Ever have an insane desire to really communicate effectively with your spouse or loved ones…only to blurt out such charming commentary like:
It’s ALL YOUR FAULT I FEEL SO MISERABLE, YOU LOUSY S.O.B.!
Admit it – you’re thinking to yourself, yep, my foot tasted mightly unappetizing during that time! I had the BEST of intentions but somehow, the emotions swept me up and all I could consider was how I was feeling at that very moment and….
HOLD IT RIGHT THERE! Back up, rewind and read that again:
….all I could consider was how I was feeling at that very moment
How you were feeling….and NOT….how someone made you feel.
When you consider how you are feeling, you’re taking ownership of your reactions and your emotions.
When you think "how someone made you feel"… you’re giving (thrusting?) the ownership of your feelings onto someone else. They MADE you feel this way.
To that, I have but one reaction….
Did your loved one hold a gun (or a karate black belt sensei, or a pitbull, or a ….) to your head and demand, you WILL feel as I insist!
Didn’t think so.
Thus, here’s the number one communication tip – take ownership of your feelings!
When talking to your loved one/family, preface your conversation with:
"Bear with me for a moment – I think we both failed Mind Reading 101, and I’d like to communicate effectively about how I am currently feeling. When I’m done, I’d like you to respond by telling me what you’ve heard, and then asking, did I get it right? Then I’ll answer and do the same for you. This way, we can determine whether we’re really getting our points across to one another!"
When you choose to communicate effectively, you’re NOT blaming the other party for your hurt feelings. Heck, you CAN’T….because you already took ownership of them yourself!
I cannot begin to tell you how many times my husband and I, or my kids and I, have used the above techniques when hurt feelings threatened to smoosh our family harmony. It really can work!
Why not give it a try yourself? You might be quite surprised indeed at the de-escalation of emotions that follow.
ps – speaking about relationships: