8Explore Others’ PathsHow to Listen When Others Blow Up or Clam Up

One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears—by listening to them.—DEAN RUSK

Over the past few months your daughter Wendy has started to date a guy who looks like he’s about ten minutes away from a felony arrest. After only a few weeks of dating this fellow, Wendy’s clothing preference is now far too suggestive for your taste, and she routinely punctuates her language with expletives. When you carefully try to talk to her about these recent changes, she shouts accusations and insults and then withdraws to her room where she sulks for hours on end.

Now what? Should you do something given that you’re not the one going to silence or violence? When others clam up (refusing ...

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