*DISTINGUISH FACTS FROM FICTION.
When we disagree with someone, we frequently get worked up over not just the incident that happened, but the judgments we made about the situation and the person, the feelings that were evoked in us and the story we make up about what it all means. Take ownership for your own feelings. The other person didn’t “make you feel” a particular way. They did what they did. You chose to feel the way you did.
*DISTINGUISH MOTIVE AND EMOTIONS
We often assume we know what the other person was intending to do ‘to us’. The only thing we really know is the reaction we had to the other person’s behavior. Recognize that they may not have ‘meant’ to disrespect (or hurt, or ignore or control) you. Also recognize that if you are the perpetrator, just because your motive was innocent, that doesn’t negate the feelings the other person experienced.
*CONVERT COMPLAINTS TO REQUESTS
Imagine that any complaint (yours or another’s) is really a request in disguise. Next time you catch yourself complaining, stop then ask for it! Make the request to someone who has the power to grant it. Complaining or making requests to anyone else won’t get your problem solved.
*START WHERE YOU ARE
Open the dialog with “I’d like to say something, but I’m afraid that I’ll… or you’ll…” You’ll be surprised at the impact that sharing your vulnerability will have on the receptivity of the other person. You’ll also be surprised at how easily the important message will now come out.
*TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION, ROLE OR INFLUENCE.
Recognize that you may have something to do with the continued existence of the problem. Figure out what actions you can take to solve your own dilemma.
*FORGIVE AND GIVE YOURSELF A GIFT.
Forgiveness is not condoning or even accepting. Forgiving someone in your heart who has ‘wronged’ you, just releases your agony. It does nothing for them.