FA 016 Communication Styles

Feral  Attraction
Episode 016 - Communication Styles 04/27

Intro 00:00:40

  • Study suggests DNA may influence sex life

    • The Los Angeles Times (4/18, Kaplan) reports new research identified “38 specific places in the human genome that appear to be associated with the age at which people first had sex.” The DNA variants “affect a range of genes, including some that seem to affect the timing of puberty and others that have been linked with risk-taking behavior.” The study was published Monday in the journal Nature Genetics.

    • NBC News (4/18, Fox) reports senior investigator John Perry at Britain’s Medical Research Council said, “While social and cultural factors are clearly relevant, we show that age at first sexual intercourse is also influenced by genes which act on the timing of childhood physical maturity and by genes which contribute to our natural differences in personality types.” He adds, “We show that age at first sexual intercourse is also influenced by genes.” For the study, the research did a “genome-wide association study — a giant trawl through all 20,000 genes in the human body” – of samples from three different databases.

Topic 00:06:20

Direct Communication 00:08:40

  • Clear, definitive statements to persuade, convince, order, and do

    • I feel, I want, I need

    • You should, you must, you ought to

  • Tends to be more proactive with communication

    • Tackles issues head on

  • Says what he or she means to say

    • Very little hidden meaning or subtext

    • Relies less on body language, tone

  • Direct communication pitfalls

    • Be careful not to issue ultimatums

    • Be wary of coming across as insensitive, controlling, or dismissive

      • Acknowledge and validate partner’s thoughts and feelings

Indirect Communication 00:22:10

  • Statements tend to be ambiguous, open to interpretation

    • Maybe, possibly, I’d prefer it if…

    • Do you think you could…, It would be nice if someone…

  • Statements often come with subtext, implied meaning

    • Dropping hints

    • Relying on body language, tone

  • Indirect communication pitfalls

    • Tends to be more deferential

      • “I need” trumps “I’d prefer”

    • Beware the martyr complex

      • Not asserting your needs and wants because you love your partner and value their happiness over your own

      • This is emotionally exhausting, rarely sustainable

      • Partner will feel hurt and misled when facade breaks

    • Careful not to assume your partner knows what you are feeling

      • Don’t assume your partner would feel the same way if he or she were in your position

    • Careful not to assume your partner is speaking indirectly

      • Don’t read into what your partner is saying, look for hidden messages

        • “Do you think we should go out for dinner more often?” ≠ “I don’t like your cooking”

        • “I love it when my other mate plays with my paws” ≠ I don’t enjoy sex with you because you don’t touch my paws.

      • Instead of telling yourself stories about what your partner’s motivations are, ask questions

        • When you said _____, I heard _____. Did you really mean _____?

Common Communication Pitfalls 00:43:50

  • More Than Two’s article on communication

  • Communicating violently

    • Communicating thoughts instead of feelings

    • Lobbing insults, accusations, and recriminations

    • Making blanket statements

      • You always, you never

    • Telling your partner what he thinks or feels

      • Don’t tell your partner what his or her motivations are

    • Listen to our non-violent communication episode

  • Focusing on what went wrong, not how to make things better going forward

  • Assuming that all feelings are true

    • Be careful to distinguish the facts of what happened from the emotional response that was triggered in you

      • Just because I feel bad doesn't mean somebody else did something wrong.

      • Just because I feel good doesn't mean I'm doing the right thing.

    • Remember to assume good faith

    • Ask yourself “what if I’m wrong?”

  • Lying by omission

    • Lie: Any conscious, deliberate attempt to deceive or mislead

    • Don’t tell half-truths to avoid difficult conversations

  • Having different definitions for important words

    • Love, sex, cheating, commitment, marriage, mate, etc.

    • “What does that mean for you?”

  • Leaving out relevant parties

    • Make sure secondary partners, metamours, etc. are included in conversations that are relevant to them or that will affect them or their relationships

  • Communicating through third parties

    • Don’t play a game of telephone

    • Particularly common issue with N, V, W poly relationships

Question(s) 01:15:45

  • Lost causes: i.e. A nontrivial percentage of the population will, despite wanting some sort of affectionate relationship, never experience one. How do you tell if you belong in that category?

    • Received via Twitter from @SoatokDhole

Closer 01:22:30

  • Next week’s topic: Mental Health Month: Emotional Blackmail

Metriko Oni

Metriko Oni is a former government environmental disaster mitigations expert with a focus on outreach, education, and policy writing. He now works with computers. He has been active in the fandom since 2013 and has been an advocate for transparent lines of communication. His interests include philosophy, media, futurism, and speculative fiction.