Subtraction Is Not Addition
• Attitude Is All You Need! Second Edition will help you to improve your attitude, which improves everything else.
“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”–Proverbs 17:28
“Every lover is mad.”–Roland Barthes
1. ADDING WITHOUT SUBTRACTING
It is good to add to a conversation. But do not make the mistake of thinking that you have to subtract first in order to make room for your addition. Better to incorporate when you add than to dynamite. Adding by subtracting is epitomized by sentences that contain the following: “No … But ….” Adding without subtracting is epitomized by sentences that contain the following: “Yes … And ….”
2. CARE FOR PEARLS
When you give wisdom to those who just want to mock and scoff, you betray wisdom, yourself, and the other person. You bring wisdom down into the gutter. You make yourself an object of ridicule. You may preclude the other person from hearing the wisdom sometime in the future when they are open to it and it is still fresh for them.
3. DANCE YOUR DANCE
He who dances their dance longest wins! If you keep with your style and objective the other person will eventually follow into your dance. If you try to change their dance into your dance, you will only dance their dance. Endure and win.
4. DRINK FROM YOUR WELL
While it is nice to understand others, you must get your messages from your transceiver. That is, it is good to acknowledge what someone else is receiving and sharing. But you must receive it inside yourself and not from inside their self.
5. FIRST FIND AGREEMENT
If you plan to disagree or correct, first find some agreement. Agreement provides you with a positive starting point to end in agreement.
6. FIRST REFLECT
Check to see if the message received was the message sent. Sounds boring and silly, but it is one of the best things you can ever do. It lets people know that they were heard. It is best done with paraphrasing rather than parroting.
7. HEAR OUT THE OTHER
Sometimes all that people need and want is to be heard. Often, others only offer advice or encouragement in whining. Especially if there is deep emotion–let the person come to their end by themselves.
8. “I” MESSAGES
Use the sandwich technique. Start your messages with “I” put a “You” in and end with an “I.” This avoids a lot of defensive reactions to your message. For example, “I feel sad when you don’t listen to me because I want to be closer to you.”
9. MORE FLIES WITH HONEY
You can get more out of people with compliments than complaints. “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”–Anonymous
Let the other person know what you think they are feeling and wanting. If you are right they will be glad–if not–you can use the feedback to improve communications.
Let the other person know that you know where they are coming from. Share a personal experience that is related if possible. Share a similar experience or feeling in the moment if possible. Imagine what it would feel like if that is the best you can do.
12. RIGHT OR HAPPY
“You can be right or happy.” This means that if your point in a conversation is to be right, then you may establish that but at the expense of the conversation being unhappy. If your point is to be happy, you may get lucky and the other person will see for themselves that you expressed a truth. Or, you may get even luckier and find that it was an untruth you can drop.
13. SANS BLAMING AND DAMNING
You will get further if you take responsibility and encourage others. Blaming and damning is fun for the ego: pride. But it only makes matters worse.
14. SOFT ANSWER
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.”–Proverbs 15:1. Stay calm with the un-calm and they will eventually become calm: dance your dance.
15. STAY COOL
Hot heads lose. Hot heads may appear to win but they always lose in the long run. Just as it pays to stay cool during danger, it pays to stay cool when under attack.
16. TIME SHARING
Make sure the other person gets time. not just equal time to talk about you and your subjects, but equal time to focus on themselves and their interests.
17. WAIT FOR EARS
Hold your eagerness in check. Wait until they are ready and willing to hear what you have to say. “Timing is Everything.”–Anonymous
18. WHAT, HOW, WHY
First establish the “what,” the facts. Then establish the “how,” the methods. If there is still time, have some fun looking for the mythical “why,” the causes.
Even though you understand and agree with these guides for better communication, you might still have trouble making use of them. However, if you learn how to M-M from reading Breathe, then you should be able to use these guides even under stress or duress.
- Description Breathe
QUOTATIONS VARIOUS SOURCES
“Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.”–Orson Card
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”–Dr. Seuss
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;”–I Peter 1:15
“Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.”–Spanish proverb
“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.”–Psalms 28:3
“Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain.”–Unknown
“If you cannot say what you have to say in twenty minutes, you should go away and write a book about it.”–Lord Brabizon
“Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.”–Margaret Millar
“Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.”–Janet Lane
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”–Proverbs 16:24
“Some man holdeth his tongue, because he hath not to answer: and some keepeth silence, knowing his time.”–Ecclesiasticus 20:6
“The first duty of love is to listen.”–Paul Tillich, 1886-1965
“The most precious things in speech are pauses.”–Ralph Richardson
“There are very few people who don’t become more interesting when they stop talking.”–Mary Lowry
“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Two monologues do not make a dialogue.”–Jeff Daly