My first true friend killed one of my false assumptions when we were teenagers. She did what true friends push you to do. #emotionalintelligence
We shared a crush on the same new boy in town. I was shocked that knowing my interest,which I declared first, she took after him also. When I complained, she simply said with raised eye brows and a gentle smile:
“All’s fair in love and war.”
Mind boggling for me at that time, but an important lesson for it started me examining the reality of relationships. Our friendship survived this blow to my assumptions and today she remains one of my best friends.
By the way neither she nor I were successful in our quest for this young man’s attention.
She and my other best friends share one trait: They tell it like it is but do so wisely.
Virginia Satir, a family therapist guru, once said something to the effect that telling someone they needed a deoderant was an act of love. She also makes clear in this interveiw that how you tell matters .
EMOTIONAL FITNESS tRAINING tIPS FOR TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
Tip one: make sure it matters. All too often we feel a need to make our friends think the way we do. Not really important for most things.
Safety issues? Definitely matter. Increasing hate in the world? Another big one.
Offensive body odors putting others off? Maybe but only if it can be changed; so if it is simply the need for a deodorant a friend speaks out. But what if it is a colestomy smell that is not so easily done away with or rotten teeth the owner cannot afford to fix? Speaking about things that cannot be easily changed hurts, so hold best to hold your tongue unless you can offer a solution that will work.
Tip two: Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean. The article sited above is well worth reading, but just keeping good manners in mind and apologizing or asking permission before opening a door on something the other might find hurts might be sufficient.
Here’s a formula: “I hope you can hear what I am going to say because I care for you and think this is important” and then following that after you have had your say, “I hope this was helpful, if not thank you for being gracious and listening.”
Tip three: Be matter of fact. My friend did not do any of the above, but when she said what she said, it was in a matter of fact way with no emotional edge of any sort. If she had sneered, or seemed to laugh, or had anger in her voice it would have hurt.
Tip four: Remember the Five to One rule. What’s the five to one rule? It refers to the research of John Gottman. He studied marriages and found he could predict which would last and which would not. The ones that lasted were those in which good feelings happened five times more often than bad feelings.
Certainly what made my friendship with my truth speaker last so long is the fact that starting in kindergarten, we shared many good times.
Tip five: Don’t awfulize (make mountains out of mole hills) other people’s criticisms. Think, learn, thank, and let go. Doing so requires strong self-soothing skills.
If you like this post share it with another. That is practicing deliberate kindness which is part of the skill of saying what has to be said without saying it mean. .
As always, thank you for your support.
This post fits in with Today’s Word Press’s Aug 7, 2014 DAILY PROMPT Think Again: Tell us about a time you made a false assumption about a person or a place — how did they prove you wrong?
I think I’ve answered that one.
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