Book review: Talk to Me Like I'm Someone You Love, revised edition: Relationship Repair in a Flash

By Lori Alamia,
An outside-the-box tool for healthier relationships...

One of the keys to a great relationship is communication. When healthy communication is lacking, a couple can fall into a painful pattern of arguing. At these moments, sometimes verbal communication won't allow them to say what they mean, at least not without yelling, and physical communication might not be as gentle and loving as it should be. How about a relationship tool a little outside-the-box? How about some flash cards?

Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love: Relationship Repair in a Flash by psychotherapist and couples therapist Nancy Dreyfus, is an interactive relationship book. She also has a deck of 64 flash cards, titled Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love: Flash Cards for Real Life, for repair on the go.

While it may sound unusual, the concept was derived from a real session Dreyfus had with a struggling couple. It worked to help them get their relationship back on track. In the heat of the moment, she came up with an effective way to encourage us to pause and think about what we are really trying to say. The beauty of a flash card is that there is no tone involved. The message is clear and can perhaps break an argument cycle by looking at the issue in a different way.

Her flash cards are divided into ten categories, such as “Shifting Gears” with a message like “This feels awful. Can we start again and really listen to each other?”

Other cards include “Taking Responsibility” with a message like “I realize I’m overreacting. Can you give me a minute to get sane again?” and “Setting Limits,” which includes the flash card from which the book’s title derived “Talk to me like I’m someone you love.”

Each flash card includes an explanation and example of when the card might be used.

This revised edition includes new sections on “Making Love” and “Deepening Trust” as well as some revisions to her previous flash cards. There is also a section for creating your own flash cards.

Dreyfus recommends reading through the entire book to see what resonates to the couple or what might have helped an argument they had in the past. As conflicts tend to repeat themselves, what might have been helpful last week could be helpful when the issue comes up again.

As long as they have an open mind and desire to heal, a couple can surely benefit from this smart tool to help them communicate in a more loving way.

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