Resentment might start with a wrong that’s done to you, but harboring it in silence is a wrong you do to others.

The best way to communicate your needs clearly is to trust them, vs. spinning them in the most favorable way or second-guessing your own normalcy.

Listen for follow-up questions, because when those dry up, that means your companion’s interest usually has, too.

Carolyn Hax: Weddings bring out the worst in an unmarried couple – The Washington Post

Plus, I wonder whether you’ve actually just talked about it in a non-charged setting and, if you have, why one or both of you isn’t accepting the outcome of that talk as your current reality. “Fighting” is really just a nickname for an attempt to renegotiate what you already know is the truth but don’t want to accept.

Oh, snap. Carolyn Hax bringin’ some real talk.

Carolyn Hax: Weddings bring out the worst in an unmarried couple – The Washington Post

Small Talk | The Point Magazine

Exchanging small talk with people we’ve just met may be an unfortunate necessity, but with people we already know, it seems to suggest that they’re people to whom we have nothing to say. And yet if small talk is just talk that’s idle, insignificant and without stated purpose, then surely a substantial portion of the chatter that goes on between couples, friends and (or especially) families must count as small. Banality, however, need not always be insignificant. There’s nothing earth-shattering, usually, about missing the bus, what you ate for lunch or the new dress you just bought, but these are just the mundane tidbits that make up so much of the talk between intimates. In fact, such conversations about trivialities can arguably happen only with those close to us—only the members of our inner circle do we presume to burden with the minutiae of our lives.

Small Talk | The Point Magazine

Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage | Derek Sivers

When everyone else is trying to automate everything, using a little human intervention can be a competitive advantage. The problem is when business owners see it as a cost, instead of an opportunity. Trying to minimize costs, instead of maximize income, quality, loyalty, happiness, connection, and all those other wonderful things that come from real human attention.

Human Intervention as a Competitive Advantage | Derek Sivers

Why Mars & Venus Collide (review: 3/5)

Why Mars & Venus Colllide is about stress and communication between men and women. Our modern lifestyle is breakneck-paced, relationship roles have changed, our responsibilities and stress levels grow as our time to deal with them decreases. Welcome to today, nothing new. So what do you do?
According to John Gray, the first step is to wake up and realize that men and women have different biochemistry going on, stress affects our chemicals in different ways, and we recover from stress and replenish ourselves in different ways. But we’re clueless: “Women mistakenly expect men to react and behave the way women do, while men continue to misunderstand what women really need.”

We each feel better when our personal chemical stockpiles are filled up. This is how it works: in a nutshell, women de-stress by talking, connecting, processing, sharing their ills—which restores oxytocin. Men de-stress by zoning out, shifting gears, detaching from the day’s troubles—which allows testosterone reserves to fill up again. These seem like competing solutions.

Women can’t just shut down and forget about it for a little while like men. Going ninja and crossing more items off the to-do list doesn’t work, either, because “in a woman’s brain there will always be more to do.” They need to talk—it’s biological. They’re wired to process and men need to respond:

Without understanding this, a man’s testosterone levels would drop when he passively listens to his partner’s feelings or her resistance to his action plans. Just listening to her feelings seems a no-win situation. When women talk about problems, men start to become restless, irritable, and then depressed… Men need to learn the art of listening without interrupting to solve her problems.

And when men convert to seeing attentive listening as a problem-solver in itself… then we’re on to something. Man gets the satisfaction of “doing something,” woman gets the satisfaction of being heard.

A man’s desire to make a woman happy is greatly underestimated by women, because women have such different motivations.

The rest of the book is about exploring these differences and finding sensible compromises that allow each partner to relax and emote in healthy ways. Gray paints with a pretty broad brush, but anecdotally, most of it squares with experience. I like this bit on the relationship scoreboard:

“At a subconscious level, a woman is always keeping track of how much she gives in contrast to how much she receives. When he gives to her, she gives him a point, and when she gives to him, she gives herself a point.” And this begins an extended and probably-not-intentionally hilarious section on how to “rack up the points on Venus,” even providing a “One Hundred Ways…” list that would be at home here on the internet.