Rules For Good Communication

  1. Discuss present concerns: Practice not bringing up events from the past — especially past faults or problems in your partner — and practice focusing in on immediate/present concerns.
  2. Propose solutions: If you bring up a problem, you must also propose a possible solution. If the other party rejects your solution, that party must propose their own alternative solution.
  3. Speak respectfully: Practice speaking respectfully to your partner — e.g., no put-downs, no snide remarks, no character assassinations.
  4. Be factual: Practice describing events in a factual, rather than judgmental fashion.
  5. Do not interrupt: Do not interrupt when your partner is speaking.
  6. Do not interpret motives: Do not interpret motives in your partner, only describe their behavior.
  7. Watch body language: Watch that your body language communicates respect for your partner.
  8. Speak softly: Raised voices inhibit communication.