Have you sent out a sharp e-mail too quickly? Read here to help preserve your relationship!
I think one of the biggest fallacies I’ve ever heard is the saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones / But words will never hurt me.”
As a professional in the industry of helping people, I have seen many clients where they would much rather have a stick thrown at them than hearing some of the words their partner has said to them. Why? Because words stick with us. They leave scars. They flashback to us intrusively and haunt us for sometimes…years. For some reason, the more painful the word, the longer we’re cursed to remember and recall it.
We have to be careful with our words, for they do have power for both good and evil.
Here are some tips on how to watch your words:
1.) Tony-Tonerton!! – It’s not just the words we say…it’s how we say it. I’ve inserted a clip here from Seinfeld doing a bit on Oprah’s Final Farewell episode, skip to 10:08 in the clip.
It’s one of my favorites! That pretty much sums how I feel about tone! :D I strongly believe you can get your point across in a loving way without using a harsh tone. This goes both ways for men and women! If your tone is out of line, time to put down the conflict.
2.) Are you a hasty communicator? Most of us find ourselves saying things we wish we didn’t during heated moments, right? Have you jotted down a sharp e-mail? Sent a fiery text? When we get upset, our minds flood, and we lose rational thinking. This also happens when we get scared- for instance like when we hear a noise at night and all of a sudden we think a tiny house noise is suddenly one of America’s Most Wanted killers! Like I said, loss of rational thinking! Be aware of this so when you are upset you put down the conflict for a little while. The best thing you can do for yourself is watch your own escalated emotions and manage them yourself to really make a positive impact in your relationships and friendships. I had a high school counselor tell me once “having a sharp tongue will cut your own throat”…! Keep that in mind. Don’t slice up your throat!
3.) When we are all in conflict, the last thing we think about is how loveable we are in that moment, but I want you to take that into consideration. If you’re in conflict, yes, of course you are upset and I’m sure with good reason BUT – if you need something to go your way…the last way you are going to get it is if you act like a witch or a troll. Being able to remain loveable and kind in conflict is a true virtue. Stay with that thought and imagine or take a look at yourself when you are spouting off sharp comments. Most of us wouldn’t want to be with ourselves if we were out of body watching us in action.
4.) Now there are definitely times where not-so pretty comments have to be made but before you snap out a quick e-mail, think about the response you want to get. How would you respond to your own e-mail? If someone pinched me, I would be inclined to move away. If someone rubbed my back, I would be inclined to inch closer. Comfort your partner in conflict and they will inch closer…attack them….and well, you get what you get. You can get your point across without attacking them or writing a hostile e-mail.
Keep in mind, you both are on the same team. You both care tremendously for each other…and as John Gottman says…turn towards each other…not away. (and be loveable in conflict- Jenna Couture ;) )
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