The Book

Talk to Me Like I'm Someone You Love

When an interaction is not going well... and you truly would rather connect than make one more point....

Relationship Repair in a Flash

book cover - talk to me like im someone you love

Think of all the times you and your partner have been in a warm, friendly space – and some little thing happens and everything changes. Only a nanosecond of impatience or an unwelcome question...and “cozy” is now feeling like “crazy.”

I am a psychotherapist who has spent a good part of her life figuring out how to re-establish closeness at times like these. Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love is a repair tool that will show you how to do this just by being yourself. It is the creation of someone who grew up thinking authentic meant pretending, while secretly wondering if there was a book somewhere “that told you what to say.”

Talk to Me... is a collection of 127 self-aware messages for partners to “flash” to each other in the midst of an upsetting interaction: “You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s my own craziness – trust me to get through it.” “I hate having to walk on eggshells around you.” “I love you. I hate fighting. And can’t we just hug?” Each flash card comes with field notes to help you navigate life’s messiest moments.

This book is first-aid for a painful interaction, but more than that, a manual for staying true to yourself when you thought it impossible. It will make it safe for you to be vulnerable. It will let you speak from your heart without distracting voicetones. This is a guidebook to the real you, because it turns out that it is not really “telling you what to say” at all. It is only reminding you of who you really are, and trusting that you can take it from there.

True regards,

Nancy Dreyfus, Psy.D.

Download Flashcard Samples

The book–with large–print Flashcards embedded as part of the book–can be purchased now on:

“One of the 24 brainstorms of the planet!”

Utne Reader cover story

“This book is GENIUS!”


“Nancy’s thinking is brilliant. Just about any couple could humanize their relationship in an instant using Nancy’s book.”

Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want

“As a somatic educator on the impact of trauma on our nervous systems, I see Nancy’s approach as a priceless tool to help couples de-activate from states of hyperarousal, and restore healthy states of social engagement. Her work is an elegant application of cutting edge neuroscience in very human, poignant, user-friendly terms.”

Deborah Boyar, PhD, Somatic Experience Practitioner, San Rafael, California

“Nancy has figured out a way to get through to someone—my husband, my daughter—when every part of me thought it would be impossible. Go get her book and apprentice with her….”

Hillary Costin, lawyer, Corte Madera, California


Must Read

5 stars

“Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love has bettered me as a husband, a son, a psychotherapist, and generally as a co-human being. Nancy Dreyfus’s approach roots from an idea I’ve always more or less agreed with but until reading hadn’t been able to internalize and embody: Just be yourself! If you find your arguments are failing, if you find a loved one feeling like an adversary, if you find yourself strategizing and litigating rather than leaning into vulnerability and truth, rest assured there is hope for positive change in Nancy Dreyfus’s guide to loving, honest communication.”

Amazon Customer

“My favorite flashcard is, ‘I love you. I hate fighting. Can’t we just hug.’ The answer to that might be, ‘No, not right now, I need a little time to cool off.’ But its better than our usual storming away. Whether you get the hug doesn’t matter. It’s the melting, the letting down of your guard that happens. Nancy has created a way to honorably signal to your partner: I want to change course!”

Annie Kirkpatrick, interior designer, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Imagine if "Relationship for Dummies" Actually Made You Brilliant!

5 stars

“If you read only one self-help book, let it be this one! Dreyfus' advice is so straightforward, user friendly and results oriented that you wonder why you are just now learning about it. The more you "practice," the better you (and your partner) feel, the more nourishing your relationship becomes, the more inclined your partner is to join you, and so the flash card using cycle repeats! I learn something new every time I read (or listen to) Talk to Me Like Someone You Love. Contrary to any initial doubt that you can't "use" the cards in real time, you realize quickly that you have been the biggest obstacle to your own relationship success and THIS is the operator's manual you needed!”

Amazon Customer

“In a world where personal growth books are a dime a dozen, Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You Love gleams like gold. Any person in a relationship and every couples therapist on the planet, needs Nancy’s thinking. We all have moments when words fail us and emotions take us into hurtful territory. The book is as brilliant and compassionate as Nancy herself in bringing the hurt back to love.”

Susan Harrow, author of Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul