3 min read - last updated March 18, 2021
🎯 Show intent
We enter conversations to explore freely, get to know each other and become more informed, affirmed and empowered about love, sex and relationships.
👀 Come curious
We acknowledge that there is something we don't know and we enter every conversation assuming we have something to learn.
👂 Listen mindfully
We keep our attention on what is being said right now letting go off judgements, opinions, clever insights, etc. We listen with our full attention, to understand, not to respond.
'If your mouth is open, you're not learning.' — Buddha
💭 Embrace silences
We consider so called 'awkward silences' as beautiful opportunities to slow down, bond collectively in the moment, reflect on what has been shared and what we want to share.
💗 Hold this space
We encourage full participation by all present. We consider tuning in through mindful listening if we speak often, and making space by sharing our experience if we tend to rest in silence.
⚠️ Keep trigger warnings in mind
We use trigger warnings to maintain our space safe by putting choice back into the hands of those who have had traumatic experiences (more on trigger warnings here).
🐼 Treasure vulnerability
We acknowledge the efforts made by others showing vulnerability as they share personal experiences and nurture our authentic space.
'What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.' — Haruki Murakami
😊 Disagree kindly
We welcome the voicing of disagreements, encourage others to offer contrasting views and remain kind and compassionate with them.
❓ Ask questions
We use open-ended questions to invite the respondent beyond a 'yes' or 'no' into what they think, feel or need and ensure that we learn something about them.
🎯 Self focus
We speak about our own experiences and responses using 'I' or 'in my experience' statements and do not speak for a whole group or express assumptions about the experiences of others.
'Our identities are as fluid as our personal experiences are diverse.' — Raquel Cepeda
🌈 Communicate inclusively
We value the importance of words and the impact they have and aspire to communicate free from language that perpetuate stereotypes, negative expectations or limitations.
🤫 Respect privacy
We do not share the names or personal stories of anyone other than ourselves, now or later. If we want to follow up with anyone regarding something they said, we ask first and respect their wish.
💆♀️ Practice care & consent
We participate in what feels right and speak our needs. We can say 'I pass' or 'No, thank you' if you don't wish to speak. We ask for permission before offering advice, unless directly asked.
'If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.' — Maya Angelou
📢 Call out unwanted behaviors
We speak our concerns as they arise, as much as we can. We are all guardians of the community and take responsibility for calling out others on unwanted behaviors.
🏏 Address impact
We strive to understand and acknowledge impact. No matter our intentions, we take responsibility for the impact our actions have and welcome being called out as an opportunity to learn.
This is a living document, and subject to refinement and expansion in the future. Direct message us if you would like to help us improve it.
Last update March 18, 2021 - added entry on trigger warnings.
The use of this guide should not be restricted to LVRSNFRNDS. Use it in any interactions you have with others: listen to people, talk to people, and, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.
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