A postcard on healthy communication from CUAV

The other day I was at the Lex having a drink (okay, a couple of drinks) with some friends and I found a postcard on one of the tables from CUAV. Community United Against Violence.

I thought it was so great that I wanted to also share it here with you. You can also visit their website, at www.cuav.org though I didn’t see this info posted there. I altered some of the text to include polyamourous situations.
The front of the postcard has a cartoon brain and heart, having a conversation about love. I’d scan it and post it here, but it’s kindof got bar filth all over it which makes it hard to read. Really!

Front of the postcard:

Heart: Hey Brain, what does love mean?

Brain: Well Heart, love means different things to different people. It can mean trust, respect, boundaries, safety, communication. What do some of those things mean for you?

Heart: To me good communication means:

  • Speaking using “I” statements (taking responsibility for feelings)
  • Listening fully and attentively
  • Responding instead of reacting
  • Validating and acknowledging how someone is feeling
  • Having important conversations at a time that is good for both people

Heart: Some of my boundaries are:

  • I get to say “No”
  • I prioritize myself
  • I choose who I disclose my sexual and gender identity to

Back of the postcard:

Again, I would have scanned it and put the image here, but again, the postcard had seen better days…


Identity: all parts of your identity are affirmed and supported
Plans: you both like to be together and negotiate plans
Trust: you generally trust each other and can work through jealousy
Sex: mutual pleasure, boundaries, and good communication
Conflict: you have respectful conversations and work together for resolution
Safety: physical and emotional safety and comfort without any kind of violence


Identity: your identity is questioned and you are pressured to be more out
Plans: you feel pressured about how you spend your time
Trust: one or both people often feel jealous and accusatory
Sex: unclear boundaries, some pressure
Conflict: there is more defensiveness than real listening
Safety: breaking things, feeling scared


Identity: you are criticized, humilliated, or outed
Plans: your time is controlled by the other person(s)
Trust: lots of jealousy, possessiveness and controlling behaviors
Sex: manipulative or unwanted sex, disregarding needs or boundaries
Conflict: there is yelling, threats, and verbal abuse
Safety: threats to or actually hurt self, partner(s) or property one or more times

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