Next Steps for Strengthening Relationship Skills

  • Practice your listening skills.
    1. Listen to someone else without interrupting for five minutes while she talks about something she cares about that she is either dealing with or is frustrated by. You can use nonverbal behaviors, such as nodding or raising your eyebrows, to show that you are listening, but you cannot say anything. Notice what gets in the way of fully listening, and bring your attention back to the speaker. Notice how quickly you may want to interrupt and interject your opinions or your own experiences—but don’t interrupt.
    2. Now it’s your turn. Ask the listener to let you talk for five minutes about something you care about that you are dealing with or are frustrated by. Notice your reaction to having five minutes to talk without interruption. Is this situation unusual? Do you like it? Do you dislike it? Just notice.
  • Distinguish gossip from transknitting. Share the definition of “transknitting” with two other women, one at work and one outside of work whom you talk with regularly. During your conversations, when discussing another person, ask each other, “Is this gossip or transknitting? What do you think?”
  • If you have a relationship that has recently become strained or has come to an end for reasons that you may or may not understand, consider asking for help with using the relational resilience tool described above.
  • An excerpt from my book, New Rules for Women, available at Amazon (]]>

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