Learning to confront problems and conflicts with kind words
I am working hard at no longer speaking sarcastic, passive-aggressive words. In order to speak only kind words, I have to deal with problems and conflicts in a straightforward and polite way.
This has had a few positive consequences:
1. I try to anticipate conflicts before they happen, and this forces me to understand and communicate my own needs. In order to do this in a kind way, I have to understand what *I* need and frame the conversation as a polite request to help me, rather than a demand. This sort of conversation is much easier to have before a conflict arises, so I need to make time to consider my own needs on a regular basis. The end result is that I face fewer conflicts, and my needs are met more often. It’s win-win for me and the person that I am communicating with.
2. I stay much calmer, and feel less angry when conflicts do arise. I know that I have to speak only kind words, and so I force myself to take a deep breath (or three) before I speak. This practice helps me feel much calmer. Also, as I mentioned in the previous point, I spend more time thinking about my needs and how to communicate them. When a conflict arises, I already understand why I am upset, because I know which need hasn’t been met. I have already given some thought as to how to articulate that need, so it is much easier to discuss the conflict in a straightforward manner. This makes discussions about problems less stressful for me, because I already have an idea of what I’m going to say.
3. I feel more in control of my life. Because I spend some time trying to anticipate conflicts and problems, I feel like I am being proactive rather than just passively reacting to events in my life. Obviously unexpected problems still arise, but because I know that I have to speak only kind words, I spend a lot more time actively managing my own expectations, which leads to fewer disappointments.
I would love to hear from you if you have ever done a similar experiment. Please feel free to leave a (kind) comment. Thank you!