Chapter 19: Meta-communication
Meta-communication is communication about communication. When communication isn’t working, you can use meta-communication to help you figure out why and to make things better in the future. Many of the techniques we talk about are meta-communication in a broad sense, but in this chapter we’ll talk about a particular kind of meta-communication: conversations you can have once to make lots of future conversations better.
What if someone often uses a particular word or phrase that sparks an unhelpfully defensive reaction in you? Meta-communication can help: bring it up a single time so you don’t continue tripping over it again and again. What if a particular kind of misunderstanding arises over and over again? Meta-communication can help: bring it up once to talk about how to avoid the misunderstanding in the future or how to deal with it more gracefully when it does happen.
…and here’s the rest: