by Jeffrey Levine
There’s a common mistake many of us make when trying to express ourselves within our relationship.
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).
And yet many of us fall into the trap of blaming the other person in our relationship when we think we’re actually expressing our feelings.
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 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.
From Sarah: Jeffrey’s got a nice straightforward approach, with some very good and easy-to-understand steps. He’s got this really helpful Good Husband Toolbox and a Marriage Advice E-letter – just go here to get more of his free advice to quickly and effectively improve your relationship->