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A Woman Alive

June 29th, 2017
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July Monthly Activity

By Diane

Please share your experience with these activities
through out the next month.
Share Your Story on my Website.

The Open-Ended Question versus the Assumption!

We cultivate assumptions in our relationships pretty regularly. I found this example of how to re-work our communication to cultivate clarity rather then assumption. Read through the example and then find places this month where you are making assumptions and work to clarify with asking open and non-judgmental questions.


My teenage daughter has a curfew. Lately she has been late – she has a new boyfriend and I think that is likely the problem. He lives on an acreage and I know there have been a lot of parties in that area. The police have been out there. I don’t know his family. I am worried that she is going to get hurt by a drunk driver or get herself into an unsafe situation. Her curfew is midnight and it is now 1:00AM and she hasn’t called. Why did I get her that cell phone anyway?! Has she been drinking? Why hasn’t she called? I am going out of my mind!!!! Daughter walks in looking haggard.

Take one:     I blast her for being late and tell her she is grounded for a month and she has to stop seeing her boyfriend. Doesn’t she get it?

She walks stone faced up to her room.

Take two:      (Open Question)  I say, “Hi. I am glad you are home safe. It has been an hour after curfew – I hadn’t heard from you and I was worried, and I am wondering what happened.”

Daughter: “I’m sorry Mom. I was on my way home when Annie called me. She was talking crazy. She said she was going to take some pills. She just broke up with her boyfriend, so I went over to her place and talked with her and made sure she wasn’t going to do anything stupid. Her parents are away this week. I called her older brother and he came over and is staying with her. I am really worried about her.”

FROM: Gary Harper, The Joy of Conflict Resolution: Transforming Victims, Villains, and Heroes in the Workplace and at Home (Gabriola Island, BC; New Society Publishers, 2004) at p 48 and 49.

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