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Emma and SarahI have a lot I want to talk about tonight, so I’m gonna break it up into a few posts.

I spent the day hanging out with Emma McCreary, who was in town for a few days from Portland. She and I have had parallel keep-an-eye-on-each-other lives since we first did business together five years ago, and we’ve managed to become close friends almost entirely through blogging. We only met in person for the first time last month, so it’s extra exciting that I got to hang out with her again today. It also didn’t surprise me that — in between art-climbing adventures and ultrathick milkshakes — we skipped the small talk and went straight to philosophical discussions about how we interact with the world.

Emma studies Non-Violent Communication (and other happiness-inducing practices), and has picked up some helpful ways of explaining how we humans deal with stuff. Here were some of the nuggets I stole from our conversation (mostly for my own memory, but you can eavesdrop):

  • Letting your body fully experience difficult emotions is the easiest way to clear them away.
  • Being in a relationship is like looking into a Fun House mirror. You think you’re looking at someone else, but you’re really looking at yourself.
  • We usually try to get all of our needs met with one strategy. We’re better off if we try to get each need met with lots of strategies.
  • If you need to say “no” to someone, start by telling them what you’re saying “yes” to, and they’ll be able to hear the “no” much better.
  • When someone compliments you, they’re usually letting you know you helped fill one of their needs.

Good nuggets. Thank you, Emma.