The 5th and final step in our series on New Year, New View, New Perspective, is: “Watch Your Words”
In the following vignette, we are coming from the female perspective, though clearly the genders can be flipped to fit any scenario/dialogue where the example below could be useful.
“Do not cause harm by your words, actions, and deeds. Make certain there are no hidden agendas in what you are presenting. Look at the facts from a place of observation instead of judgment and state them clearly.
Do say, “I noticed that when you were an hour late for dinner it seemed to really bother me. Can you help me understand what caused your delay? How can we communicate more clearly next time? I am willing to be more adaptable, but in order for that to happen, I will need more information.”
Don’t say, “I was extremely disappointed when you were so late for dinner. I had worked really hard to make it a nice evening for us and now everything is ruined because of your insensitivity and lack of caring about my feelings.”
The first scenario simply relates the facts without judgment. It also shows that the speaker has respect for both parties and that she takes responsibility for her feelings/reactions. The second situation is full of complaints, projections, and attempts to make him feel guilty. It also includes a judgment that he doesn’t care about you or the relationship. Can you see how quickly he will lose interest in listening to you when all you are doing is building a case against him? Begin with facts and declarative statements. “You are late.” “I am upset.” If he starts to defend himself and his behavior, stop him by encouraging him to stick to the facts as well. Assure him that your intention is to avoid judgment. Invite his cooperation by doing the same”—Happily Ever After…Right Now, pp. 118-119
It is so easy to react when we feel betrayed, and much more difficult to step back and wait before we speak or react. The next time you are triggered, see if you can stop, take a breath (or two), and then ask yourself what you would like to hear in the way of communication should you be the one in the hot seat.
Andrew Newberg, is an associate professor in the Dept. of Radiology and Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania where he is also the Director of Integrated Studies of Spirituality and Neuroscience. He has done extensive research on the effects of certain emotional states on the brain. In his findings, Newberg reports that, “…Anger interrupts the functioning of your frontal lobes. Not only do you lose the ability to be rational, you lose the awareness that you are acting in an irrational way. When your frontal lobes shut down, it is impossible to listen to the other person, let alone feel empathy or compassion. Instead, you are likely to feel self-justified and self righteous. When this happens, communication falls apart.”—Andrew Newberg, How God Changes the Brain, pp.19-20
See what you can do to keep communication flowing with your significant other—particularly when you are triggered. Make note of your victories. And, be sure to tell us about them here in the comments on the blog, tweet them to me at @LuannRHull, or stop by the Happily Ever After Right Now Facebook Page, to keep all of us on the “Happily” team informed of your progress!
We believe in you!
Join Me on the Huffington Post!
I’m thrilled to announce I am now published on the Huffington Post! I would love for you to take a look at my first post there, and if you’re inclined, it would be wonderful if you would click the Facebook “like” for the article, and write a comment. It’s just in time for Valentine’s Day, and it’s titled “3 Practical Valentine’s Tips for Attracting or Enhancing Love.” Click here to go to that article. Thanks so much!
Please Share With Your Dallas Friends: I’ll Be In Dallas On February 16th!
On Saturday, February 16th, I’ll be speaking in Dallas at the Smart Decisions conference on “Happily Ever After Right Now…After Divorce” and will cover how people who’ve gone through divorce can experience “Happily Ever After” in the here and now, with or without Mr. or Ms. Right. If you or someone you know lives in or near Dallas, I’d love for you to join me! To purchase tickets and more information, click here. I hope to see you there!
I’ll Be in Boulder, CO on April 11th!
I’m pleased to be teaching a workshop called Global Conscious Leadership & Oneness Practices with Tara Sheahan, my colleague who co-founded the Conscious Global Leadership Institute with me. You can find details on the class being offered by the Watson Caring Science Institute & International Caring Consortium here, if you’re interested to learn more: http://watsoncaringscience.org/event-registration/?ee=1. Early registration at a discounted price ends on February 15th for this class.
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Excerpt taken from page 118-119 of my book, “Happily Ever After… Right Now”
Image Credit: http://faeryrealmcreations.blogspot.com/2010/08/power-o-words.html
I want to extend a very special thanks and gratitude to Cindy and all of those on my wonderful “Happily” team who make these posts, as well as the emails and social media possible, and come together in a beautiful way! Without their dedication and help, I wouldn’t be here “blogging” or sharing information with you electronically! I would still be writing on my yellow tablets!