The purpose of a conversation is to achieve the benefits from the conversation. (duh!). 

The end point is not reached until we have a completed action (communication) that is sufficient to to arrive at the desired destination. 

The destination could just be "to be understood" or it could be "let me talk and become clearer in the process. Do you mind", or "I have a problem I need your advice on."   Etc.

It is helpful if the person communicating states what the intent of the initiator of the conversation was.  If he/she doesn't, the receiver is still responsible for finding out the end objectives.  He/she might best choose to clarify what is wanted and needed - as that is very useful(!) information, because then you can know where to head in the conversation.  (Some people just assume many things in a conversation, but what they are doing is living more in the dangerous morass of "the unclarified and therefore unclear."  Being unclear is not a good idea when the idea is to move forward in the most straight line, most efficient way to obtain the result.  Why take longer than what it takes otherwise???)


The anxious "receiver" often will anxiously speed things up and want to jump to the conclusions, not specifiying all the pieces (in his/her "rush" to get it all in), not letting the process go in an orderly manner.   This creates chaos and disorderliness and even related downer in emotional valence. (See "valence" in What Is The Value Of Life Itself?  What Do I Get Out Of It?.)

Those are very costly in a conversation and often it is considered to be quite "rude" or at least impeding of the conversation.

Diverting the conversation from the "straightest path to the result" is, of course, not desirable. 

Notice how often your conversations go off the straight and narrow path - and consider correcting that!.

What contributes to this problem are things like the following.


If a person jumps to conclusions, the other person is left in the breach, as not all of the steps and pieces are revealed to the other person and there is no "check in" to make sure the other person is getting anything from the "jumper".

If a person "pushes back" and/or defends himself, when there is no real attack, that's a diversion.

If a person makes a simple request that can be done directly so that things can move along, resistance or anything that slows down the process should not be engaged in.

For instance, if the person asks "what is your understanding of what I just said"?  Or "could you repeat that back to me so I can get that you understand?", you should answer promptly and directly with nothing added.  Even if the person doesn't add the reason why you should repeat it back, one should still reply promptly, with no resistance. 

The proper response is always to go immediately to meeting that request, "sure, be glad to, this is what I understand..."  

And the requester says "that's correct" or doesn't quite think you got it.  In the latter case, you would not counterattack or counter the other person's move.  You would not engage in suspecting that the requester is trying to be too picky or stupid about this or wishes to make you wrong or that "well, hmmph, they should've understand my response, what's wrong with them, incompetent idiot or stupid a-hole!" (or anything in that vein).  Just give the requester credit, and do not dishonor them by contesting their integrity or intelligence or accuracy.   Simply repeat the process until the requester signs off that they "get it" that you understood what he/she was trying to get across (thank you) and not get impatient or make snarky comments or protest like a child might.

In a conversation when a request is made, just do it, immediately, with no diversions. Realize it's not about you.  It is about achieving the conversational objective.

Just do it.  It's not about you.  It's about achieving the objective!

Don't defend, don't explain (which often reeks of possible defense), don't review the past (unless there is a beneift for the future, most often this is at least "close to" defending or justifying it or may seem so.) - don't make excuses, give reasons why not.
(Read Justification, Excuses, Reasons-Why-Not "Begone"!.) 

Doing these diversions takes time away from the conversation at hand and dishonors the other person's time.  Stay on subject!

Also: Never interrupt.  Especially, don't rapidly, with no space at all, jump in and rifle off what you think or your defense or try to show off what you know.  Those are all diversions that are unhelpful and damaging in a sense, in terms of lost time but also there is a negative emotional effect frequently.


Just follow the straight line!!!! (Or get back to the straight line as soon as possible, not letting yourself stray too far off line!)

People get pissed off.  Learn what is not needed in the conversation, just as you should learn that it is not necessary to defend your self.

If you find yourself blurting out every possible defense from many different angles, like repeats but with slightly different viewpoints or variations, then look at yourself and what you know and seek the solution personally instead of using the bad strategy of defending or justifying.  Learn that it is not needed. 

And learn that you don't "need to defend yourself".  Go back to the source of your hypersensitivity and concerns and debunk them, retrain, and begin to practice what you've newly learned. 

The key thing to learn, in life and in conversation, is the underlying concept of "No criticism, no blame" - and that blame and criticism are not needed, not valid, and should be eradicated as a bad, unworkable concept.  (The defender might say at  this point "I already know that!" and engage in some accusation or defense.  But the fact is that a person doesn't already know that you "got it" if you are in fact engaging in the very thing that they say they know not to do!!!   [Duh!])

Of course, the defending person needs to learn about other causes of his/her anxiety, but the primary component cause of anxiety is faulting oneself, criticizing oneself as a stimulant to the primitive mind think that there is danger and something is amiss and needs to get fixed.  Believe you me the primitive mind will get right to work on it and generate lost of associated information to help out, with almost all of that information of negative valence and causing further anxiety (with the exception of a person using his/her higher brain to analyze and sort out the truth or not truth and to devise a solution).

It is most likely that the sender is just interested in discussing the subject and not in any negative attacks at all.  It is objective, not personal!!!!

Remembe also to follow the rule of never saying anything in a conversation that is "negative" unless it furthers something positive, unless it furthers getting to the desired result from the conversation.  People who have not yet learned not to be reactive will often do that without thinking.  It is up to you to learn to think first and do enough of it to come to a reasonable workable conclusion.  (Read and swear to No Negative Conversations!)


Don't stop the conversation by saying "I already know that!' (with a little bit extra force, as if defending oneself against the insult of the other person not "believing" them.
(They "assume" that the other person is insulting them by not believing them and don't see that the person might just objectively be saying "no, that's not it"..."I don't 'get' that you 'got it'.)  Sometimes a person thinks that they have "gotten it", but they haven't gotten it in enough depth, so they haven't truly gotten it!

Note that the test is not about knowledge but about being able to, and actually, implementing something successfully..   You may know something "about" something but you have not gone far enough to gain "sufficient" knowledge to actually create the desired end result.

Simple idea, sufficiency vs. insufficiency:

Level 1:     I know about
Test 1:      Noticing the result and that it wasn't the right result
Next step:  Learn "sufficiently"
End result: Successfully attained the desired result!



Resist the temptation to make a disparaging comment or to give a veiled (or at least easily interpretable as) negative comment. 

Never, never, never, in all pieces of your life, use a question that is actually a             statement that has negative overtones or is easily interpretable as meaning something negative.

The classic is in the vein of asking "why did we do this stupid thing?".  That is more of a comment, as it clearly is not an information seeker(!).  It could include the person saying it thinking that he is holding himself responsible, but the person is not likely being responsible.  It mostly is a veiled victim statement of something like "why did you do this to me?" or "you're wrong for having done this, bad, stupid...". 

Bottomline, never use a question to imply a comment or statement.  Be direct, but not subversive and "codependent".


Clarify, don't interrupt.  Even if you're anxious, don't interrupt, as you are not an anxious child feeling your life is threatened...

Be clear on and realize:

"It's not about you."
"There is likely no real threat and nothing to defend."

Follow these practices, and don't follow the harmful ones!

Absolutely follow:  It is best just to continue the conversation and keep it on the quickest 'line' to the end desired result of the conversation.

Absolutely never do:

Never interrupt.
Never defend, justify, explain, review the past (unless of course any of them are truly appropriate, which is seldom the case!!!)
Never say anything negative without a truly positive forwarding purpose, as it is otherwise the equivalent of just dumping noxious garbage upon the other person. and it will almost always be frustrating and a downer.  Review the piece on No Negative Conversations!


Just like saying "I got it!", it may not be true.  Look and see what the results are and then adjust and install the new behavior and 100% (99%?) stop the harmful behavior.

Write about this in your journal, perhaps, until you fully understand it and can spot instances where you've done what didn't work and notice that it didn't work and therefore maybe should be changed.

Then repeat it on your morning and/or weekly grounding and set up for the day or the week:  "I absolutely will only engage in forwarding conversation and never in negative conversation.  I will not interrupt.  I will bide my time.  I will listen to the other person and have them know that I understand them.  I will seek only to clarify and to do that which forwards the conversation toward what is wanted and desired by the other person."  (Reread this whole page weekly until you are thoroughly clear to the point where you can say "I got it".  Then read it two more weeks!)


May you reap the great benefit that is possible by knowing and correcting and following what works!

And note that all of us do this to some extent, so there is no fault in you.  There is only insufficient knowing

One lady proclaimed that she will simply scream if she ever again hears her husband come up with excuses and justifications, as that has been going on for decades and it is just plain irritating.  [Don't do either of these.]