For my Relationships with others.
You and I are in a relationship which I value and want to keep. Yet each of us is a separate person with his own unique needs and the right to meet those needs.
When you are having problems meeting your needs I will try to listen with genuine acceptance in order to facilitate your finding your own solutions instead of depending on mine. I also will try to respect your right to choose your own beliefs and develop your own values, different though they may be from mine.
However, when your behavior interferes with what I must do to get my own needs met, I will openly and honestly tell you how your behavior affects me, trusting that you respect my needs and feelings enough to try to change the behavior that is unacceptable to me. Also, whenever some behavior of mine is unacceptable to you, I hope you will openly and honestly tell me your feelings. I will then listen and try to change my behavior.
At those times when we find that either of us cannot change his behavior to meet the other’s needs,, let us acknowledge that we have a conflict-of-needs that requires resolving. Let us then commit ourselves to resolve each such conflict without either of us resorting to the use of power or authority to try to win at the expense of the other’s losing. I respect your needs, but I also must respect my own. So let us always strive to search for a solution that will be acceptable to both of us. Your needs will be met, but so will mine –neither will lose, both will win.
In this way, you can continue to develop as a person through satisfying your needs, but so can I. Thus, ours can be a healthy relationship in which each of us can strive to become what he is capable of being. And we can continue to relate to each other with mutual respect, love, and peace.
ã1972 by Thomas Gordon
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