| Recall the
requisites for effective communication: (1) each person's
primary needs get filled well
enough, (2) in a way that both people feel good enough about.
In this example of subselves affecting verbal communication...
adult's ruling subselves had begun
or their partner's
primary needs. Tom could have clarified "What do I need from Gina?" before he
called. Conversely, she could have asked him
what he needed from her when he called;
Tom's nor Gina's
true Self was able to guide and
direct their other subselves. One result was that each parent got distracted by
the opposing agendas, thoughts, and feelings of the subselves comprising their
Gina nor Tom were
aware of what
was happening inside themselves or between them - so they couldn't
their three processes or focus them as parenting partners on
Harold's problems; Finally...
spoken conversation was beginning to polarize into a familiar attack > defend >
sequence. This polarity was
powered by the powerful feelings of their shamed
Inner Kids and the
subselves dedicated to protecting them.
Neither parent was aware of...
their respective subselves and...
their disabled true Self,
inner and spoken communication
they might have used
to help each other help their son.
many prior experiences, neither Gina's or Tom's subselves felt
by the other. This left a vital
communication unfilled. That blocked their ability to
hear each other, which made brainstorming and effective
ineffective communication, reducing the chance
that both parents could act together to assess what their son needed, and
provide it. Lose-lose-lose.
The point: communications among adults and kids are powerfully influenced
by their (your) respective subselves – specially in
internal and mutual conflicts. Most people (like you) are unaware of this. Think of recent conversations
between you and key other people at home or work.
Can you begin to see them in a new
way? When you finish here, read this
of how unseen subselves affected a real stepfamily couple and their kids and ex mates.
A Better Way
Tom and Gina had each progressed on
reducing their wounds
(Lesson 1 in this Web site), their true Self (Capital "S")
would have directed their respective inner-family processes - specially if both
people had learned to practice the seven Lesson-2
Their true Selves would have focused their other subselves on their
to keep it effective; and on
trying to help their son with his many needs without getting into a
toxic blaming > defending > counter-blaming spiral or lured into other conflicts.
If you and some important people often experience
communication frustrations, you can reduce them over time. You
may have some of these relationship
With commitment and patience,
[wound-recovery + improved communication
awareness] can help you improve your
Option - separate your tangle of
into separate issues, and work on re/building
mutual respect and
Pause, breathe, and reflect on what you just read. Imagine you
are Gina or Tom, trying to communicate effectively without awareness of
your many subselves.
This illustration exists to encourage you
to commit time and energy to progressing at Lesson 1 here - free your
resident true Self to guide you in calm and confusing times. One
major benefit among many is promoting more effective
communication with the key people in your life - if you
follow two more suggestions...
Learn New Words and Communication Basics
are like the colors on a painter's palette. The
more colors and brushes an artist has, the more vivid and evocative a picture
s/he can create. The more words you're fluent with, the more effectively you
can express yourself - so....
Expand Your Vocabulary
don't have to memorize a dictionary. You can significantly
improve your communication effectiveness by gaining fluency with selected words and phrases
perspective, note that you've already acquired thousands of words - most
without conscious effort. Where did you get them? Imagine committing
to learning two new words a day, or five new words a week. Can you do that?
The challenge here is motivation to learn and practice new
words. Can you imagine feeling solidly confident that you can say
exactly what you mean in important situations? How often can you feel that
false self controls you, those well-meaning
subselves will probably sabotage your wanting to expand your
vocabulary ("Boring!" / "Too much work!" / "Too many other things to do!").
Check your motivation:
_ I'm determined to learn a few new
words every day or week now;
_ I'll start learning "pretty soon;"
_ I'm not motivated to learn
new words now, tho I see the value of doing so.
Option - print any interesting articles
in this Web site, and circle or hilight any words you can't describe to a
typical teenager. Then use the glossaries here (links above) and/or a print
or online dictionary to learn their meaning. Cement your learning by
watching for chances to use the new words in your speech and writing.
next way to reduce crippling ignorance is to...
Learn Communication Basics and Skills
Despite maturity and formal education, most people (like you?) don't know
what they need to know about the vital skill of communicating. To see if you
need to update your basic knowledge, get undistracted, take this
quiz, and review these
Q&A items. If
you do need to update your knowledge,
2 over some
Another powerful option toward more effective communication and
satisfactions is to...
Learn Relationship Basics
Beside ignorance of communication basics and skills, most men and women (like you?) don't know they need to learn basic concepts about healthy
relationships among their subselves and with other people.
See if you need to learn about these
by taking this quiz and studying these
Q&A items when you finish
this article. To expand your knowledge,
self-improvement Lesson 4 here.
addition to psychological wounds and ignorance,
ineffective communication is
also promoted by a lack of personal and social awareness.
Improve Your Awarenesses
saying your definition of "awareness" out loud now, and bring it along as
powerful line in the inspiring hymn
Grace is "(I) Was blind, but
now I see." After five decades of studying the "Human
Condition" and 29 years' personal recovery from severe psychological wounds, I
now suspect that well over 90% of typical Americans - probably including YOU - are
"blind" to the amazing worlds within and around them - as I have
Typical adults think they're "aware," and are
unaware of present-moment awareness that they could
achieve. You are probably often unaware of...
what you [ see + think + smell + feel + sense
+ need ] right now;
the traits and dynamics of the talented
that control your life; and...
the dynamics of your
relationships (needs and behaviors) with your
Reality Checks - pause,
breathe, and thoughtfully rank your recent awareness of each of these
domains from one (I'm never aware of this)
to ten (I'm constantly
aware of this). Notice how it feels to rank them, and what you learn.
I suspect you've never done this exercise before, unless you're practicing
form of meditation.
Now think of the adults and kids in your life. How would you rank their
respective three awarenesses, most of the time?
If there's a special adult or child
you want to communicate more effectively with, how would you rank her or his
awareness in these three areas?
your awareness is shaped and limited by your
For example, you can't become aware of the dynamics of your
subselves and who is leading them until you know about personality subselves and how they act. That's why committing
to improving your knowledge of wounds, communications,
and relationships is vital!
improve your awareness in these three domains, you'll
and to want to overcome two barriers:
believing that growing your awareness isn't
as important as being physically active and "productive," and...
your hyper-stimulating social environment
(TV, cell phones, PCs, iPods, the Web, advertisements...), which ceaselessly distracts
you from improving
your three levels of awareness.
Reality Check: Reflect
and affirm your current truth:
my governing subselves are...
__ extremely motivated to reduce
these two awareness barriers, or...
__ they're ambivalent
about or moderately interested in overcoming them, or...
__ my leading subselves are not
motivated to overcome these two awareness barriers now.
paradox - you can't commit to growing more aware
until your true Self leads
your other subselves, and you can't achieve that without wanting
awareness. This is why people
(like you?) who haven't hit
often can't genuinely commit to improving their thinking and communication
effectiveness over time - even tho parts of them really want to.
true Self is
your other subselves
now and is "extremely motivated" to expand your awareness, then read on. If not,
give priority to patient progress at
and accept reduced interest in improving your awareness and
communication for now Notice (be aware of) your
To intentionally increase
your internal + communication + relationship awarenesses...
__ Practice this simple
at random times each day and night until it becomes a habit. Give special emphasis to being aware of
what you feel and
__ Participate in some form of
reputable meditation program like Zazen or Tai Chi for several months and see what you learn;
__ Experience professional massage
therapy for several months.
__ Work with a veteran awareness
coach and/or spiritual advisor;
__ Experiment with keeping a daily
log, journal, or "lab notebook" for several months. Julia Cameron's books on
The Artist's Way are
__ Search the Web for
"awareness," "journaling," and "meditating."
__ Commit to patiently studying the communication and relationship basics
above, and applying your learnings to see
what results. Give special
learning and practicing
__ Become aware of key
attitudes that unconsciously affect
the quality of your communication and relationships.
__ Practice analyzing communication
with various people to
your and their respective
Option - validate your guesstimates with each person where
__ Experiment with...
periodically telling communication partners
what you're aware of about...
- e.g. "I'm aware I change the
- e.g. "I'm aware that you're having
trouble keeping steady eye contact with me", and...
process between you in important situations - e.g. "I'm aware that
when we talk about ___, we both get emotional and distracted, and
neither of us gets our needs met.".
And experiment with...
asking partners what
they are aware of at the moment and over time; and...
typical and important communication sequences and patterns
to become more aware of your process dynamics and
__ Identify people you feel are
unusually aware of themselves and their environment, and ask them what other awareness-building options
and resources they suggest.
Were you aware of all these choices? Do they seem practical and do-able?
There are probably other options you can add as you grow...
Status Check - Reflect and identify your top five or more current
life priorities, as judged by your
actions. Does "Work steadily at
improving my thinking and communicating effectiveness" rank among
them? If not - why not?
Who's answering - your
What could the rest of your life be
if you doubled the effectiveness of
your thinking and communicating?
Lesson-2 article focuses on improving communication effectiveness among
options and key definitions;
three primary problems:
proposes practical solutions to each primary
Once adults and older kids understand these basics and are guided by
their true Self, they can help each other reduce any communication
blocks over time by working at this self-improvement course.
for Lesson 2 -
- 7 Relationship skills you need to know; (Xlibris.com, 2nd ed. 2010), It integrate key
communication articles and
resources in this non-profit Web site.
Pause, breathe, and recall why you read this article. Did you get
what you needed? If so, what do you need now? If not - what
you need? Is there anyone you want to
discuss these ideas with? Who's answering these
questions - your wise resident