i received this as a forwarded email from a good friend, and i thought id want to post it here for net posterity, as it also aptly describes what has been my attitude for a long time now in dealing with others, although my own "credo" only consists of four words: "Be honest. Be kind." : )
A Credo for My Relationship with Others
You and I are in a relationship which I value and want
to keep. We are also two separate persons with our own
individual values and needs.
So that we will better know and understand what each
of us values and needs, let us always be open and
honest in our communication.
When you are experiencing a problem in your life, I
will try to listen with genuine acceptance and
understanding in order to help you find your own
solutions rather than imposing mine. And I want you to
be a listener for me when I need to find solutions to
At those times when your behavior interferes with what
I must do to get my own needs met, I will tell you
openly and honestly how your behavior affects me,
trusting that you respect my needs and feelings enough
to try to change the behavior that is unacceptable to
me. Also, whenever some behavior of mine is
unacceptable to you, I hope you will tell me openly
and honestly so I can try to change my behavior.
And when we experience conflicts in our relationship,
let us agree to resolve each conflict without either
of us resorting to the use of power to win at the
expense of the other's losing. I respect your needs,
but I also must respect my own. So let us always
strive to search for a solution that will be
acceptable to both of us. Your needs will be met, and
so will mine; neither will lose, both will win.
In this way, you can continue to develop as a person
through satisfying your needs, and so can I. Thus,
ours can be a healthy relationship in which both of us
can strive to become what we are capable of being. And
we can continue to relate to each other with mutual
respect, love and peace.
Dr. Thomas Gordon