Most of us do not enjoy having our flaws or errors pointed out by others. Yet, its amazing how poor our approach can often be to raise an issue with others that may be uncomfortable to hear. In fact, too often we will approach a friend or a loved one to tell them something they did wrong (or did to wrong us) and effectively demand that they acknowledge their error right that second! This may put the recipient into a fight or flight state where they justify, rationalize, defend, attack back, or shut down.
A better approach can be to give someone something to ‘think about’ – even to tell them you are NOT looking for a response at that time. This way the pressure of immediate response is removed. They will be far more likely to consider what you are sharing with them rather than have their view of what you have shared be clouded by reaction. There is never a guarantee that someone will respond well, but by giving them space to consider it, and to be convicted of where perhaps they were wrong, you increase the chance that they will be introspective and swallow their pride.
Of course, this works even better when you have been able to own your stuff first as a general rule and when you let the other person know that you are truly “for” them.
If you’re interested in talking to Cameron Butler, or one of our other therapists? Visit our website or give our office a call, (970) 490-1309.