Communication. We hear it all of the time: the key to relationships is communication. But how do you do it? Usually we are taught some really bad skills, like yelling around or going silent. When it comes to expressing difficult feelings, most people really struggle. In this quick video, I give you the steps to easily communicate your feelings in a way that's non-threatening and helps resolve conflicts with partners.
Don't have time to watch the video? Here's my quick info graphic on the ABC model of communication.
Step A: Expressing the feeling. The key is to identify how you are feeling due to a behavior. We often come off very blaming, which immediately gets people on the defense. Try, "I felt hurt when you said my friend is a jerk." Not, "you hate all of my friends and are so negative!!!"
Step B: Empathetic statement. The goal here is to defuse the situation. You don't have to say something not genuine or completely against how you're feeling. "I don't think that was your intention" can go a long way in an argument. This communicates to the other person, "I don't hate you or think you're complete scum. Maybe something is off."
Step C: Ask for a change in behavior. Again, this is about offending behaviors, not character attacks. Identify the behavior that you need changed. Try, "in the future if you could tell me what about my friend bothered you, instead of saying she's a jerk in general, that would help." Not, "quit saying anything about my friends! I don't want to hear it!"
Need a little more help with communication? Individual clients and couples often come to me to work on communication skills. Contact me now to set up a free 15 minute consult.
Hi there, I'm Arielle a licensed therapist on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. I am an Army Veteran, meme connoisseur and watercolorist.