The Pursuit of Happiness: Communication


Success in marriage depends on your ability to communicate, Paul R. Warner said Monday during a BYU Education Week session.

Warner discussed methods and tips for pursuing happiness, one of which is effective communication.

“If a person is communicating, there is a comfort zone,” Warner said. “People have a tendency to slide to silence or slide to violence.”

The trick, Warner explained, is finding out where you lie and learning how to improve. He began his session by explaining personality colors and how to have a healthy relationship with each.

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Paul R. Warner speaks on diffrent aspects of the Pursuit of Happiness Monday morning and afternoon in the Wilkinson Center.
First came the reds, the power motives. In learning how to communicate with them, you have to keep four things in mind. Be direct, have facts, don’t argue emotionally and don’t expect close, personal relationships.


“Emotions just don’t carry with a red,” Warner said. “It’s more difficult for them because they’re not emotional, they’re thinkers.”

Next were the blues. Blue personalities tend to be more emotional and harmonious. You need to be genuine to these people and appreciate the things they do. Don’t expect them to recover from insult quickly or forgive quickly.

“I can’t emphasize it enough, appreciate them,” Warner said. “If it’s just a tuna sandwich and you really liked it, let them know.”

The whites have to be treated a little differently. They’re non-contentious and peaceful, so you must be firm — but not mean. Be patient with them and never unkind. Most of all, don’t force them to be verbal.

“If you’re unkind to a white, they shut down,” Warner said. “There are some similarities there with the blue.”

Finally, the yellows must be handled in a fun way because that is what they’re about: fun. Accept their teasing and praise their actions. Don’t be too serious in your criticisms and never demand perfection.

“You gotta joke around them when you’re trying to get them to make an adjustment,” Warner said. “It’s crucial to them to have a good time.”

After understanding these tips, it’s easier to know what turns a discussion needs to make. Beyond that, it’s a matter of improving yourself.

“One of the keys to losing communication is getting angry,” Warner said. “Whites and blues go to silence … reds, some blues and yellows … go to violence.”

To help discover where you stand, answer the questions in the accompanying info box. Once through, you’ll discover what you tend toward.

Ideally, everyone would center on P, or peaceful. This is where you are when you’re within your comfort zone.

“If you’re sharing things that matter, then you’re able to do it at peaceful comfort and you’re not uptight,” Warner explained. “As soon as you get uptight you go one way or the other on the continuum. “

One continuum, S, means you most often become silent. Instead of battling, you prefer to sit back. Normally these people also consider themselves white or blue.

The other continuum, V, means you become violent. You prefer to fight back and would never sit silent. This group is normally filled with reds and yellows.

“The thing they are trying to get at is what is your typical pattern,” Warner said. “This doesn’t mean this is the way you do it every time.”


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