Two No-No Words

A sample of Daily Encounter by Dick Innes

"But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’"1
Without a doubt one of the major causes of conflict in
relationships is poor communications. And two of the
most damaging "no-no" words in interpersonal
communications are "you always" and "you never," as
these are almost always false statements.

The husband who repeatedly says to his wife (or any
family member), "You never do such and such, or you
never do thus and so," is almost always expressing an
overstatement, and never builds a bridge for resolving
the conflict at hand. Or the wife who repeatedly says
to her husband (or any family member), "You always do
such and such, or you always do thus and so," is also
almost always expressing an overstatement, and in so
doing, builds a barrier between herself and her loved
one.

This type of accusation is usually an unfair criticism
from an unhappy, and sometimes angry, person who is
projecting his or her own unresolved issues onto the
other person.

When misunderstandings occur, it is much wiser, more
creative, and more loving to express how one feels
without accusing the other person for the way he or she
feels. When I am upset and start a sentence with words
such as, "You always …" or "You never…" I am
blaming the other person for the way I feel, while in
reality nobody can make me feel the way I feel without
my permission.

It is important to acknowledge the fact that my
feelings are always my responsibility. Furthermore, to
the degree that I overreact, my feelings are always my
problem. The most loving way to respond when our
feelings are hurt is to start our sentence by saying,
"I feel hurt …" or "I feel sad, lonely," or whatever
it is I am feeling. This way I am being honest with my
emotions; am taking responsibility for them; and am not
blaming the other person for the way I am feeling. By
taking this approach, we have a much greater chance and
opportunity for resolving the conflict or issue at
hand. Remember too, that feelings are neither right nor
wrong, it’s the way that we handle them that counts.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always
be open and honest regarding my reactions and my
emotions; never blame anyone else for the way I respond
or feel; and always accept responsibility for these by
communicating how I feel in an open, honest and loving
way. Please help me to always be like Jesus in every
situation in which I find myself. Thank you for hearing
and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus’ name,
amen.

For more information on Daily Encounter,
Click on: http://tinyurl.com/3f8m75
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