This site doesn’t have all the answers, but it does believe that we ought to be able to talk about some of the things that we often suffer in isolation and silence.
Please seek professional help when you need it
Places you may find professional help
Lifeline 13 11 14
The Yellow pages
Look under Counselling …
Look under Organizations – Family Welfare
| What are we wanting to achieve by communication?
- Express affection, appreciation and request for change
- Express how we feel
- Request actionWithout the other person feeling attacked, threatened, got at or manipulated
- Not when the other person is hungry, weary, rushed
Time and Place are important
Use “I” messages rather than “You” messages. “You” messages almost always accompanied with finger pointing, often with raised voices
“I felt embarrassed when ….” rather than “You embarrassed me!”
Focus on “behaviour” not “person” “You did …” rather than “You are …”
“You played that piece very nicely” rather than “You’re a good pianist”
“This cake tastes beautiful” rather than “You’re a good cook”
“That was a very naughty thing to do” rather than “You’re a bad boy”
The first statements are true, the second ones may not be
Remember the please, thank-you, excuse me words.
Assume the other person has done their best.
Let the other person know they are loved.
Don’t argue over trivia
Don’t run down those you live and work with.
Be careful with always and never. Very few things are.
Avoid backhanded compliments – “looks good – so it should, it took long enough.”
Don’t tease of criticize in public. Save it for in private (if it is that important
Learn to be a good listener: – it may put the matter in a different light, and it gives the other person a good feeling
A good listener:
- Gives attention, eye contact
- Does not side-track onto their own agenda.
- Does not push their own “quick fix” ideas
- Checks – “Did I hear you right?” “Are you saying …?”
- Clarifies – “Of what you’ve told me, what seems most important to you?”
- Seeks to understand the emotions involved. How does the person speaking feel about this matter?
- Encourages the person to explore options
How not to do it
- If I was wrong … (I’m not sure I was)
I was wrong but … (excuse, you made me do it, I’m not responsible)
I’m sorry. (response – so you ought to be)
A better way
I am convinced that I have been wrong in (my attitude and/or actions). I have wronged you in this and have come to ask “Will you forgive me?”