News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace for 2018

Attitiude Reconstruction  


                                                                            Chris Potter - Santa Barbara Artist

                                                          May 2018  


Jude Bijou 
Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  

Kind words about Attitude Reconstruction  
Loved the last issue of the newsletter. The cartoons 
cracked me up BECAUSE they were soooo true. And you really illuminated the topic of depression. 
A truly great newsletter, all round....
Thank you for sharing your newsletter with me. It is profound and powerful and precious.
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Keys to a Good Life, a book that includes a collection of articles, including one by yours truly on how to deal with anxiety!

It is now available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. and is the perfect way to find wisdom to unlock your power within.

"Do you really care or are you just being a good listener?"

"At this time you may switch on your electronic devices and see what he said now."

"You know, it would be nice if every once in a while I get credit for listening to the first part of almost everything you say."


Greetings dear ones

A belated happy Mother's Day to all you moms. You can't be celebrated enough!

This month I'm covering a topic that we just can't be reminded of enough  -- the four rules of good communication. These rules apply to every situation, but are especially essential when emotions are in play.

When I teach my communication class I start by asking who feels like they are listened to enough. Maybe one or two folks raise their hands. Yikes.

The good news is there are only four rules -- 3 having to do with how to speak and the fourth is to listen.

But first...    
A Few Articles of Interest


Men are crying on TV like never before. Praise the Lord!

Two plants given the same light, water, and location. One is bullied for 30 days and the other appreciated. The results speak for themselves. 

How to clean our ocean as devised by a 23 year old Dutchman. 

Videos Guaranteed to Bring a Smile!  
 Here's a short good news video about all the things happening in our world that are under the radar.

An inspirational story about Pratima Sherpa, an 18 year old Nepalese woman, who visits the USA (and takes a private lesson from Tiger Woods) and aspires to be the first female golf pro in Nepal. 

Whenever I'm blue, I can count on Debbie Downer to get me laughing. Here she is with her friends at Disneyworld.

Here's an inventive guy with too much time of his hands. Joseph makes an automatic cake server.

"You have to learn to communicate with each other. Get email."

All cartoons "borrowed" from the Cartoonbank.  

The Four Communication Rules and Violations

    After thirty-five years in private psychotherapy practice and decades of studying and teaching, I've found all good communication boils down to just four simple rules. Whether it's with our spouse, our kids or our b oss, mastering these concepts will have us communicating with anyone about any topic, effectively and lovingly. While this topic is not new to many of you readers, I believe we can never be reminded of them enough. They are simple but not easy.

    There are also four main violations that create misunderstandings (as well as the ensuing hurt). They stem from unexpressed emotions -- sadness, anger and fear. (This point will be covered in a future newsletter so I ask you take my word on this point.) Recognizing these four bad communication habits will help us avoid the alienation and confusion we often experience when interacting with others, especially at emotionally-charged times. Using them is like throwing gasoline on the bar-b-que.

    Knowing the 4+4 communication rules and violations doesn't make for stilted convers ations. Being aware of them gives us a choice about whether we want distance or closeness with our words. By abiding by the four rules we honor ourselves and others with every exchange and increases the probability of finding connection and common ground.

"I forget-- Are you not speaking to me or just not listening?"

1. The First Rule is "talk about yourself." This is our domain. It's a big enough task to take care of ourselves so believing it's our duty to comment on or interpret others diverts us from focusing on what's true for us about us. It's appropriate to share what we feel, think, want, and need. This brings closeness, as we reveal information about ourselves. It can take some time to determine what we really believe, feel, or want.

The First Violation is to tell other people about themselves (without permission). This includes blaming, sarcasm, teasing, attacking, and finger-pointing. You're guaranteed to create separation and accentuate differences. I call this "you-ing" because instead of talking about ourselves, we divert attention and put the focus on others with put downs or making them wrong.

 2. The Second Rule is to stay specific and concrete. That's what we do with everything from music to architecture to computers; and what we must do when communicating. When we stay concrete, others can understand what we're saying - the topic, the request, the reasons. It brings peace.

The Second Violation is over-generalizing. This can take the form of sweeping conclusions, abstractions, and labeling. Using words like "always" and "never", or bringing in other topics barely related to the subject at hand all fall into this category. This is confusing at best, as we don't know what's being said. It fuels fear.

3. The Third Rule, then, is kindness. Compassion fosters love. It can take the form of offering appreciations, praise, focusing on the positive, and sharing gratitude.

The Third Violation is being unkind. Focusing on what's not working or on what we don't like, throws a wrench in furthering the conversation. It produces anger and feelings of separation in the recipient.

4. The Fourth Rule is simply to listen. That means seeking to truly understand what someone is saying, and encouraging their speech. Almost no one feels listened to enough! Listening is a practice that brings closeness. The next section of this newsletter will elaborate on this essential skill.

The Fourth Violation is not listening. We know how that feels. Not good. Automatic interruptions, debates, and wise-cracks don't truly acknowledge the speaker but instead further our own agenda and need for attention.

We don't have to look very far to find these violations. They are in virtually every setting and cause communication breakdowns and distance. The four rules on the other hand, bring loving, effective communication and feelings of connection. Remember: share your own experience, use specifics, stick to kindness, and listen. They are very simple (but not easy) rules. The rewards of living by them are infinite and supremely satisfying.

"Of course I'm listening. I'm just in a heightened state of alert."
Listening Don'ts

The following is a list of listening don'ts. I suggest you memorize them and review them often.

*    Interrupting
*    Leaping into problem solving
*    Offering unsolicited advice or opinions
*    Finishing others' sentences
*    Changing the topic
*    Matching stories
*    Debating or challenging
*    Cornering or interrogating
*    Multi-tasking
The Art of Listening

The best way to show you're listening is to close your mouth, shut out background noise, and give the other person undivided attention. Full attention when someone else is speaking also means you're not already gearing up for an opportunity to counter with your own opinions or solutions.

You may think you're demonstrating empathy when you interrupt another person's story to chime in about your own experience. But you may be surprised to find the other person doesn't really care about a "bigger fish" story; they just wore their heart on their sleeve and you're trying to one up them! Communication has turned into competition.

If you tend to interrupt or dominate every conversation, slap some imaginary duct tape on your mouth when someone else is speaking. Hogging the airtime or not paying attention to another person who's speaking will produce anger in others. When you don't listen to someone, you're failing to acknowledge that person as an equal. And that's never going to inspire good feelings. The other person perceives it as a violation and responds accordingly. Listening well, on the other hand, promotes love. It's a form of selfless giving and an invitation to connect.

Just because you understand a person's position doesn't automatically mean you agree with it. For love to flourish, you must fully accept that the other people's viewpoints and needs are as valid as yours. This seems to be challenging for many who have developed strong opinions about everything from politics to mothering techniques. Earnestly listening to people makes them feel comfortable and safe.
Further Listening Suggestions

1. To encourage a withdrawn person to talk, lovingly say,  " Tell me more" or " More details please."

2. Smile and nod a lot. These nonverbal gestures express an open and compassionate stance of listening.  

3. Support yourself mentally when listening and silently repeat such phrases as: Your viewpoints and needs are as valid as mine. Or when they're talking about you rather than themselves, think: They are "you-ing" me, and what they're saying says nothing about me.  

4. If a topic fills you with big doses of sadness, anger, or fear, ask for and take a short time-out to deal with your emotions. Then return to listening.

Hey Jude!
I'm into listening but sometimes my partner just goes off and tells me about all my shortcomings. It's not helpful. Do I really need to listen?
When someone has unexpressed anger, they default back to "you-ing" instead of sharing about him or herself. When "YOU-ED", matador it. Don't defend, argue, placate, explain, or offer your rational. Stay silent. Like a matador, let the BULL go by, remembering: "They are out of their territory and you-ing me. Don't take it personally." If they persist, try the line and lovingly say, "You may be right," then change the topic. I f those strategies fail, politely remove yourself.
        I'm sending you best wishes for a safe and lovely spring and summer.  
Thanks for reading this newsletter. If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so feel free to write me at:
                           With love,