Communicate

Happy Tuesday! 
This month, I had the honor of being a guest coach for another group that is coached by a lady I met in a mastermind I was in a few months back. She asked me to coach on communication as it pertains to every situation, not only in relationships. I thought today, I’d share some of those nuggets with you! 

Ever wonder why so many fights start over Facebook? Aside from the fact that everyone seems to be a keyboard warrior, people all have differing opinions because we are complicated individuals with complicated emotions and experiences. It’s also because communication is made up of 58% body language, 35% tone of voice and only 7% words used. That means that 93% of the communication we receive over social media, text message or through a blog post can easily be misconstrued due to not seeing the person’s body language or hearing their tone. 

Here are 5 quick communication tips for improving all relationships! 

1. Positive Sentiment Override. 
      Stable relationships have a 5:1 positive to negative comment ratio in them. The old addage that “those who are appreciated will always do more than is expected” absolutely applies in business, parenting and in marriage. If you aren’t appreciated by your boss, do you want to do more for your job? If your kids are always being asked to do things for you without a thank you, do they want to help more? What about your spouse? Do you want to do for them when you feel like they’re negative and coming down on you all the time? Check yourself first. How can you offer more positive comments to those in your circle? 

2. Listen! 
     You were given 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason. Use accordingly. 

3. Soft Startups. 
     We need to talk, You always, You never. Think of communication like a gate. Using these phrases immediately closes the gate and builds a wall behind it. Instead, try saying something like “Hey, when you’re in the headspace to discuss finances (this morning’s meeting, your grades) let me know.” This gives the person you’re needing to speak with a heads up and allows them to meet their basic needs so they can show up to the conversation more fully, prepared and ready to be present and calm. 

4. “I notice and I’m wondering…” 
     This is an emotionally healthy technique to starting a conversation around something someone has done that you’re irritated with. For example, your child or your spouse leaves their clothes on the bathroom floor…again. You’ve only had this conversation about 300,000 times. So rather than losing your sh*t…again, try starting with “I notice that your clothes are on the bathroom floor and I’m wondering if you remember the conversation we’ve had regarding this.” This is not only a soft startup, it’s friendly reminder, provided that you aren’t using a condescending tone. “I notice that you haven’t finished your part of our project yet and I’m wondering if you need help or if you want to have a lunch meeting to discuss some ideas.” A very polite way of saying, Hey…get on it, pal! 

5. Basic Needs! 
     You have to meet your basic needs of food, water and sleep before you can politely and rationally engage in a serious conversation. Think of it like a toddler throwing a tantrum in the middle of Target. They’re probably tired or hungry. They aren’t trying to be a brat on purpose. You’re not much different and neither are the people you’re engaging with. If your boss is hungry and you throw a major decision their way or a fire they need to put out without warning, they’re probably going to respond a little more aggressively than they would normally. Same with your spouse if you throw a budget question at them as soon as they walk in from a long day at work. Meet your basic needs, ask if they’re in the headspace and then engage. 

Hopefully this helps and if you’d like even more communication tools you can start implimenting immediately to connect with your partner, sign up for my FREE 3 day challenge starting TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 7 at 6PM CST! This is only through Zoom and exclusive to only those who sign up! You’ll get an email reminder of when we’re going live and an email of the replay afterwards! Can’t wait to see you there!  

XOXO, 

Kameran 

They’re called blind spots for a reason.

One day last week I took Mason to school. I’ll preempt this by saying that we do a lot better when we can start our mornings slow and methodically. Fun fact, someone asked me once why I wanted to be an entrepreneur and I told them it was because I didn’t want to have to wake up to an alarm clock. That’s still true. Anyway, no matter how much I front load this kid- put your snack in your back pack, lay out your clothes, set your alarm, etc etc the night before, he will inevitably forget something the next morning. This time, it was his mask. 

The long and short of it is that I was more than irritated at the lack of responsibility and the number of excuses he was spouting off like a broken faucet. In the midst of my “mom speech” and in response to him telling me that he believes he’s always responsible, I found myself saying “you don’t know your own blind spots.” 

I further explained in 11 year old terms what that meant, dropped him off, said I love you, and went about my day but I couldn’t get that one phrase out of my mind. 

Nobody knows their own blind spots. It’s why I have a coach I’ve invested 4 figures into and why my own client roster is almost full. We are all looking for help to see our blind spots. Where do we need more work? 

What part is holding us back, keeping us from reaching our fullest potential? What part of us as an individual is continually sabotaging our relationships? Everyone has a blind spot or even a few. Some are more toxic and hurtful than others. But without bringing them to light and working through them, we continue to stay stagnant, never moving forward into the best version of ourselves. Isn’t that the point of life, to grow and become the best version of you possible? 

I was working with a client this morning and she was talking about how far she’d come in the last 2 years. It’s so important to reflect on those wins but when I asked her why she started this journey in the first place her answer was shocking. Her ex-husband had made a comment that she needed to “stop acting like such a victim.” This one comment sparked a wildfire in her soul and fueled her personal development so that he, nor anyone else would ever be able to tell her she was a victim again. She’s not. She’s powerful, impactful, and thriving. She is truly an inspriation and living into the absolute best version of herself every day. All because her blind spot was made visible. Granted, the fuel was significantly more blazened by the person who said it but the results have given her more confidence in herself and her abilities. She’s a better mom, a better teacher and a better friend throughout! 

The beauty is in the process. Deep within the hard. It’s undeniably hard to self-reflect and get honest with what needs work. It’s also liberating, rewarding and ego-boosting when you can honestly say you’ve done that work and are making the world, even if it’s just your tiny corner of it, better because of the work you did. 

So what version are you living into right now? How can you bring your own blind spots to light?

XOXO,
Kameran

P.S.- Have you checked out the 3 day relationship bootcamp I offered in my facebook group last week? It opened the doors to my 1:1 relationship course BETTER ME, BETTER US. This course is for anyone who knows they want a better relationship but their partner isn’t as committed to the personal development journey just yet. Check it out here.

Here’s what the world is missing…

Brene Brown is an incredible author that has dedicated most of her adult life to studying shame and vulnerability. I ran across one of her quotes the other day and it’s been playing on repeat in my mind ever since. She writes “in order to empathize with someone’s experience you must be willing to believe them as they see it and not how you imagine their experience to be.” 

Wow. How often do we shame or judge others because they describe their experience differently than what we think they “should”? Calling them dramatic, over the top, a hypocondriac, or something else. The question is, have we ever been in their shoes? Ever worked three jobs to make ends meet? Ever been a single parent? Ever been in the exact same circumstances they’re in? Simply put, the answer is no. No because no two circumstances are the same for every person.

In fact, just reading this email, your experience is going to be different than someone else’s. Last week, the email went out and I had someone unsubscribe. Ok, it happens, I wasn’t meant to help that person. Not but two minutes after getting the unsubscribe notice, I had someone else reach out to me and thank me for writing the message that I did. She needed it at that time and it helped her. Same email. Completely different responses. 

Life is even more complex than reading an email. Yet we shame others or find ourselves being shamed because our circumstances are different than someone else’s perception of what they should be. 

How connected to your neighbors are you? How well do you really know your friends? How well do you really know your spouse? Not who your spouse was when you married them but your spouse now, in this moment?  We are always evolving, changing and growing but we hold onto the way people were ten, twenty, thirty years ago. 

Empathy and compassion are two of the most powerful forces in this world. They are also two that are most lacked and most sought after. Our deep human desire to be seen, heard, known and accepted is lost in the sea of other’s need to check things off the list, get through each day and prepare for the race of the next day. 

This week, I challenge you to reach out to someone you think you know and get to know them on a different level. Ask them about who they are now. What makes them tick? What are they passionate about? What experience have they gone through that you weren’t there for them when they needed you most? Be open to understanding their situation not as you believe it should be but as they experienced it. If you’re married, start there. Often times empathy is the most lacked emotion in our marriages simply because we’ve been with our partner so long that we take them for granted and see them as they used to be rather than how they are. 

The world would be a much better place if we showed the same empathy and compassion for others that we so desperately crave ourselves. 

Enjoy your week and check out the FREE challenge I am running next week in my Facebook Group!! It’s going to be powerful!! 

XOXO,
Kameran

Are you really helping?

The story goes that a man comes in and asks his wife for help on something but before it’s all said and done, the wife completes the whole project for her husband because “it’s just easier that way.” 

In a couple weeks, he asks her for “help” on a similar project as before. She agrees but does the project for him again. This repeats multiple times throughout the course of the year and finally one day she says “Why don’t you learn to do this yourself? Why do I always have to help you with this?” 

The answer is within herself. When he came to her the very first time asking for help, instead of doing the project for him, she could’ve taken the time to teach him how to do it on his own right then and there. Thus, preventing herself from the irritation and time of having to do it for him repeatedly. “It was just easier”…but was it really? In the short term moment, maybe but big picture, was it really easier than taking a few extra minutes to teach him to do it himself?

As this situation unfolded before my very eyes, I heard him tell his wife “you’re more of a do the thing and I’m more of a ask for help on it kind of guy”. 

The problem is not with men and women. I see this issue with people of all ages, genders, stages in life, etc. We are becoming more and more a society of needing things given to us, done for us and asking not for help but to be enabled. Yes, I said it. 

See, helping is doing something for someone who cannot do it for themselves. Enabling is doing something for someone who can do it for themselves…a lot of the time, “because it’s just easier.” 

In that moment where we believe that it’s just easier if we do the project, several things are happening cognitively. First, we believe that it will take a lesser amount of time if we just do it ourselves instead of teaching others to do it. Secondly, we so arrogantly believe on some level that if we do it, at least it will be done right. Third, on that same level, we don’t believe in the ability or intelligence of the person asking for help. Think about that for a second. We are so arrogant to believe that we are better, smarter, more equipped to do the task than our counterpart. I will also add that too much of this starts to become a breeding ground for contempt- one of the most toxic traits to have infiltrate a marriage.

At the same time, let’s say for a minute that the person asking for help truly has the intention of learning in their asking for help. Well, you’ve just taken away their chance to better themselves by agreeing to help but doing it for them. 

Let’s flip that coin now and say that the person asking really doesn’t want help but is asking so it sounds like they do. This is a manipulation tactic to get someone to enable them. It’s entitlement, selfish, lazy and crossing a boundary that says “my time is more valuable than yours so I’m going to care not about the time you’re going to waste in doing something I could do but don’t want to.” 

As a parent, it’s easier for us to do something for our children than to see them fail as they learn. But in that, aren’t we failing as the parent by doing things for our children instead of teaching them to be independent and thrive without us? 

As a spouse, it would be easier to do all the things our partner asks of us but if, in the end, we are continuously harboring negative feelings for our partner because of it, we really only have ourselves to blame for allowing the disrespect and agreeing to enable them. 

As a boss, how are you creating an environment that promotes self-improvement, learning, and being a self-starter but also asking for help when it’s truly needed? 

Where are you helping? Where are you enabling? How can you honor your own boundaries and create better time management for yourself by saying no? In situations where you are asking, do you truly need help to learn or are you asking to be enabled?

XOXO,

Kameran

Hit Reset

“How in the name of Christmas does my house look like a hurricane hit when I just cleaned yesterday?”

It’s said that the way you keep your car or your house is a direct reflection of your life. Is your house chaos? Coordinated chaos? Neat and tidy? Boring and dull? Bright and happy? 

I’ve mentioned several times before but if you’re new here, my husband is a commercial airline pilot. Sometimes, like this month, he is gone for 4 days, home for 16 hours-5 days and gone again. The “joke” that’s not very ha ha funny is that he blows in, blows up and blows out. Well one day, not too long ago, I was not so secretly tired of walking behind him and our 10 year old picking socks up off the floor, grabbing the sweatshirt off the back of the chair, cleaning up 33 pairs of shoes by the door, etc. etc. I was also reading a book that I talked about a couple weeks ago called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

In the book, he talks about a bachelor that got tired of his apartment always being messy and refers to himself as “lazy”. But the one thing that got this bachelor on track was starting a “ROOM RESET”. When he was finished with the blanket, he’d shut the TV off, refold the blanket and put it back on the couch where it goes. He would literally reset the room before leaving it. 

This seemed completely brilliant! I started implementing this in my home immediately. When my husband started having to pick up all of his own things, I began to have more help, more time for what I wanted to do and less to pick up and he started understanding how much work it really takes to keep a home in order without losing your mind. We also implemented two other rules at the same time. A game called “one touch” and a rule called All+ 1. “One touch” means that whatever you touch, you touch once and put it where it goes right away. No more picking up a cup to move it to the counter then later move it to the dishwasher. Nope. Pick up the cup, in the dishwasher it goes. Dishes are in the dishwasher? You just got the responsibility of putting the dishes away, even if you’re 10. I’ll also add that my child doesn’t get an allowance. He helps out because we are a team and he is a part of that team. Everyone pulls their weight. I don’t get paid to cook dinner, he doesn’t get paid vaccum. Team effort. I will give him a little extra for detailing the car, or dusting base boards. All +1 means that when we do the room reset, you pick up all your junk plus one thing that isn’t yours. That way everyone is helping out. It gets done faster and the house stays picked up. 

So how does this apply to your life? Well for starters, it’s not too late to do a “reset” on your life. Stop dwelling on the past and move forward from where you are now. Reset where you are and start moving toward where you want to go. Reset your habits to start new ones or change old ones. Reset your relationship to be better. Get help, change behaviors, fix what’s broken, do a reset. Then check in every day. What’s it look like? How’d the reset go that day? What needs to happen to make it even better the next day? 

People never get to the end of something and know exactly what went wrong. They look back and think “what happened”? Small, repeated habits and patterns happened. They never got reset and now the breaking point has come. That breaking point may be your sanity, a divorce, a sippy cup of milk that has molded after getting lost under the seat, an extra 50 pounds, a health issue, whatever applies to you. 

If you don’t like who you are, what you’ve become, what your house, your car, or your life look like just yell out “RESET” and commit to it. 

XOXO,

Kameran

Your Upper Limit Problem

Have you ever…

had that nagging feeling like you wanted something so bad and then when you got it, you felt like you didn’t deserve it? Ever applied for a job that was out of your comfort zone and “a long shot” but then you got it and felt like you weren’t good enough? Ever not applied for a job because you felt like you weren’t qualified enough? Ever started worrying about when the next shoe was going to drop because things in life were “going too well”? Ever started a fight with your spouse because things were “too good to be true”? 

All of these are self-sabotaging examples that have to do with your Upper Limit Problem

Your Upper Limit is the glass ceiling belief that you put on yourself, your thermostat. It’s the level of success in your relationship, your job, your personal life, or where you’ll be to be successful. The problem comes in when you get to that point or just above that point, you sabotage yourself because you don’t know what to do with that success or you have a certain negative belief around actually achieving it. 

Did you know that according to Harvard Business Review, statistically women will not apply for a job unless they have 100% of the job criteria met while men will apply if they have only 60% of the job criteria met? Most of that job criteria is a “it’d be nice to have but isn’t necessary” anyway.

Ladies! What does this say about our sense of self-worth? You don’t know if you don’t try, right? But there’s that Upper Limit Problem. We don’t believe that we will get the job, so we hold ourselves back from even trying in the first place because what if you do accidentally get it and then everyone finds out you’re a fraud. Worst case scenarioing things never got anyone anywhere.

Stop living in fear. Robert Heller said that fear is the exact same emotion as exhilaration but without the breath. Think about an athlete, speaker, celebrity, or whomever has a lot of nerves but also a responsibility to uphold. What do they do just before they go perform? They take a big breath and they change the energy of fear into the energy of exhilaration by blowing that air out as if they’re blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Then they move. They take action.

You do new things every day, drive a new route because of a road construction detour, speak to new patients or clients, learn new things, complete new tasks, dive head first into learning 4th grade common core math just to help your child with their homework, figure out how to get spaghetti sauce out of your brand new white rug and didn’t disown your child for spilling it in the first place. (All of which are examples I’ve been through in the last 2 months so believe me when I say, when you put your mind to it- you can do hard, new things!) You can take that breath, blow it out, change the energy and take action. So why the self-sabotage when we finally get what we’ve asked for or hold ourselves back because of our own limiting beliefs? 

When I work with couples, at least one session is dedicated to finances. Not only because it’s one of the top reasons for divorce but because the fights about money are never just about money. They are so much deeper than that. The upper limit problem of one or both parties that make up that couple keep them thinking small. That limited belief system then spills over into the relationship and one picks a fight with the other over “spending too much” when it’s really the limiting belief of angered party that’s the problem- not the “money being blown by buying the good toilet paper instead of the generic.”

Another example is of a good friend of mine. She is married to the love of her life, has 4 beautiful children who are all healthy. They own a home on quite a bit of land with an enormous backyard and have little to no debt. They travel and genuinely live “a great life” (her exact words). Yet, she has debilitating anxiety attacks almost nightly because she believes that something is going to happen and they’ll lose it all or one of them will die. Her upper limit problem- she doesn’t believe she is good enough to have this great of a life so something has to happen to make it “normal”. 

How do you spot your Upper Limit problem? If you have: anxiety, frequent bouts of criticizing or blaming your partner, deflecting when someone points out your limiting belief system, picking fights with your partner, friends or family, frequent sickness or injuries, frequently comparing your life with others, finding fault in everyone else but yourself/having a “victim” mentality, you my friend, are suffering from an upper limit problem. 

How do you fix it? Well naturally, I’m going to tell you coaching! Additionally though, letting go of the guilt and the blame. Get to the root of the upper limit problem- do you have more than one? Commit to identifying them and working through them consistently. Work to not just get through it but completely dissolve the problem. Close the gap by recognizing when you’re letting your upper limit problem get in the way of your success and recover from it by acknowledging it and then changing the narrative in your head- “The lie I’m telling myself is that I have not done enough to deserve my success. My TRUTH is that I have worked very hard for the accolades that I’ve earned and I am successful because of that dedication and determination. I excel in all I do!” Lastly, make a conscious decision to change your thought process from a lack mindset to thinking abundantly, with gratitude, love and success! What you focus on grows! 

If you resonated with this, I’d love to hear from you. If you want to read more about it, Gay Hendricks talks all about it in his book The Big Leap. If you need help with this, I’d love to help you through it! I used to have debilitating anxiety as well and now I have none because I took responsibility for my own mindset, my own upper limit problems and my own dissolving of those limits. Upper limit problems aren’t forever. They’re only there as long as you let them take up space. 

XOXO, 

Kameran

P.S.- This week’s episode, just dropped this morning, talks more in depth about the Upper Limit Problem and how to overcome it. It’s fire, if I do say so myself.

Are You As Empathetic As You Think You Are?

Empathy. 

/ˈempəTHē/
the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings. 

This morning I was in a yoga class and had chatted quite a bit with the lady on the mat next to me before class began. About a quarter of the way through class, she got up and left with only her phone. About 20 minutes went by and she came back sobbing but trying to pull it together. She lasted about 3 minutes before she got up, gathered her things and left. During the 3 minutes she was laying there, I wanted to reach out. I wanted to touch her hand or somehow let her know that I was there because she was clearly not ok but you know…I’ve literally only known her for about 28 minutes at this point and then you’ve got social distancing…so many thoughts. After she left, I spent the rest of the class praying for her comfort, her safety, the safety of her children and husband, for her to have peace with whatever wrecked her so fiercely. What I had for her was a deep amount of sympathy. I acknowledge that she was struggling and I wanted to comfort her. But without knowing her circumstances and what was going on, I could not have empathy for her. I could not understand what she was going through and relate because I don’t know if I’ve ever gone through a similar experience. See the difference? Empathy and Sympathy both come from Greek roots and are often confused. However, empathy is much more than sympathy. 

Looking at a relationship standpoint, think back to the last argument you got into with your significant other. Did you hear to respond or hear to really listen and understand? If you heard to understand, most likely you showed empathy and the argument that was dissolved quickly. If you heard to respond, the argument probably escalated in a hurry. Don’t worry, you’re human. We tend to think we’re doing a lot better than we really are and more often than not, we hear to respond instead of listening to understand. Empathy. You’ve probably been in a situation where someone heard you and responded quickly without understanding your perspective or your need in that situation. You may have felt judged and you may have felt truly unheard. You can understand how you just made your partner feel. Now you can do better. 

Think about your children, if you have them. Does their frustration and fit throwing come from them “being bad” or do they need you to listen to them and understand better? I can’t count the number of times in the last week that my son tried to tell me something and then had to repeat it because I was only hearing him half way. No wonder he was frustrated with me. I can empathize with him on this. I have been in these situations before and it felt irritating, rage inducing and unfair. I will do better. 

Think about your community. Did you visit the friend down the street who just had a baby to hold the baby, maybe bring a gift and split after 20 minutes into the visit because “she needs to rest” but really it was so you could run to the store and keep up with your schedule? OR did you offer to come sit with the baby for a couple hours, do a couple loads of laundry, her dishes and bring a meal she could freeze for next week? Did you check on her after a few weeks to make sure that she isn’t suffering from PPD? Gents, did you help that new dad knock out some of his honey-do list or bother to ask him what he really needs right now? His world has been flipped upside down too but society has told him that if he says anything, he’s weak and unsupportive of his wife. How did you help the man who lost his business because of Covid? How did you help the family whose house burned down or their kid was just diagnosed with a terrible illness? Have you reached out to the single mom or the couple who are new to the neighborhood? Empathy. You’ve been there. You can relate to at least one of these circumstances, if not all. What did YOU need in those moments? How can you do better?

Now think about our country. Empathy would go a long way here. If you are white, like me, you can’t share in the emotions or experiences that your BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) friends have experienced but you absolutely can sit down and ask them to tell you about it. Listen to understand, not to respond. You can have sympathy here but that’s not going to change things. Empathy and educating future generations on why people have different levels of melanin in their skin, why it’s not ok to judge others, why nobody is better than anybody else, why it’s not ok to dehumanize anyone, ever. These are the things that are going to make a lasting change. Additionally, look at your circle. Is it filled with only (or more than 80% with) people who look, think, vote, and were raised like you? If that’s the case, you’re part of the problem. Expand your circle. If you’re fearful of this, ask yourself why.  Ask yourself why you believe what you do about people? Why do you have the unconscious biases that you do? Is it because of media? Because of what your grandma told you when you were 5 years old? Because you met one person that had less than stellar behavior? Are your beliefs fair to judge an entire population on? Are your beliefs still serving you? Your community? There’s incredible greatness in differences. Greatness that you are only open to seeing and living if you step out of your norm to develop those relationships. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much empathy you develop as a result of those relationships. If nothing else, by putting some or all of these practices into play, maybe we’ll be able to say, “this is how I’m doing better.” Hopefully, this will allow our children to say “we live in a better world than my parents grew up in.” Instead of “we’re still fighting the same battles my ancestors did.”

XOXO, 

Kameran

P.S.- If you’re like me and you want to do better, you’ll definitely want to check out this week’s podcast dropping Thursday morning. I interview 3 friends of mine who are all black, all from different upbringings and all phenomenal individuals making a HUGE impact in this world in different ways. We have a very real and raw conversation about the world, what we need for change and how people can do better. Make sure you tune in by searching Recognizing Potential on Spotify or Apple podcast platforms.

How Clear Is Your Communication?

Every person has a fight style and a communication style. 

But what happens when the two combine? When you’re upset with your partner, how do you communicate? 

In many of the couples I work with, when an argument ensues, one of the parties will brush their wants and needs under the rug. Your partner comes in and asks “What’s wrong?” You answer with a harsh “nothing.” Your words (7% of your communication) say nothing. But your tone and body language (93% of your communication) say “something BIG”. 

Understand a few things here. 
1. Your partner is not you, they do not think, feel, communicate or operate the way you do.
2. Your partner is not a mind reader. Without clear, concise communication, your partner will not understand what you want them to. 
3. Your feelings, thoughts, irritations, triggers, etc are your responsibility. Communication is imperative to living a happy, fulfilled life with your partner. 

So let’s go back to our scenario. If you are upset with your partner, it’s your responsibility to let them know why you’re upset. If you are communicating “nothing” then their reaction is going to reflect that nothing is wrong and this is something you are working through on your own. The problem becomes deeper and a solution is never found. Additionally, this is a toxic behavior that is started when we begin dating as teenagers and we take this behavior with us through each relationship until we eventually recognize it for what it is and let it go for a more mature response. On a deeper level, we are hoping that our partner recognizes their own wrongdoing without us having to communicate it but that only leads to more disappointment when that hope is lost. 

So what’s the most effective way to communicate? 

Most wrongdoings between partners are simply because of mindlessness, not malice. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt (antidote) instead of assuming the worst (poison). 

Communicate a clear message that covers both the surface and the deeper levels. “I am upset because you said you would…. and you didn’t. I feel that you didn’t keep your word and I am disappointed because that lessened the character I believe you to have and left me feeling abandoned.” 

Sounds like a bunch of psychobabble BS, right? Ok follow me here. A simple 2-3 sentence message like this is powerful to the nth degree. Here’s why. 

  • I statements (I am..I feel…) take responsibility for your feelings and avoid blame, shame or guilt of the other party. It keeps the gate of communication open instead of saying “You didn’t keep your word” which then triggers defensiveness. 
  • You’re not sweeping your feelings under the rug. You’re validating yourself, your feelings and your equal partnership in this relationship. 
  • You’re hitting the underlying problem (abandonment and lessened character) which could be a repeated problem in your relationship. 
  • Simply stating facts avoids whining (defensiveness) or using contempt (communicating that you’re superior to your partner).
  • Saying “I’m upset that you said you would (a behavior), lessened the character I believe you to have (behavior), you’re complaining about the behavior, not criticizing the overall character of your partner. This avoids later problems and is more easily accepted than criticism. 
  • By shortening the message, it’s easier for your partner to hear, understand and stay focused than having a long, drawn out explanation. This hits high points, details and communicates needs. Everyone wins. 
  • A statement like this is less likely to escalate the conversation which avoids more hurt and promotes a healing, solution oriented environment instead. 

This message leaves an opening for your partner to now reply with a calmer, more productive feedback of “I’m sorry for leaving you abandoned and not keeping my word. In the future, I will…” 

I understand that toxic patterns of behavior are difficult to break but in an ideal relationship, communication and arguments are handled calmly, rationally and a lot less heated. If you’re trying to uplevel your relationship, this is the framework you’re ultimately working toward. It eliminates the 4 deadly horsemen of the apocalypse as well as gas-lighting which are all high indicators of divorce. 

I can tell you from experience in changing this exact behavior in myself, the latter, more effective communication technique produces much more satisfying results in the short and the long run.

I hope this helps your relationships and helps everyone move forward in a healthier manner.