The connection between two individuals can be one of the most beautiful experiences any human can have. It can also be one of the most confusing.
Few of us can claim to have never stumbled while maneuvering the often complicated paths of communication, trust, understanding, mutual love, and commitment alongside our partners. With all the potential to lose direction, it’s enough to make anyone wish for some kind of roadmap.
While Nancy Dreyfus, Psy.D hasn’t quite crafted a miracle map for the ins and outs of making love work, she has provided a starting place for finding your way. [View more about the book here.] In Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love: Relationship Repair in a Flash, Dreyfus offers an accessible and beautifully constructed approach to conflict resolution.
A psychotherapist specializing in couples therapy as well as a self-professed veteran of a twenty-year marriage, Dreyfus discovered that there was a key to the healing she witnessed both in session and in her own relationship: vulnerability. The greatest failing of communication she saw was the absence of true vulnerability in a given interaction. Without it, hearts stay closed, and neither person feels truly heard.
Enter this book. Dreyfus presents flash cards that couples can hold up to convey their vulnerability in a direct and effective way. Each of the 101 flash cards are accompanied by an example of an experience Dreyfus has witnessed where the flash card was useful - or, conversely, where it could have been used. When talking only seems to be setting the trajectory even further off path, she suggests holding up the card as an expression of your true vulnerability - and watch the tensions diffuse. By opening your heart, Dreyfus believes you can go straight to the heart of healing.
There are some powerful messages in the flash cards. “This feels awful. Can we start again and really listen to each other?” rings true for anyone stuck in an argument that keeps going downhill. “I know you want to repair this, but right now I just need to be in my own space. Please - try not to take this personally,” speaks volumes on its own. And of course, the title, “Talk to me like I’m someone you love,” for anyone who wants to talked to be treated with dignity and respect by the person they love.
All in all, Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love is a gift to anyone who wants to get back to the basics of love: an openness and vulnerability that heals wounds and brings people closer. Maybe it’s not a roadmap to relationships, but it’s a beautiful step in the right direction.
Couples counseling can be the first step in committing to building a healthier, happier, more fulfilling relationship. At Nassau Guidance and Counseling, our therapists are dedicated to helping both you and your partner grow and strengthen your bond. Call (516) 221-9494 today for more information on how you can start getting back on track.