Taking the War Out of Our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication, by Sharon Strand Ellison. Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, Inc. (Third ed. 2007), $16.95. Available through Sharon Ellison’s website, www.pndc.com, and through www.amazon.com
This is a great book if you want to learn how not to jump to conclusions (which are often wrong) during your daily life, whether at work or home. A careful reading of Taking the War Out of Our Wordsfollowed by intent work in putting it into practice can greatly assist us in all our personal relationships. The key is to formulate that powerful, neutral, non-accusatory, and musing Non-Defensive Question that will open the floodgates to new information that incorrect assumptions had filtered out. This book is indeed powerful and life-changing.
The Relationship Handbook: A Simple Guide to Satisfying Relationships, by George S. Pransky, PhD. (Pransky and Associates) 2001, $15. Available through www.pranskyandassociates.com, and www.amazon.com
This book, formerly published under the title “Divorce is Not the Answer”, is a simple, well thought-out and organized little book containing chapters on topics such as “A Fresh Start” and “Compatibility is Only a Thought Away”. Pransky is a practitioner of “Positive Psychology” which essentially posits that “it’s all in our heads”. With that in mind, one can change the trajectory of a marriage by changing a simple thought pattern.
The chapters start out with stating a “Myth” about the topic at hand, then stating “The Grain of Truth”, and then describing the “change of heart” (really the change of mind) that it takes to overcome the difficulty, whether it is perceived lack of compatibility or feelings of dissatisfaction. As a result, effortless, permanent change can actually occur in cases where the couple thought they were stuck at an impasse. Try it. It makes great bedtime reading with your spouse.