Often when I speak to individuals about directly communicating with their partners, they immediately reject the notion. Why? Because many people believe that direct communication and confrontation are one and the same, and that no good will come of it. Therefore, they continue to withhold information from their partner, expect their partner read their minds and to maintain the same point of view as do they, and then increasingly resent their partner when this does not happen. But when you learn to communicate effectively, you can then help your partner to learn more about you as you also learn more about your partner, and your relationship can continue to grow and flourish. So, how do you learn specific communication skills? There are several great options available to you:

Dalton Kehoe, Ph.D. created a video lecture series, Effective Communication, in conjunction with The Great Courses. The series consists of twenty-four thirty minute lectures. This lecture series includes:

The Magic of Everyday Communication

The Complex Layers of Face-to-Face Talk

The Social Context That Shapes Our

The Operations of the Cognitive Unconscious

The Conscious Mind in Perception

The Conscious Mind in Using Language

The Conscious Mind and Emotion

The Development of Our Sense of Self

Self, Attachment, and Self-Esteem

Protecting the Self in Face-to-Face Talk

Conscious Self-Talk and Self-Management

Challenges to Effective Communication

Talking to Connect and Build Relationships

Differences, Disagreement, and Control Talk

Commands, Accusations, and Blame

Healing Relationships with Dialogue Talk

Focus on the Other—The Heart of Dialogue

Assertive Dialogue to Manage Disagreement

Compassionate Confrontation

Communication, Gender, and Culture

Talking Our Way to Lasting Relationships

Leadership, Appreciation, and Productivity

Dialogue and Appreciation—Engaged Employees

Dialogue—Ethical Choices behind Our Talk

Offered for purchase by The Great Courses, this lecture series can also be rented from various libraries.

Still not convinced that you can effectively communicate and avoid confrontation? Again, we turn to the wisdom and experience of Thích Nhất Hạnh, who addresses these issues in his book, The Art of Communicating.

As described by the publisher, “In this precise and practical guide, Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh reveals how to listen mindfully and express your fullest and most authentic self. With examples from his work with couples, families, and international conflicts, The Art of Communicating helps us move beyond the perils and frustrations of misrepresentation and misunderstanding to learn the listening and speaking skills that will forever change how we experience and impact the world.”

The book is readily available online and in book stores and, as are all books written by Thích Nhất Hạnh, is relevant and easy to read and understand.

Disclaimer: This blog is not designed to diagnose, treat, or prevent illnesses or trauma, and Dr. Emick is not responsible for your use of this educational material or its consequences. Furthermore, reading this blog does not create a doctor-patient relationship. The information contained within this blog is not intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate, or best care for any given physical or behavioral health issue, nor does it take into account the unique circumstances that define the health issues of the reader. If you have questions about the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a condition or illness, you should consult your personal health care professional. As always, consult with your personal health care professional before beginning or changing any fitness or nutrition program to make sure that it is appropriate for your needs. Dr. Emick reserves the right to modify her positions on a subject based upon new research or data as it presents.