Archive for July 6th, 2011
Seek understanding rather then agreement: Negotiate. Compromise, Ask yourself, “Is it better to be right or just have peace?” Ask the other person, “What is the worst part?” and even if you don’t agree, you can respond with, “I never thought of it that way.” We communicate to promote understanding of what we things and feel. Asking questions gives us more information, rather then a defensive reply that argues the facts.
Practice inviting people to talk: When discussing important or “hot” issues, turn off all music, televisions sets, computers and home or cell phones. Invite the person to talk by scheduling a conversation, rather then pushing them into a discussion. Inviting them to talk, not bullying them into speaking when its convenient only for you. Make an appointment by asking, “Is this a good time to talk?” or “I want to talk can we sit down tomorrow after dinner?” This time must be agreed upon by both parties and must be a priority despite any unforeseen events.
Use “I feel….” statements: “I feel…..(state your emotion)” and end there. You do not have to explain or defend why you feel what you do. The natural response is “How come?” So this leads to a dialog, rather then a long winded defensive monologue where we blame and falsely accuse another for triggering our emotions.
Avoid starting sentence with “You” and “Why”: These statements put people on the defensive. Replace “You” with “I feel….” and replace “Why” with “I’m confused.” These suggestions are assertive statements that promote insight into how you are reacting to another’s behavior.
Avoid using “Always” and “Never”: These words are not literal facts, but are figurative or feeling words. They lead the listener to argue the fact by pointing out exceptions, rather then seek understanding for how you feel based on their pattern of behavior. Rephrase them by saying, “It feel like you always…” or “It feels like you never…”
Commit to a no-exit strategy: Do not threaten the relationship by hangin up, slamming doors, or walking out. This only serves as a form of manipulation. These behaviors antagonize another’s fear of rejection, abandonment and loss. The attempt to scare someone into agreement leads to resentment due to feeling controlled by seeking submission rather then compromise.
Use Time-Outs: Agree to take a break and set limits to alleviate anxiety and frustration. A 20 minute break allows both parties to calm down, de-escalate, process and regroup their thoughts. The person needing a time out must announce it and set a length of time that it will last and both parties must reconvene to work out the issue within 24 hours.
Avoid using “Shoulds”: The word should implies I know what is best and if you don’t do as you should you are then guilty of being wrong. Replace with, “I prefer…” Remember everyone’s perception of reality is their “reality” or “truth”. There is no agreed upon right or wrong, good or bad. We only have personal preferences and taste.
Listening – Mirroring and Validating:
a) One person speaks at a time – The other person cannot interrupt, argue or defend while another person is talking
b) Mirroring – Reflect back what you hear before replying. “What I hear is….is that right?”
c) Validating – Acknowledge the feeling behind the words to make the implied explicit. “You sound …..(feeling)” or “I don’t blame you for feeling…”
Body Language: Be mindful of what you are saying with your tone, posture, hand gestures, head positioning, eye contact, breathing, facial expressions and movements.
Take responsibility for your choices: You must make an active effort to look at what you can control and what your are responsible for in your relationships. You cannot expect others to read your mind and must avoid the belief that they “should know…” without your saying it. You cannot change anyone else. You are powerless over everyone and everything but yourself and your efforts. No one can make you act out aggressively, you have a choice and you control your decisions.
There are no victims in a relationship, only willing participants. No one can take advantage of you, abuse you, unless you let them. You are in control.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )