The art of positive communication

Hi all, hope you are all well, or at least coping well. :slight_smile: When I reflect back on my family life, I think the key to any close family is positive communication. Rather than give my thoughts I thought it might be nice to put this topic of conversation out there for discussion, giving a opportunity for everyone to voice their opinions and get involved. Perhaps there is a lot we can learn from one another. :slight_smile:


A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” - Proverbs 25:11

Absolutely agree. Great thread and welcome to the community.

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Thank you for the welcome. :slight_smile: On reflection, what I meant to write was healthy communication rather than positive communication, as I feel they aren’t always the same. I wonder if you have anything to add etc. :slight_smile:

I love this! My son realized something was weird, contacted me, came home 2 months later, and had a sz diagnosis 2 months after that. It had been, and will be, a huge struggle!
We’re super focused on “I” statements. I.e. I need you to take out the trash. If I say “you need to…” that’s an immediate fallacy, because he could not care less how big the garbage pile got.
He hopes to move in with friends next year,so he’s pretty motivated to try.


Healthy communication is something I have in my own family now with my husband and adult son. But the family unit I grew up in, in which my brother with mental illness was a part, would certainly not be defined as healthy, in that the hardest topics were not discussed. As if pain could win if exposed. Everyone coped differently, silently, and several members ended up splitting apart. Much of that is still in place, although it’s getting better. People are a tad closer.

I’ve come to conclude that fluid discussion, the airing out of thoughts and especially feelings with respect, no interrupting or immediate challenge, is the gateway to healing and genuine communication, unity and dare I say it, love. I’m still learning how to do it. I admire those who are naturals at it.


Given the nature of some beliefs in psychosis and how strongly some may feel about it, I would imagine communication could become very challenging. When it comes to healthy communication, I think one way forward is respecting opinions, and that might mean agreeing to disagree, this still values the other person’s perspective/opinion and still leaves communication channels open. Again health teams are the best people to turn to for advice etc…

You’re saying I believe that sharing and respecting opinions, particularly regarding psychosis (and treatments or approaches I’m guessing) is important. That is so true. And that part, remarkably, seems to be going well enough in my family of origin as we continue to deal with my brother now that we siblings are all grown up. We are starting to discuss, agree to disagree, all of that.

What was not healthy from a communication standpoint is how we all handled the initial storm of mental illness onset years ago when my brother spiraled down. Just not talking, some people blaming others, retreating to separate realities. But until you’ve lived through it, you just cannot prepare for or imagine the blur of traumatic confusion. That is the part we didn’t share with one another–our feelings and distress. But then, these feelings were beyond overwhelming: someone we care about is just FLIPPING OUT HERE…what do you say?

This was back in the early 80s when this happened to my family. Back then, there existed no vocabulary we knew of to process the overwhelm, no website to go to, no Oprah or Dr. Phil or whomever to turn to for help. No healthy, conflict-navigating template that was well known to all parties in involved. I should add, no Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum to turn to for advice and get a measured reply.

Thank you for the discussion topic.


I can understand what you are saying. :slight_smile: My Dad had schizophrenia and we had little or no understanding of it. Schizophrenia is bad enough, but if someone afflicted also suffers from low self-worth I think the effects are multiplied. Then add an extra helping of stigma on top… It’s certainly not good. This is why dedicated forums are so valuable as they are a safe place for open discussion, learning and understanding from one another. Such forums also need strict moderating, especially when the vulnerable are members and perhaps more susceptible to influences of all manners…

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I like following this and thanks for sharing. Do you have any resources for healthy/positive communication? What does that mean exactly? I am applying LEAP in my communications which is usually short and majority of times by text. Glad to know more on this topic. From NAMI training, I am trying to start my sentences with “I” keep them short and in simple steps. But again, I am all ears. Thanks!

I’m no expert on the subject, but to talk about things like healthy communication is to steer thoughts in a positive direction. Generally isolation isn’t healthy, and if someone is trapped in their thoughts that can be a downward spiral. Finding ways to bring about un-judgemental conversation is to bring inclusion. Is to allow for debate, is to allow for healthy influence. It could even potentially be the difference between someone going down a rabbit hole in psychosis to perhaps not to. This is why I started this thread, to see if we can learn from each other, which in turn might mean we can help others. Just my thoughts, Perhaps health professionals could add some really useful and valuable insight into this… I welcome others thoughts and opinions etc. :slight_smile:

The use of “I” statements reduces the implication of blame and the resulting defensiveness. It gives everyone a chance to respond from an internal locus of control. Here’s a quick Worksheet.