Photo by M'reen, this amused me as it was hidden deep under a hedge!
Words that can get you into and out of trouble. M'reen
I am a Sagittarian and I once read something along the lines of ‘what you think you heard me saying wasn’t what I actually said, because what I said has flipped over between my mouth and your ears.’
Also, that we Sagittarian will throw something into a conversation just to see how it bounces
with no investment in the outcome.
Whenever your birthday the following realisations can come in useful when facing a disagreement with someone you want to remain friends with.
Why is generally a word to avoid unless it is qualified.
Why is a challenge that produces a defensive posture in the listener.
Just pose some why questions in your mind. They imply that you are wrong, stupid
and all sorts of negative stuff; particularly if spoken in ‘that’ tone of voice!
Now try qualifying. Preface the WHY with, “I’m really curious why you,” “I’m really interested
in understanding why …”; said in a genuinely caring or needing to understand tone of voice.
I not YOU
You will notice that when you qualified WHY you used:
‘I’(I am curious why …) and not ‘you’ (‘Why did you ….’).
Try. ‘you make me sick!!!’ Now try, ‘I feel sick when you… ‘
‘you always …..’ Now try, ‘I always feel … when I you …. (try to change the you)’
‘I always feel …. when I hear you say …’ Now try and take it a step further and avoid the ‘you’
‘I always feel …. when I hear (and repeat the sentence)’
Now you’ve got two ’I’s’ in the conversation.
This is taking responsibility for your feelings.
It is not putting responsibility for your feelings onto the other person.
I find this rather difficult to do in the heat of the moment.
In the heat of the moment you are not at your professional best; you just react. A black belt in a number of arts told me that when faced with a terrifying situation you forget your training and run.
So when listening to or watching a drama, consciously listen for the ‘YOUs’ and then change
the sentence to an ‘I’ one, in this way you will have a chance of hearing yourself speak
and so have the opportunity to defuse the situation.
In my experience, if you stop yourself and repeat the sentence without the ‘you’
then the other person who has not played the ‘taking responsibility for my own feelings’ game
will also stop themselves and substitute ‘I’ for ‘you’. And with this mutual respect and care you feel free to express yourself fully and are more fully able to listen to the other person.
A client expressed this rather well.
If I say to my wife:
‘You look nice in that dress but your bum is big’ then I’d better hide behind the settee.
‘You look nice in that dress, however your bum is big’ I might stand a chance of living another day.
‘Even though your bum is big, you look nice in that dress’ and I get to enjoy a lovely evening.
The fact is that no matter how much or for how long you praise something as soon as you say BUT you destroy everything that you have said or written before the BUT.
Try it, try and compose a positive sentence that is not ruined by BUT.
You might put BUT after a full stop as an emphasis as to how the situation can be improved.
When doing this I will pause after my negative statement. Emphasise BUT. Pause again.
Before completing what I want to say. In this way I have effectively disconnect myself
from the start of the sentence and can now offer a solution.
If you find yourself stuck in mid sentence, soften the blow with HOWEVER or EVEN THOUGH.
However, the best option is to put the end of your sentence at the beginning.
AND? and BECAUSE? Even a gentle WHY?
When said in a positive way AND? and BECAUSE? are enabling words.
They express interest without imposing your own thoughts.
A raised eyebrow or open palms ask the same question.
However anything can have opposite effects depending on your intent.
A gentle ‘because’ can lead a person deeper and deeper into their experience
whereas as a persistent ‘because’ can become increasingly aggressive.