The Breast Blog: A Quiz: Can You Make These Statements?

On the weekend I found myself sitting silently at my family dinner table of 13 while nephews, nieces, brother and in-laws duked it out with typical snide remarks and back handed comments all fashioned as jokes. Jokes that to me, always seem potentially hurtful.

I kept my head low for fear of finding myself the target of this long standing, family tradition. My avoidance worked for me this time. Unfortunately, not everyone at the table had a strategy that saw them safely through. A few hits landed hard.

I like conversation that leaves me feeling good. Gee, what an strange thing to admit to. And I love offering positive vibe to those I relate too. I don't want to feel damaged after being in someone's company or fling pain in anyone's direction. But it doesn't always work out that way. Especially in families where dynamics have built up over time yet remain slightly below the surface.

Healthy communication is a core issue for health of all kinds. Miss-communication affects our physical, emotional and spiritual well being. So making clear communication a life pursuit is a worthy contribution to yourself and those around you.

This morning I found this simple test that's part of a new book called: Saying What's Real by Susan Campbell, PhD.

Take a look at the fifteen statements below. Next to each statement, write 0 if it would rarely or never occur to you to say this, 1 if you might occasionally make this statement, and 2 if such a statement is typical of your style.

  1. Hearing you say how that affected you, I feel sorry I did that.
  2. I want you to listen and hear me out before responding.
  3. I'm sorry. If I had it to do over, I would...
  4. Tell me more about why you feel/think/see it that way.
  5. I didn't mean to hurt you. What I wish I'd been able to communicate is...
  6. I'd like to make it up to you/to make amends.
  7. Could we sit down and talk about something that's on my mind?
  8. I'm feeling unfinished about that recent conversation between us. Could we talk about it?
  9. I need some time before I respond to you.
  10. I see it differently than that. May I tell you how I see it?
  11. I think/favor/want...What do you think/favor/want?
  12. I appreciate you for...(something this person did or said).
  13. I want...How does that work for you? (Is this something you can give?)
  14. I feel crummy about what just happened. Can we talk about it?
  15. I notice myself getting defensive. I think I'm getting triggered.


The highest possible score is thirty, and the lowest would be zero. The higher your score, the higher your likelihood of having successful relationships. Here is a breakdown of what your scores might mean:

  • 0–9: You probably find yourself frustrated in relationships more often than you would like. This book will open your eyes to new possibilities.
  • 10–15: You have a high aptitude for relating and are open to learning. You will probably find the skills and tools in this book compatible with your style.
  • 16–24: You have good relationship skills and have the aptitude to take your skills to the highest level if you wish. Read on!
  • 25–30: Your capacity for present-centered relating is already at a very high level. Congratulations! Perhaps this book can be useful in helping others you know reach the level you're already at.
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