Assertiveness as Honesty Exchange: Sender to Receiver and Back Again

the recycling symbol (3 areas all pointing towards one another, forming a triangle) with white arrows on a green background
Image by Nicolas Raymond / CC BY

When many folks think of assertiveness, they think of sender skills. An assertive person is one who communicates their thoughts and feelings confidently. Openly.

And while this is true, it’s not the entire picture. In practice, the most difficult part of assertive communication is the receiver half.

Because an assertive communicator is not only open to speaking their own truths —  » Read more

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Polyamory and Power Exchange: Negotiating From the Bottom

2 dogs wrestling: a white dog on top, a beagle on the bottom who has a surprised expression on its face
Image by walkadog / CC BY

Negotiating boundaries and setting expectations are both crucial in polyamory. Being polyamorous involves moving away from The Standard Romantic Relationship Script, in which society largely defines expectations and rules in relationships. And instead, in polyamory it’s vital to look to the people within the relationship to define and develop what those expectations should be. I’ve written previously about  best practices for negotiating relationship agreements,   » Read more

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Identity Negotation

When I was growing up, my mom always used to say, “You’re not weird. You just want to be that way.”

It’s interesting – and something that I think about often. Why is it so easy to dismiss what another person wants to be? What makes some people so sure that they know another person better than that person knows themselves?  » Read more

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Round Two

“Can we go, or are you going to pout all night?” His tone was sharp, and I cringed away from him.

“Am I not allowed to feel bad?” I replied, feeling something shrivel up inside of me.

“If you’re going to pout, you’ll have to stay home,” he restated.

I wasn’t aware that I was pouting.  » Read more

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The Unsung Perks of Remarriage

It’s widely acknowledged that most second marriages end in divorce – and while statistics predict that the majority of first marriages fail, the failure rate for first marriages is barely a majority with the percentage being just over half and the failure rate for second marriages being closer to two-thirds.

Though I ended up marrying Skyspook anyway,  » Read more

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