Mike Dariano


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Difficult Conversations

The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feller is a toolbox of parenting advice. I think Feiler wrote it over time with some of the pieces running in newspapers or magazines but it doesn't feel disjointed. The book has a layout that doesn't imply cohesiveness in a narrative but it does all fit together.

In one chapter Feiler shares his findings about how to have difficult conversations, which might be relevant for the upcoming holidays. During holidays you'll be seeing people you don't normally see and having a gamut of conversations like making family vacation plans, what to do about someone's estate, whether to move mom and dad from their home, how to split up future holidays, or how much money to spend on a joint gift. Some of these conversations can be challenging but Feiler digs into some of the tips from the book Difficult Conversations.

Feiler writes:

The central premise of Heen and Stone's book about difficult conversations is not to view them as isolated incidents, but to see them as parts of a larger narrative of the relationship. To do that we need four steps.

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