Love Skill #26 – Speak with Gentleness


Love Skill #26

Speak with Gentleness

By Dr. Scott Peck & Shannon Peck 


Speaking with gentleness
soothes hearts
& allows intimacy to flow

Creating intimacy is all about the process – how you speak rather than what you say. When you speak with gentleness, intimacy flourishes. When gentleness is absent, intimacy disappears.

Gentleness is easy to overlook when you are in a hurry to discuss what you want to say. Your words may be accurate, but they may be so direct or blunt that they create unease or even conflict. Intimacy easily slips away without gentleness.

Rather than waiting until intimacy erodes or evolves into conflict and then hitting your “speak with gentleness” button, use this love skill to create a smooth path of sustained and flowing intimacy.

As a Love Master, constantly think about how to say something in a way that enhances intimacy rather than just focusing on getting your point across.

Here is an example. Suppose you are talking with someone and intimacy between you is flowing nicely. Then, however, something is said that you disagree with. Which words below would flow from you and what would be the effect of your choice?

A. “I disagree with what you are saying.”
B. “I’m enjoying our conversation and I respect what you are saying. I have a slightly different point of view on this issue and
I’d like to share that for conversation.”

The first example is direct. You may be correct, but these words don’t create or sustain intimacy. In fact, intimacy would most likely decline or even disappear after this one statement.

With the second example, you still get your point across, but with a gentle smoothness that also allows intimacy to continue to flow. The difference in the two responses is vast.

Do you see the power of this love skill?

To be an expert in speaking with gentleness, stay connected to the process. Think how, not what. Choose your words with care. Think with your heart as well as your head. Use words that unite rather than divide.

Let your tone be soft and loving rather than pushing or adamant. Take time to be attuned to how the other person is receiving your words. There is no need to rush. Keep your focus on sustaining intimacy.

Speaking with gentleness calms and soothes everyone’s heart. It allows intimacy to flow as a steady wave with hardly a ripple. It is not only polite, but noble.

A Love Master continually expresses gentleness as a refined consideration of another’s heart.


Gentleness includes
all the power of Love

Action Step

As you speak today,
especially when you are moving towards being upset
deliberately practice speaking with gentleness

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Copyright (c) 2006-2017 by Scott & Shannon Peck

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