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Newsletter Vol. # 19 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter

What you'll find in this weeks newsletter: Excerpts from my book on Interpersonal Communication; get you thinking with the Quiz; Did you know...; you won't believe the Notes to School written by parents; Depressed Lawyers and Reader Contribution.

Interpersonal Communication

     Good communication does improve a relationship!
     Good communication increases trust, fosters a feeling of being supported, encourages honesty, and makes intimacy more probable.

Avoiding disagreements and feelings of frustration does not foster effective communication. We cannot bury our feelings because we fear confrontation. Negative feelings will only surface at a later date laced with inappropriate anger and hurtful words. The rule is: We can't "be" angry; we must learn to "talk about" our anger/disappointment/hurt. We must use "I" language and respectfully choose our words.

Communication definitely goes off the rails when the Listener hears a tone that feels like an attack. The Speaker must be aware of their tone, inflection and body posture so as not to invite the Listener to feel the necessity to defend self.

As well, the Listener must not make assumptions as to the Speakers intent but must remain open to the other person's point of view and constantly "check out" the true intent of the Speaker's words.

Sometimes it is the Speakers tone that invites a defensive reaction in the listener. Sometimes it is the Listeners inability to hear a different perspective, and accept differences as being ok, without having to become defensive and argumentative. In a relationship both parties take the roles of Speaker and Listener and both parties need to realize that they both need to do these roles better or there will be little improvement in their communication.

Another speed bump to good communication, and we all do it, is our use of overgeneralization. Did I just do it? "You always..." "We never..." are just too absolute to be true most of the time and yet we do it to emphasize our point. When we over generalize in conversation with our partner (or whomever) it just invites them to have to defend themselves. Remember, we want a discussion not an "offensive" comment that invites a "defensive" response.

I have observed in some couples that they must "win" in their communication with their partner. This results in arguments or fights - with two clear-cut losers. They really believe there is only one way to see the world and it is their way. They believe they have Universal Truth (a myth, doesn't exist). However, they will fight to be seen as the winner even if it undermines the relationship.

How you see the world, what you believe is certainly right - for you! What becomes a problem is when one of the partners believes that how he/she sees things is the universally correct way to see or do things. I certainly encourage partners to be proud of how they uniquely think, feel value and believe as long as they understand that their truths may not be the same for their partner. There is no "Universal Truth". My way of seeing the world is not "The" way, only "My" way. So when you want to express your opinions/thoughts/feelings, use "I" so that the listener understands that you are just speaking for yourself and not saying this is true for everyone. In this way (using I language) the listener doesn't feel like they have to defend self if they see things differently. I love the line, "I see it this way - how do you see it?" "I" language is absolutely fundamental to good communication.

Another skill to improve communication is to Checkout what you think you heard or what you assumed were the intentions of your partner. Neither you nor they are mind readers or is your intuition /feelings necessarily correct. Ask; be sure of their intentions before you assume the worst (and assumptions are most often negative - and I don't know why that is).

Apparently the #1 way to show a partner you really care about them is to listen carefully to what they say. And besides the good will really listening brings, you might learn something. It is interesting that some people come to a relationship having a computer/brain already completely filled with all the correct answers to how life and it's complexity "should be" understood and dealt with. So there is no need to listen to others, one only needs to judge (if they don't see it the same way as you do) and fill them in, benevolently of course but also with anger if the refuse to see the light (your light). Don't they know that you were chosen, above all other humans, to possess "Universal Truth?" 

Please excuse my use of sarcasm, which certainly doesn't work in a relationship, but hopefully might work in catching your attention to have you realize how invested you are in believing that how you "see things" is the correct way and just how little room there is in your brain for others to be different. Give your head a shake and open up to the possibility that your partner just might have a different way of seeing things and that needs to be valued, not changed. Others don't need to be "straightened out" because they do it different, feel different, believe different than you. In my world Differences are strengths.

Two other things I would like to remind you about if you are in a relationship are: You never want to win at the expense of your partner. If you do win then you have a winner and a loser and soon you will have two losers. A second thing is: I don't need you to agree with me, but I do need you to respectfully listen to me. Being heard is really the goal of communication not agreement (that's a tough sell).*

Any thoughts?
*Communication & Relationships by Dr. Dan Rosin

The Quiz

In humans, polyphagia is an excessive desire to do what?

What was the first successfully transplanted internal organ in a human?

Founded in 1906 in Rochester, N.Y., the Haloid Photographic Co. changed its name to what in 1961?

Which two countries share the longest uninterrupted land border in the world?

Developed in 1964 by Earnshaw Cook, sabermetrics are a specialized measurement of statistics used for which sport?

As either a solo artist or part of a group, who is the only musician to have a No. 1 single on a Billboard chart in each of the past six decades?

What name is shared by both a Roman philosopher and a North American indigenous group?

What worldwide company started off as a one-off show, produced in 1981 and known as les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul?

Which author invented the word "nerd"?

Answers below
Quiz questions and answers came from Maclean's magazine and put together by Terrance Belazo.

Did you know...
The Canadian Medical Association estimates the total cost to our healthcare system for obesity related diseases is about 3.1 billion and that physical inactivity leads to the premature death of 21,000 Canadians per year. It is expected that this alarming number will continue to soar because of the current epidemic of obese children.

Did you know...
Some people worry that tea may weaken their bones because of its caffeine, but several studies have actually found that tea drinking is associated with stronger bones and a lower risk of fractures. A recent English study found that tea-drinking women (age 65 to 76) had greater bone density than women who didn't drink tea. Coffee had no effect on bones. Tea contains fluoride and flavonoids, which may be good for bones.

Notes To School Written By Parents!
 You cannot read these without laughing. Spellings have been left intact.

1. My son is under a doctor's care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.
2. Please exkuce lisa for being absent she was sick and i had her shot.
3. Dear school: please ecsc's john being absent on jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and also 33.
4. Please excuse gloria from jim today. She is administrating.
5. Please excuse roland from p.e. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.
6. John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.
7. Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.
8. Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.
9. Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.
10. Please excuse ray friday from school. He has very loose vowels.
11. Please excuse Lesli from being absent yesterday. She had the shits. (BEST ONE)
12. Please excuse tommy for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leak.
13. Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.
14. Please excuse jimmy for being. It was his father's fault.
15. I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because i don't know what size she wear.
16. Please excuse jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it monday. We thought it was sunday.
17. Sally won't be in school a week from friday. We have to attend her funeral.
18. My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the marines.
19. Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.
20. Please excuse mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.
21. Gloria was absent yesterday as she was uder a influenc.
22. Please excuse brenda. She has been sick and under the doctor.
23. Maryann was absent december 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever an sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn't the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot lastnight.
Now we know why parents are screaming for better education for our kids.

Depressed lawyers    

A study by John Hopkins University found that attorneys are more likely to be depressed than any other professional or blue-collar workers.
     The high incidence of depression has something to do with how lawyers are trained. Anticipating everything that can go wrong and preparing for attacks and counterattacks promotes pessimism.
     Others point to the pressure for billable hours, the fierce competition within law firms, and the high stakes for clients and for one's own professional reputation in many cases.
     Studies find that while only about 3% of students enter law school depressed, about 30% graduate depressed. This may result from the stressful teaching atmosphere or the pressure on students to find jobs that pay well enough to offset their staggering student loans.

I thought dentists were the profession most prone to depression. I guess nobody wants to win that competition.

Answers to the Quiz

Eat; Kidney; Xerox; Russia and Kazakhstan; Baseball; Cher; Seneca; Cirque du Soleil; Dr. Seuss

Reader Contribution

I want you to know how much I enjoy getting your newsletter and it does get forwarded to several friends and family....
thanks so much,

It would ok if you were to share this newsletter! Have a great week.