Surprised by the response to things you say? Getting into fights that go nowhere? Friends fading? Loved one’s angry? These Emotional Fitness Training Tips will get you more of what you want from people.
Tip one: Because communication is the response, not getting the response you want is useful information. Make a neutral response of some sort, “I need to think about what you are saying” is one. “I hear you” is another. Then change the subject so you can use the response to improve your communication skills.
Tip two: Decide if the issue is worth pursuing. Rate the issue. One would be trivial – a difference of opinion, such has whose team is going to win the world series or which political candidate you plan to vote for. Two: would be moderately important – Where to go on a joint vacation. Three would be very important – thinking about ending the relationship.
Tip three: Before reopening the issue, try to better understand some reasons the response you wanted is not forthcoming:
- The person may just be cranky and not thinking much about what you said, or universally insensitive.
- You may have hit on a sore spot, triggering a bad memory, or sounding like a critical parent.
- You may have created some negative feelings by what you said. This is particularly true if your statement created doubt about something the other person believes to be the truth and nothing but the truth.
- You may inadvertently cause pain in the other by being happier, healthier, or seeming to have a better life than she/he does.
- Your words might have been harsher than you were aware of.
- Your body language may have shown disgust or contempt.
Tip four: Think about how to better address the issue. Maybe a brief note, expressing your concern and asking the other person for some feedback. You might consider using a one-text document type of negotiation. This is used by high power negotiators. One side writes out their concerns and demands. The other side edits and adds to the document, documents are based back and forth until both sides are satisfied. Writing tends to be more neutral, particularly if you take the time to edit your document several times before sending it.
Tip five: Know when more is needed. when the issue is major and you cannot work it out with the other person, seek professional help. Go on your own to a good therapist or counselor. In time, invite the other person to join you.
Thank you for all you do
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Links Of Interest
Emotional Intelligence (en.wikipedia.org)
The five components of Emotional Intelligence (www.sonoma.edu)
- An Emotional Fitness Program for Parents (amazon.com