Ever stand around wondering what in the world other people are thinking? I mean, they speak words that seem not to fit situations and / or actions that speak louder than words and they don’t pertain to anything that has taken place – like they pulled things right out of the air?
Do you try to solve things by getting back into their face and matching them word for word, action for action?
Or do you step back and decide to have open discussions to get things out in the open – clear up any confusion – try to strategically plan a better way?
Here is something very helpful I learned back in school when studying to become a Biblical Counselor – a very simple set of phrases to use together:
When you . . .
“say, such and such” or “do, such and such”
I feel . . .
“hurt” “angry” “wounded” “degraded” “disrespected” “lost” “left out” (fill in whatever is appropriate to your actual feelings)
Because . . .
– here you explain why you are having those feelings/reactions to their words or behaviors –
Using this type of formula helps to gently clear the air – without BLAME – because you are ‘owning’ your feelings and your reaction to the situation. Many times we tend to say things like “you make me so . . . ” and that is putting the other person on the defensive right away because you are blaming them for how you are feeling. No one has any control over how you ‘feel’. Yes, things they say or do may cause certain feelings to arise within us, but it is our ‘choice’ as to what we do with those feelings.
If situations continue to present themselves over and over and over, perhaps it is time to sit down and openly discuss it, but by using this type of terminology, owning your feelings as yours, but helping them understand what is triggering it; that you are struggling with the whole thing, and come up with a solution as to how to work together in a different way so that this is rectified.
It is not an easy thing – in fact – you may expect to encounter even more conflict – however – ALWAYS cover conversations with prayer FIRST – BEFORE you approach the person about the situations. Remember, (Ps 59:16-17, Ps 62:2, Ps 94:22) God IS our defense! and . . . we can do ALL things through Christ (Phil 4:13) and that includes living and walking in love towards all people through all situations, being at peace with everyone (1 Thes 5:13).
©KLH 4Given Ministries