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Take two talkwalks,


get a good sleep, and 


call me in the morning!


     A very dear old student friend once told me she got more out of a couple of talkwalks than she did an entire semester of classes, readings, and studies. 

     Over the years I have recommended the practice to many business partners, management teams, marriage partners, close friends and relatives.  Typically the feedback has been of positive results. 

     With just a couple more weeks ’til the beginning of D’FIFTH (Dysfunctional Family Invasions For The Holidays), it seemed like good timing to suggest that the best way to work through relationship problems is by taking a walk together, far (even a block away will do) from the madding crowds, and talking out the issues, the conflicts, one at a time, shoulder to shoulder, without yelling, and without interrupting. 

     Now, admittedly, this may be a little harder to do than just reading it here, especially if you’re used to punching, slapping, kicking, biting, screaming, shooting, stabbing, hair-pulling, and ear-twisting.

     It starts with an invitation to step outside.  No, not like in the old cowboy movie saloon scenes, when a fight was imminent and nobody wanted to end up winning and then have to get hit with a huge bill for damages.  It’s more like, Hey, David, you old brother-in-law son-of-a-gun, you, how about we take a walk around the block and try out these two Cuban cigars I got? 

     Or: Let’s have a talk about that old girlfriend of yours? (or motorcycle?  or fishing pole?)  You get the idea.  Next, especially if David agrees, is to take a series of deep breaths [Click Magazine Articles tab above to see “Are You Breathing?” for 4-step guidance on this], and then to not inhale if you’re doing the cigar thing! 

     Have a three or four point agenda in your head — things that will clear the decks so to speak, level the playing field — junk you’d like to square away with this hardass, but don’t want to end up in a stuffing and cranberry sauce fight right after saying grace.  Y’know? 

     You need a little mental bullet list of subjects you can save up and put out there on the sidewalk in front of you as you do this walk.  Oh, and if you only have wooded trails around, maybe just hoof it around the basement a few laps, particularly if David is an outdoorsy type or has a rifle in his pick-up.

     The idea is to: 1) isolate the key points that are troubling you, 2) explain what you’ve been feeling and thinking about, 3) offer some options you can think of, and 4) ask for comments, ideas, and feedback (sometimes it’s best to set up #4 before beginning with #1.)  Be sure if you need to be critical, to criticise behavior, not the person.  Make a point of not interrupting, and of asking David to do the same, as you explain your thoughts.  Keep taking deep breaths.  Keep walking.  Keep talking.  Keep listening.

     Happy talkwalks!  . . .  Halalpiar 

     # # #  

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