It was a downward spiral, guided by a therapist to boot! Okay, okay, it was a television show, but a lot of people take their cues from entertainment.
“I feel that you are not listening to me,” and “I feel that you are always cutting me off,” Arizona and Callie’s of Grey’s Anatomy grumbled at each other after their therapist suggested they use the words she suggested.
They were in battle, “I feel that you…” was the weapon.
The word ‘feel’ doesn’t make everything that follows it okay. Look deeper and notice:
1. ‘That’ is not a feeling; feelings are sad, angry, happy, afraid, frustrated etc.
2. ‘You’ places blame and most often creates a reaction.
Consider, there are really only two root feelings: love and fear. It is best to consider what you fear and communicate it. It then becomes about you, not the other.
This opens a door to be heard and find solutions.
When you blame and attack it closes the door, accelerates the conflict, and separates people.
Consider something like this instead:
“I feel afraid to be alone in this decision. I need to know if we are in agreement”, or
“I am so excited for this opportunity. I don’t want to lose it.”
The word ‘feel’ isn’t even necessary for honorable communication.
Asking a question works too:
“How do you see this working with the changes that have occurred?”
Spiral to make an impact:
Communicate how the situation impacts you or your stakeholders— own your center —- and be the calm eye in the storm.