Thoughts: "There has to be a way to resolve this without too much pain. How can I manage his ego to make him apologize and change his behavior?" Using this approach, you might choose words that include a conversation that goes like this: "I'm wondering how you might best get your point across to my friend without too much grief. What do you suggest?"
The Nurturing Response
Thoughts: "I feel bad for my friend, and I want her to feel safe. I also care about my boyfriend, and I don’t want to upset him or make him feel badly." In this scenario, you could approach your boyfriend using words such as, "We have a problem. I consider myself responsible because up until now I've never mentioned it. I know you mean well telling my friend your point of view, but she may not hear you clearly sometimes. How can we communicate to her in a way in which she feels secure and also hears your opinion?"
The "Everything Is an Opportunity to Learn" Approach
Thoughts: "My boyfriend and I typically communicate effectively most of the time. This situation with my friend is a great opportunity for both of us to practice giving and receiving feedback. I can’t even imagine where we could go once we take it to the next level." When you are truly in a space in which each challenge creates an opportunity to learn, the words you use with your boyfriend might be, "I think this is a perfect opportunity to connect better so that we both feel acknowledged. Let’s brainstorm how we could both communicate better--not just with each other, but with the other people in our lives."
The "Zen" Approach
Thoughts: "What we feel within is often projected unto others." This situation is a great exercise in self-awareness. Those who live a Zen life are able to truly disengage from the "trigger" that typically might impact their thoughts, feelings and actions. In this scenario, the words might be, "I’m enjoying watching this dynamic between you and other people. I’m learning so much in the process. I can totally see myself in your shoes, and I can also imagine how my friend might have felt. How are you experiencing this?"
What’s important to know is that we all move fluidly between each of these approaches throughout each day. Once we become free from the blocks that make us feel triggered, however, we begin to experience situations differently, feeling increased levels of happiness.
Take a look at what makes you feel stuck these days. Loneliness? Grieving over a lost relationship? Feeling like your dream business is an impossible dream? Whatever the thoughts, feelings or actions, review the approaches listed above and notice where you land. Then, create new scenarios of "self talk" using a different approach.