How to Maintain and Nourish an Important Relationship

Using the Knowledge Contained in Axiom #2

from Murray High School
All we can give to or get from another person is information (Dr. William Glasser).


    • Step #1: Become AWARE
        • that we are probably being misinterpreted
        • that we are probably misinterpreting


    • Step #2: Be okay and relaxed with that.
        • An easy way to accomplish this is to remember Axiom #1 (The only behavior we can control is our own).


    • Step #3: Check, in a calm, non-judgmental way:
        • How are you being interpreted?
        • How did they want to be interpreted?


    • Step #4: LISTEN to the new information your questions bring to you.
        • Remember Steps #1, #2, and #3.


    • Step #5: Continue working on the way we are giving out information.
        • Pay attention to :
            • our tone of voice
            • our facial expressions
            • our body language
            • our volume
            • our word choice
            • our level of awareness of Axioms #1 and #2
        • Ask ourselves honestly, “Is the way I am currently communicating likely to be coming across the way I want to come across in order to maintain and nourish this relationship?
        • Ask, “If I continue behaving this way, am I likely to grow closer to this person,
          I value, or to move further away?”


    • Step #6: If we continue to receive information that they seem to be upset, or misinterpreting our meaning, continue to check and adjust our own behaviors.
        • Also, continue to affirm the importance of the relationship to you and how much you want to help it improve.


    • Step #7: Make sure that you have been acknowledging their interpretation as valid.
        • Avoid saying things like, “No. I didn’t mean that that way. Your interpretation is wrong.”


    • Step #8: If you find that the conversation is still not going the way you want and you are running out of energy, or it seems as if they are running out of energy, say something like:
        • This relationship really matters to me. I really want us both to be happy. I would like to keep working on it later because I need a rest now. Could we talk again in (5 min. – 1 hour)? I don’t want to let too long a time pass before we work this out to both of our satisfactions and can go away happy again.
    • Step #9: Be sure to follow up in a day or two to make sure that the relationship is on the right track and that communication is accurate and respectful.



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