• paulgutrecht

Everything We Say

Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning and Martha Davis--the authors of Messages, a book on communication which I recommend to anyone who wants to improve any aspect of how they communicate--assert that everything we say falls into one of four main categories:

Facts--anything we can observe without judgment: "We texted that we would meet at 7pm. It's now 8pm. You haven't replied to my texts, and you are not here."

Opinions (and Beliefs/Values/Judgments/Perceptions): "It makes me think you are disrespecting me."

Feelings: "I'm really frustrated/pissed off/sad, etc."

Wants/Needs (Yours and Theirs): "Next time you are late, please communicate something, somehow to me. Is that ok with you?"

We spend too much time in judgment, and not enough time looking at the facts, expressing our feelings, wants and needs.

Next time you are in conflict with someone important to you, see if you can break down what's going on in terms of the above categories. My clients have told me that even just the act of breaking down conflicts into the above categories has the effect of easing the stress of a moment. Let me know if you have any questions--

25 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Anger Doesn't Happen in a Vacuum

We have a right to all of our feelings (and even if you don't think we have a right to our feelings, we have them anyway...). When people look for help with their anger, they are really looking for

Take a Moment of Transition

Available to you at any time--here's an example: when you get home from work, before you get out of your car, you can take a moment--to breathe, to think about how the day went, about how you're feel

5 Relationship Enrichment Behaviors

Ok, the research actually calls them "Relationship Maintenance Behaviors," but that's a little too dry for me--plus, I don't think people are searching and striving to "maintain" a status quo, but ra