Book Review: Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love

I often take weeks to review books, but I found myself wanting to blog about this one within two minutes of opening it.  For starters, the title — Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love — is just great.  Haven’t we all had moments where someone who loves us isn’t showing it?   I’ve never seen a book quite like this.   It is a pack of flash cards and a therapist all rolled into one spiral bound book.   On one side of each two-page spread is a flash card.   On the opposite side is a discussion of when this flash card might be useful.

You might assume that this book is designed for marriages in trouble– after all, the subtitle of the book is ‘Relationship Repair in a Flash’.   But I didn’t feel that was the case at all.   My husband and I have an excellent marriage– we are very happy together.   But even the happiest couples have moments of disagreement, and I found multiple cards in the book that might mitigate tense moments. John found the book intriguing as well, and spent several minutes flipping through the book and commenting.  Most of the cards would best be used with a spouse, but some would definitely work with kids or friends. The flash cards are not designed to ‘zing’ loved ones into ‘good’ behavior– rather they’re designed to express caring while also fostering transparency and honest communication.

Some examples:

–“I was making a big deal out of something that just isn’t that important.   I want to let it go.”

(How nice would it be to hear that one in the middle of a disagreement? And what a gift to give that to a loved one!)

–“When you are so intense, it’s hard to take in what might be valid about what you’re saying.

(so much better than saying, “Stop yelling at me!!”  — a line I’ve tried on several people without any noticeable effect.  🙂 )

–“I am upset.  This doesn’t mean you are a bad person…It means that if you could just listen, I would feel incredibly loved.”

(for those moments when you need a listener, not necessarily a solution)

–“I love you.  I hate fighting.  Can’t we just hug?”

(this one is used not to ‘shut down’ a person, but to come to some peace when a heated discussion isn’t seeming to get anywhere.)


The book has over 100 flash cards, written and trialed by a psychotherapist.  On one hand it seems a little clunky to have to flip through the book to find a page that expresses how you’re feeling at the moment.   But most difficult interchanges would be improved by a few moments of pause to reflect.  And there’s something powerful about pausing long enough to give a loved one a carefully chosen page.  The written word is powerful. I love this book, and recommend it very highly.

(My review policy)

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  1. Ohhh… I can think of 100 times I could use that first one! The book sounds great.

  2. What an interesting concept! I am curious to check this book out, altho I admit, I think I would dopey using a flash card in the middle of a “discussion”.