Encapsulating ‘rules of thumb’ for communicating and good boundaries for communication. Goal of creating closeness, repairing resentment, preventing toxic or abusive patterns, cutting off broken relationships.

My intentions

  • I have good intentions and will strive to convey that in my communications
  • I do and will strive to assign good intentions to your words and actions
  • I do this with awareness of fallibility and openness to correction

My Actions

  • I will attempt to assume good reason for mistakes or hurtful things, but will apply appropriate boundaries
  • Appropriateness of response
  • I believe communication is fundamentally hard, but I will invest the energy and appropriate means (in person over phone, phone over messaging, letters, etc.)


  • There are reasonable bounds to which any assumption of good intent can and should go. I no longer put up with toxic communication
  • If I make a mistake, I will do my best to be open and acknowledge the mistake and correct it. I expect it to be expressed in a reasonable fashion as possible
  • If emotions run too high I will do my best to express it and my need to step away for a time
  • I will strive to hold myself to all of these things
  • I have a similar expectation on anyone that wishes to cooperate with me, accept help from me, or have a relationship with me or those I am responsible for their health and safety

Examples of Toxic Communication

  • Discourtesy such as interrupting, swearing, raising voice, yelling, etc.
  • Disrespectful or disregarding acts such as
    • diverting attention to other conversations/phone/social media during conversation
    • making commitments of communication and not following through. Example: missing planned touch points of communication
  • Condescension such as
    • Scoffing
    • Snickering, laughing
    • Rolling eyes
  • Ad hominem diversions such as:
    • attacks on my character and intent
  • Externalization
    • refusal to self-assess
    • blaming others for all or more than their fair share of blame
  • ‘Gaslighting’
    • intentional obfuscation of reality or facts to ‘win’
    • Feigned ignorance or misunderstanding