It was such a healing moment when one of my sisters mentioned once, that there were certain times when in conversation with someone, she would feel her face freeze and her mind go numb. I thought I was the only one who ever did that!!! In a recent conversation with some friends, the question was raised “How can you change the tenor of communication games? How can you turn a conversation from a listing of their ills, or braggadocio-style posturing?”
Here were some of our answers, I hope this will be of use in your life as well.
- Find a way to bless them
- Focus on the positive…maybe even find a way to ask them for help (see below)…’What have you found that works…’
- Try to discover: what do people who love them find precious?
These three may work by either distracting you from their annoying habits and/or by focusing on the positive, the negative disappears because they find they’re not able to push your buttons.
- Seek understanding, accept that this may be a comfortable way for people to start getting to know each other, what they have in common.
Confrontation/addressing a troublesome topic
Find a way to ask for help
I had heard of this technique for diffusing situations; addressing a distressing topic and for engaging interest. I had a difficult situation with some students recently and despite my irritation with them, this approach worked great! They were using texting in place of real communication…a telephone call when they were going to be absent. I took the students aside and said, “I need some help, I don’t want to harangue you, it happens, but it has happened 5 times this semester (different people), and I need some help as to how to communicate better, that texting about absenteeism doesn’t work in our setting. I had lost 2 hours of time over something that a telephone call would have fixed in 2 minutes.”
The point was made, their defenses were not raised and the students had an active part in the solution.
Living Joyously Tip for the Day:
Seek first to understand. With understanding comes compassion. With compassion comes patience.