Saying What's Real: 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success Paperback – January 18, 2005
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The fact is, there's an element of being authentic and telling the truth that's terrifying, and this book makes it much less terrifying. After reading this book, I started to feel like maybe, just maybe, I can actually be authentic in my relationships. Not perfectly, especially at first - but maybe with this book I can develop the courage and skills to actually be real. She makes it seem like it's something that's actually within my reach, like it's something that even I can learn to do (as opposed to something that only the "super-courageous" can do), even if I don't do it perfectly all the time.
With that said, in some cases the description of how to use these skills is, for the most part, quite good; however, my only issue is that the way she seems to advocate using them seems a little contrived at times. It seems like always using the exact phrasing she provides in the book, for example, would be pretty wooden (especially if you do it all the time), but I guess it's the concept behind the phrases that counts here. I think they provide a good framework if they're not always taken entirely literally - if you take them as "say these exact words" then it seems pretty contrived. She does provide good distinctions and cautions at times though that justify why she writes her phrases the exact way she does. For example, the distinction between authentically asking for something, which can help build intimacy in a relationship if done well, vs. demanding something or providing a "directive from above" - i.e. "this is how it's going to be from now on." She argues that sometimes when people think that they're being assertive that's really what they're doing; "demanding" or "commanding" (vs. authentically talking to a relationship partner about our needs, feelings, and wants) is really just another dysfunctional communication pattern masquerading as authenticity.
Don't be fooled by the short length of this book - the author does a great job of making her points concisely and putting a lot of actual information in each chapter.
Overall, I think I really benefited from this book and think others would too. Definitely recommended.
Every family, church and would would benefit by having it as a must read book.
i wouldrecommend to everyone who intends to sharpen their communication skills