There’s a common mistake many of us make when trying to express ourselves within our relationship.

by Jeffrey Levine

Many of us fall into a familiar trap:  We think we’re expressing our feelings, but we’re actually blaming the other person.

Here’s what I call – The Effective Communication Formula for a Relationship of Any Kind:

Effective Communication equals Authenticity plus Timing minus Blame (EC = A+T-B).

Let me show you what I mean.

1. “I feel like every time I try to talk to you Larry, you’re too busy to pay attention.”
2. “I feel you could get home in time to help Jason with his homework if you really wanted to.”
3. “I feel as if I’m talking to myself.”

What do you notice about these statements?

Many of you probably noticed that they’re not actually your feelings even though each sentence begins with “I feel…”

In fact, each statement is a statement of blame.

How can we turn these into feeling statements?

Here’s some suggestions for expressing those same sentiments, but in these new versions, I’m stating feelings and removing the blame language. New Relationship Language:

1. “I’m disappointed that what I’m saying to you isn’t enough to hold your attention.”
2. “I’m angry when you don’t get home in time to help Jason with his homework.”
3. “I’m lonely.”

These are both subtle and powerful changes in language that express your actual feeling, without accusing or assigning blame in your relationship.

If you’re used to communicating the old way, this will take some practice. But when you start to see the different results you get for your relationship with the new method, you’ll never go back.

Jeffrey Levine is a corporate coach and trained mediator (and Rori Raye’s husband) who works with both men and women to improve their communication, deepen their connection and remove the blocks that keep them from feeling and expressing love. He is the author of “How To Talk To A Man”, which contains invaluable advice, tools and solutions to help you avoid common relationship pitfalls, and clean things up when they go south. “Every moment presents a new choice for you: a decision about what you want – and what you believe you deserve.”

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