Textbook recommendations on specific language of healthy relationships?
November 22, 2020 10:44 AM   Subscribe

Recently realized how growing up in a home whose only two relationships skills were "give in" and "walk out of the room" left a huge deficit of those "middle skills" that involve clearly, respectfully, *productively* asking/negotiating for what one needs; addressing hurtful behavior; productively digging into deeper motives/wants needs. The books I've read to date talk about these skills, but give zero examples of the actual LANGUAGE to use. It's like being given a blueprint without the actual tools needed. Looking for recommendations on books or textbooks that specifically addresses how to say things. Social work/psychology textbooks are fine.
posted by Silvery Fish to Human Relations (9 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I'd look into the literature on negotiation. Crucial Conversations is a good one that is more focused on effective communication rather than business negotiation, and Getting to Yes is a classic.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 10:54 AM on November 22 [1 favorite]

I think the book “The Explosive Child” by Ross Greene provides a great problem-solving framework with his Collaborative Problem-Solving approach. The book presents multiple examples with sample conversations. They are written to demonstrate parent/child and adult/child dialogues, but the approach works equally well with other sorts of conflict.
posted by epj at 11:28 AM on November 22

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
It's geared towards parents talking to children, but my partner and I joke that it should be called how to talk so people will listen and listen so people will talk. It has honestly given me better language tools for talking to people.
posted by carrioncomfort at 12:31 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Thank you for all of these recommendations! I’ve already requested a few from the library.

I would also like to complement my learning with examples from the clinical setting world - I suppose that would be more interrogatory and additional reflexive skills? I’ve tried to look for syllabi in related subjects areas but I’m not finding anything yet.

I truly appreciate every suggestion.
posted by Silvery Fish at 12:39 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

This is the book that was used in an introduction to counseling class - trying to teach the basic skills of listening and reflection:
Ivey, A.E. & M.B. (2014). Intentional Interviewing and Counseling

If you google the title, it looks like you can get a pdf of the book pretty cheaply.
posted by metahawk at 2:27 PM on November 22 [3 favorites]

I think Aaron Beck's Love is Never Enough would be a good one for you. It's been a while since I've read it, but I clearly remember example dialogues in the text. John Gottman's What Makes Love Last? is also worth a look.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:55 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Google “I-statements” or “I-statement examples” - there are plenty of sites and pdfs. Also check out the Interpersonal Effectiveness module from Marsha Linehan’s DBT Skills Training Manual (although just googling that will take you to thousands of takes on it, many of which may be helpful). The Gottmans’ books on relationships are written for the public but A Couple's Guide to Communication is also used as a textbook, I believe.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:52 PM on November 22 [1 favorite]

Seconding negotiation. Also, simply watching films involving characters with excellent relationships.

Observe how relationships and dialogue are naturally written or intended to develop.

Textbooks are great, but may not offer an organic standpoint or worldview. Importantly, the language can read as demonstrative or clunky.
posted by Wichienmaat at 12:02 AM on November 23

Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up, by Harriet Lerner is a how-to guide regarding "clearly, respectfully, *productively* asking/negotiating for what one needs; addressing hurtful behavior; productively digging into deeper motives/wants needs". Most of the advice within is appropriate for virtually all types of relationships (i.e.., not just "couples").

Links to excerpts are listed under "Contents".
posted by she's not there at 1:33 AM on November 23

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