

result from your conversation.


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