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Michele HappeMichele Happe Blog
A place for discussion of addictions, codependency and eating disorders

Twisted Upside-Down Communication

Michele Happe, MA, LADC Updated: Feb 14th 2011

If I was to rank, I would say that my most potent trigger is indirect communication. At 15 I began my quest to learn how to communicate effectively, I begged my parents to get involved, to no avail. This is one thing that contributed to my desire to become a therapist.

chat bubblesHere are some examples of indirect communication:

Asking a Question Rather than Making a Statement: Would you like some solitude today? The statement would actually be, I would like to go golfing today. Are you OK with that? Or, while stirring homemade soup with a metal spoon, I hear, "Oh! You don't use a wooden spoon with that?

Complaining about Someone When They Are Not There and Then Being Nice to Their Face: This is called triangulation. It is toxic and harms every one.

Saying Yes When You Mean No: My ex-husband's daughter asked him in my presence after we were married, "daddy, do you think you and mommy will get back together?" His answer was..."maybe"

Never Saying No: enough said

Hinting Around Rather Than Asking Directly: "I sure miss having the whole family together for dinner".

In the Buddhist tradition we have the Ten Virtues. Four of them deal with speech. This indicates how vitally important right speech is to living a virtuous life. In the wise words of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, "Right speech, explained in negative terms, means avoiding four types of harmful speech: lies (words spoken with the intent of misrepresenting the truth); divisive speech (spoken with the intent of creating rifts between people); harsh speech (spoken with the intent of hurting another person's feelings); and idle chatter (spoken with no purposeful intent at all). He says, "In positive terms, right speech means speaking in ways that are trustworthy, harmonious, comforting, and worth taking to heart. When you make a practice of these positive forms of right speech, your words become a gift to others. In response, other people will start listening more to what you say, and will be more likely to respond in kind. This gives you a sense of the power of your actions: the way you act in the present moment does shape the world of your experience. You don't need to be a victim of past events.

Lets make our words a gift to others.

Be Well


Michele Happe, MA, LADCI am a licensed addictions therapist that specializes in addiction and codependency. I use Buddhist principles to aid in recovery and to help promote happiness. I also write and teach about these issues. I have a private practice in Minden, NV and Reno, NV and work nationally on the phone(775)230-1507 and through skype (mhappenow). My webpage is Join me on Facebook for lots of mini teachings.

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