How are we messing up our relationships by telling others how they must be?
Today I would like to speak to the manner in which we communicate with others because what one person — the person making the suggestion believes they are saying, is quite different than the manner in which the receiver — the person being told what needs to be done, hears.
Many times people will believe that they know exactly what another individual needs to do to be more successful in some area of life.
Now your ideas may be truly helpful to that other person, however, the manner in which the message is given makes all the difference in the world.
Before I ever entered the world of neuro-linguistic programming at the age of 41, I used to be very brazen in how I told people what they ‘needed to do’ — people who came to me for advice in dealing with their personal and mental health problems. I was really direct and to the point with telling them the steps needing to be taken and to not talk to me about the subject till they had taken the steps given as I was utterly uninterested in hearing them go endlessly on about the situation at hand — which was true enough and is still true to this day. Whining about a problem endlessly will never get it taken care of, it will only continue the problem.
So, what did I learn to do differently from my neuro-linguistic training? Just a simple shift in phrasing. Instead of being direct and giving a directive, I learned to make suggestions — which bypass the conscious mind allowing the person to take in the information and many times use it for their benefit.
You see, everyone from the time they are 2 years old wants to be given choices in life. When you give a person a directive of what they have to do, there is very little choice there. It turns most people off. So, instead, you say something like “I don’t know if you realize this, but when you do “X” it feels like “y’ and perhaps you would be better served if you did “Z” It’s just a suggestion for you to do with as you may.”
If you notice the languaging is much softer and much more caringly delivered to the person who is listening to you as they feel you ‘get them’ and ‘care about them enough to actually help them out instead of it sounding as if you have all the answers and they are a lesser being for not knowing better on their own.
Try this languaging out for yourself and let me know how it works for you in those situations that you may find yourself when you may have some helpful input for someone your care about which you would like to share in a humane manner so maybe, that person is able to create better outcomes for their lives.
You can also use that same languaging on yourself — because if you think about it, the manner in which we speak to others mirrors the manner in which we speak to ourselves. If we let upon ourselves, we will be a hell of a lot happier, and thus become a more engaging person to others.
It also helps a lot to not take ourselves so seriously. Laughing at our own goof ups is a very healthy thing to do and God does it make life so much more pleasurable — another learning I received in my 40s. Yes, there is much to be said about this thing called maturing for all you younger folks out there.