Improve Your Relationships by Cutting Them Off At Their Knees!
Effective communication does not only decrease interpersonal conflict but it also increases your self esteem, your sense of mastery and control, and your confidence - all positive benefits from simply learning one new strategy.
Here are a few of my favourite models to practice when you are feeling conflicted, frustrated, unheard, or unvalidated. Remember in times of stress or anger, don't communicate - rather than start expressing yourself and regretting what you have said, practice the ability of giving yourself time out to calm yourself down by distracting yourself through exercise, relaxation, meditation, or any form of activity that will keep your mind off the conflict. It takes a good half hour to physiologically calm down and for some, even up to a few days to get calm enough to be able to process the problem with rationale, not emotional thought. So giving yourself the gift of time-out is half the battle to helping you not hit below the belt where insults and criticism will destroy a relationship.
When you and your partner, co-worker, or boss disagree, try some of these simple communication models:
• DEAR MAN MODEL
• DEEF MODEL
1. D - Describe the situation (I see you left your dishes in the sink)
E - Express how you feel about it (I feel frustrated when this happens)
A - Assert your request (Please will you remember to clear them)
R - Reinforce the other person for giving you what you want (I'd really appreciate your cooperation)
M - Mindful - be a broken record until you get cooperation and ignore attacks
A - Appear confident
N - Negotiate if needed
2. D - Disarm the other person by agreeing with something (not everything) about
E - Use Empathy to get into their shoes to see the problem from their perspective
Use thought empathy and feeling empathy
E - Enquiry - ask the other person if you had heard them and understood the
F - Use "I feel" statements rather than YOU, YOU, YOU…
Your Turn: Practice, Practice, Practice…
Find a partner and practice the DEEF model above. You may choose to discuss:
1. A problem/difficulty/conflict you have with a domestic chore.
2. A problem/difficulty/conflict you have with your work schedule that affects the partnership
3. A problem/difficulty/conflict that your experience with parenting.
4. A problem/difficulty/conflict you are experiencing with a colleague
DEAR MAN MODEL:
Need Help? Contact Julia Sorensen to learn more about these models, request free resources, or book a consultation. Julia is studying for a Doctorate in Psychology and holds specialty certificates in Cognitive Therapy. Julia is the author of "Helping Young Children Transform Loss" to be released 2007.
Julia can be reached at www.thecbtcoach.com
Exercises adapted from: Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder by Marsha M. Linehan/ Feeling Good Handbook by D.Burns MD
Related Tags: communications, business communication, cbt, interpersonal skills, cognitive behavioral therapy
Need Help? Contact Julia Sorensen to learn more about these models, request free resources, or book a consultation. Julia is studying for a Doctorate in Psychology and holds specialty certificates in Cognitive Therapy. Julia is the author of "Helping Young Children Transform Loss" to be released 2007. Julia can be reached at http://www.thecbtcoach.com
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