How To Say What You Mean And Still Get the Results You Want

Love, Self

Do you have difficult conversations with a partner, boss, or child? Here's how to change that.

     I bet all of you have shared your real feelings at times when you didn't get

the response you wanted.  If you said to your partner "I'm tired of you never 

helping me with the laundry," he or she will probably not be eager to start

putting dirty clothes in the hamper right then and there.

     You've probably noticed it feels better to do what someone asks you to do

when it's said in a conversational tone. How about "When I see dirty clothes

on the floor, I guess you've been tired. I'd love if you'd help out by putting them 

right then and there in the hamper instead.  OK?"

     When there's no blame or shame, going along with a request is easier to honor.

What if your boss says "You did it again. Turned in the report late! What's your

problem?" My guess is you may be cursing inside. Are you able and willing,

when you're both in a good space, to suggest to the boss that you'd prefer he or she

checked in with you ahead of time. If it's not complete, request the boss to ask,

matter-of-factly, what you need to finish it on time. It's not fun to feel pushed.

     What about your interactions with grown or young children?  Are you more

likely to get their co-operation with "If you don't get in bed right now, I will spank

you!"or with "I'll read any book you like if you are in bed in 5 minutes."

      How about when you're frustrated at yourself!  What is more soothing? To mutter

"Well, I did it again!" or to say, "I can handle this today. I'm sorry I can't give myself

an A for what I have so far. But I'm glad I can complete it without stress."

     My favorite sentence is one I always share in my "Getting Better at Getting Along"

workshops. "Everybody always does the best they know how to try to meet their 

needs." When we believe that and know that, we don't need to take things personally.

Just as you and I try to meet our needs, so does everyone else.

     Check that out by recalling some of your behaviors of the last week or month.  

Did your walk in the sun calm you down from your anxious multi-tasking? Was that 

treat at the bakery an incentive for you to complete a chore you'd been putting off?

Will you be more likely to have a mutually satisfying conversation with that person

you rarely see eye-to-eye with if you are aware of the needs he or she is focused on?

     The wife  tried to meet her need for household help. The boss spoke out of his or her 

need to get the work done.  The mom wanted peace around bedtime.  Sometimes we need

motivation from within and/or outside of us.  I so wanted to complete a marketing task for my

business that I made a deal to finish it tonight, or to owe my coach $50. That works for me!

     I wonder if you KNOW your "bottom line" in life. Mine is to make a difference and to 

live in freedom and peace.  Keeping that awareness helps me make congruent choices. 

Whatever is most important to you, you can share that any time it serves you.  If someone

wants you to go to a movie or a cafe with them, and it doesn't fit your need, you wouldn't

say "I have more important things to do than skipping out on my laundry (or  reading or

baking)," which might sound like a judgment to the other person. Hopefully, you'd say

something like "That would be fun, and I'm sorry I can't today. I need to _____." 

     For me, who loves honoring choices, I find freedom in the trust people give me when they

speak their truth with kindness and respect. Even with today's politics, I choose to accept

others' beliefs OR to inquire "Could you tell me more about why ____ is important to you?"

     All of us want more of "this" or "that" so we can be right and/or happy. On my birthday

in February, on the bus home from a birthday party, I stood up in a very crowded bus,

said it was my birthday, and I'd like the whole bus to sing "Happy birthday" to me.  I

loved the celebratory feeling I had. It met my need for following my heart's lead.

     What have you done or wanted to do (or to stop doing) that gave you pleasure or joy?

I hope you keep a gratitude list or journal to come back to any time you'd like to bask in all 

the good people, places and things you have experienced.  I find it hard to hold on to my 

occasional self-pity or self-judgment when I focus on my good friends, my energy and health,

and on what I can say or do to connect with another's feelings and needs.   

     Are you ready to go deeper? Would you like coaching on reducing misunderstandings,

cutting down on judgments, focusing on solutions rather than problems? How about on 

creating agreements or learning self-empathy to more peacefully manage difficult interactions?

     I would be happy to offer a free 30-minute coaching session on ANY communication

or personal issues. No deadline. Just call 206-300-1657 and we'll set it up.  In the

meantime, you can  read my http://moreahvestan.com/communicating-from-the-heart/

for more ways to say what you mean and still get the results you want.

Moreah Vestan, M.A. is the author of 2 books and many articles. (www.pleasuresandponderings.com)

Check her coaching work at  www.communicationcoaching.net.  She welcomes calls and questions

at 206-300-1657.