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"I don't know, what do you want to do?"

Help me break the decision-making stalemate. Partner and I are in committed multi-year relationship. One of the places we struggle communication-wise is in decision-making, especially when neither of us have a strong preference (for example, "what do you want for dinner" or "should we go out for breakfast tomorrow?". When this happens, several things may happen: My partner will parry my question back to me "do you have any preferences?" (and if/when I don't, nothing is resolved), one of us will say "I don't really care, whatever you want", or we will stalemate in an "I don't know, what do you want to do" loop. As you can probably imagine, this makes for super frustrating interaction. Does anyone with experience with this have any advice on breaking this particular pattern?
posted by anonymous on Sep 4, 2014 - 35 answers

How can you recognize a secure person if you’re insecure?

Am I ruining a great relationship with my anxiety or am I anxious because my relationship is not great? Is there a way to tell the difference between irrational anxiety and alarm bells? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 20, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me find perspective, is my relationship half-full or half-empty?

I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for about 3 years now, but it seems like we can't seem to find a good "groove". We're satisfied in the relationship for a while and then we get into petty fights and don't resolve them. I thought I was happy with him and really enjoyed his company. However, it's been more and more stressful and I need help figuring out if I've checked out for a while, or if the relationship has run its course. Hope me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 14, 2014 - 17 answers

Environmental depression

I need help dealing with my anxiety over climate change. I need help figuring out how I can help. It's a bit more complex than that, but not much. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 13, 2014 - 31 answers

What's my job title?

So, along with a raise, I'm getting a new job title to recognize what my actual duties are, and I can choose it myself — but I'm no good at titles. Non-profit communications folks, can you weigh in? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 6, 2014 - 16 answers

Please help me understand this communication issue with my husband.

I am feeling upset about an exchange my husband and I had the other day. We have had communication issue in the past, because we have drastically different styles o expression. He had trouble controling anger and he lets his frustrations show often in his actions. Nothing violent, but a lot of huffing and puffing and frustrated sighs & sometimes slamming things a bit firmer that necessary. He knows he does this & tells me that it is just how he is, despite the fact that I have told him that it makes me uncomfortable. He thinks I read his actions wrong. They are usually not directed at me, so maybe I am too sensitive (although no one else puts me on eggshellslike this.) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 25, 2014 - 38 answers

How NOT to be like the nerdy scientist on The Simpsons?

The recurrant scientist character has some distictive speech patterns. What do they reveal about his thought patterns? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 10, 2014 - 9 answers

Was it something I said?

I asked a boy out! And he said yes! But then he didn't respond when I tried to nail down the details. What should I do now? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 4, 2014 - 10 answers

I messed up and it can't be fixed. Now how do I explain?

I work in benefits and messed up the life insurance amount for someone who died. Please help me figure out how to communicate this error to the beneficiary and upper management in the best way possible. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 2, 2014 - 10 answers

Sex: you're doing it wrong.

I really could use advice on how to improve our sex life (NSFW and snowflakes) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 20, 2014 - 27 answers

How does anyone ever talk to anyone else?

I'm in a new relationship and we just had a fight that was started more or less because of an issue I've been struggling with my life: I never know what to say to people. How can I work through this issue? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 17, 2014 - 6 answers

New job issues - should I stay and work things out or cut and run?

I started a new job last year and it's becoming clear that things are not going as planned. I'm dealing with a micro managing boss and I am at my wits end. Please help me decide if I should stay and work things out, or start job hunting for something better - wall of text inside. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 15, 2014 - 15 answers

Is this what "being the breadwinner" means?

What strategies can I use to convince my husband to more openly discuss our household finances with me? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 20, 2013 - 49 answers

Please give me words for explaining my boundaries.

Can I explain to someone how their negative behaviors are putting me off, but maintain an amicable relationship with them? I get too emotional to find fair words. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 1, 2013 - 30 answers

How can I be more expressive?

I speak "flatly", with little inflection, tonal variation, or expressiveness. How can I change? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 25, 2013 - 12 answers

It's too late to try communication

I didn't communicate with my SO before hand, and now I'm self destructing. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 16, 2013 - 14 answers

that talk

I've got herpes. There's a 99% chance he gave it to me. How best to tell him? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 4, 2013 - 14 answers

How to not act superior?

I received some feedback recently that I come across as arrogant, condescending, and pretentious. How can I stop coming across this way, externally? How can I get at the root of underlying attitudes, internally? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 24, 2013 - 53 answers

How do I make up for 10 years of blowing her off?

I've been married for a few more than 10 years. For most of that time, I did not really listen to my wife or honor her goals and desires for our life together. Starting in 2012, I have made a change in my attitude and actions, and we are communicating and making significant progress in our relationship. If it were just making the current state of affairs good, I think we're on a good track and we'd be ok. My question is: How do I make up for the previous ~10 years? If you want to email: accommodatee@mail.com. Thanks in advance for any advice, here or via email. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 20, 2013 - 30 answers

Please help me phrase an uncomfortable but important email.

I thought he was attracted to me. I'm really attracted to him. Turns out he's just really excited about my creative work. Help me find the words to be honest about the attraction and the fact that I'd like to get past that imbalance so we can do all the collaborations we want to do. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 16, 2013 - 19 answers

Me or relationship.

How do I decide whether this relationship is worth staying and working on or leaving and working on myself? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 30, 2012 - 31 answers

How to communicate about our feelings?

How much should we be talking about our feelings for each other? I love him, and I think he loves me... [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 12, 2012 - 9 answers

Dealing with someone who is "always right"

I think I've made a huge mistake. I'm newly married - only 3 months, but my husband is showing me facets of his personality that do not sit well with me. He seems to have anger issues. Nothing physical, but I need help making sense of it all, and I can't talk to him without him getting extremely defensive. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 21, 2012 - 83 answers

I just want to talk to you

How do you learn to communicate with your partner when your communication styles don't match? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 10, 2012 - 22 answers

I cry every week and he doesn't understand why

I'm in a long-distance cross-cultural relationship with the love of my life. Unfortunately we're having communication issues that are hurting us both. Please help. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 5, 2012 - 40 answers

Is it the depression talking, or am I making excuses for my boyfriend?

Help me understand what’s going on in my relationship and to set appropriate boundaries. My boyfriend’s possibly depressed behavior is triggering my feelings of abandonment/insecurity and I want to know how to support him through this without getting taken advantage of. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 4, 2012 - 10 answers

Why doesn't my boyfriend respond to my jokes and stories?

Sometimes I can't tell if my boyfriend likes me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 29, 2012 - 48 answers

How to interact with the person my wife had an emotional affair with?

My wife has been having an emotional affair with another man, a married co-worker. Help me get what I want out of my first social interaction with him since the news broke. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 17, 2012 - 44 answers

How should I act when I think that we might break up?

How should one act in a relationship when you are thinking of breaking up with them? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 10, 2012 - 10 answers

Fixing general marital communication issues

I feel like my marriage is falling apart. It's not because we don't love each other, but I don't know what to do. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 21, 2012 - 37 answers

What's between letting things go and leaving over them?

Needs and Boundaries: What is the space between "I suppose I can let this go" and "this is an utter dealbreaker; do this thing or I'll have to end this relationship" - and what do you do about negotiating things in that space? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 14, 2012 - 27 answers

He's still mad

Didn't return an aquaintance's call back and he's still mad 2 years later. What to do? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 5, 2012 - 22 answers

How can I convince my wife to come to marriage counselling sessions with me?

I'm trying to convince my wife to attend marriage counselling with me, but I'm having a hard time doing so. Her opinion of marriage counselling (based on what she's read online) is that it's a waste of money and that a marriage counsellor would "only tell us what we already know." When I've pointed out that a marriage counsellor is there to help facilitate communication, her response has been "if we need a facilitator to help us communicate we're fucked anyway." Reasons for needing counselling + bonus snowflakery inside. Apologies; it turned into a bit of a mind-dumpy wall of text. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 21, 2012 - 21 answers

Make me less of an academic island!

I'm a PhD student, and I'd like to do more academic networking over email. How does this work, and what should the emails sound like? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 16, 2012 - 14 answers

Help me learn to swallow my pride

How can I learn to not take others' success/intelligence as an affront to my own? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 18, 2012 - 22 answers

How do I communicate better with my dad?

I need some advice on how to communicate better with my dad and hopefully improve our relationship. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 15, 2012 - 11 answers

How do I express to my partner I'd like him to do thoughtful things for me without making him feel bad.?

How do I express to my partner I'd like him to do thoughtful things for me without making him feel bad? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 31, 2012 - 16 answers

I'm never wrong, you're never right

is it a red flag if a person never thinks they're wrong? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 - 66 answers

Probably-not-an-STD-but-not-sure-yet -- what now?

Please help me figure out how I should tell my girlfriend about my probably-not-an-STD-freakout-moment. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 15, 2012 - 15 answers

How do I speak to my dad when his crazy thoughts are driving me crazy?

How to reply to my fathers schizophrenic ideations? (long, sorry!) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 10, 2012 - 9 answers

Breakup diplomacy, help me find peace

Breakup customs-filter. I did my boyfriend wrong, by becoming an exhausted-complaining mess, on a recent depressive lapse I had, partially due to a physical condition. He left me, scared and confused, though we were madly in love, after 3 months of this. I wish to part in peace. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 16, 2012 - 52 answers

How do you deal with opposing communication styles?

Texter vs. non-texter relations: How do you deal? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 8, 2012 - 64 answers

She says I don't listen to her

My wife says I'm terrible at listening to her. What does this really mean? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 5, 2012 - 52 answers

Being realistic about paternal relationship

How do I become comfortable with how my father chooses to be involved in my life (minimally, not of his own initiative) as an adult? What are the limits between healthy and compassionate effort on my part and a realistic acknowledgment of both of our limitations? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 24, 2012 - 8 answers

Phone conversation with a stroke patient?

Any tips for talking on the phone to someone with cognitive damage? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 23, 2012 - 2 answers

How to communicate in a new relationship

New relationship - how and when do I bring up the "serious" relationship conversations? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 12, 2012 - 16 answers

I know you don't approve. I won't talk to you about it.

Reconciliation after a break-up: dealing with fallout from friends. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 20, 2011 - 17 answers

Help me figure out how to handle my boyfriend's attitude toward sex.

Help me figure out how to handle my boyfriend's attitude toward sex. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 8, 2011 - 23 answers

Is it just communication problems or does my boss think I'm incompetent?

Do I have a chip on my shoulder or is my boss underestimating me? Or maybe it's both? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 23, 2011 - 15 answers

Depends on what your definition of "is" is.

How can I best cope with this relationship impasse? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 28, 2011 - 54 answers

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