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  • Writer's pictureJenn

Instead of Defending...Do This

I'm talking about two common things that can really hurt relationships.

Complaining and defending.

When you put them in a model they don't increase problem solving, communication, connection, and love.

The both shut it down.

Like the Canadian borders during Covid.

So what can you do instead?

Last week I talked about making requests instead of complaining. A true request will be free from any price tag. You will figure out a way to be fine with a yes or a no, but your happiness does not hang on it.

If there is anger, resentment, frustration if they don't respond to our "request" in the way we hoped, then it wasn't an actual request. It had an emotional price tag attached.

I'll talk more about that next week.

Defending is sneakier.

We can disguise it as explaining or clarifying but the intent is to change them.

Their thoughts, feelings, actions, results so that we can feel more understood, validated, etc.

But since we hold the keys to our own emotions we get to feel okay regardless of where they are at and when we can get to that clean place of emotional ownership and responsibility we don't really need them to change.

If we want clarity and connection we can ask questions.

Get curious.

When someone states that the earth is flat we can ask them why they believe that way instead of siting numerous documentaries about pictures from space.

When someone states that they think we are rude or insensitive we can ask them questions if we want to learn more.

"Are you okay?"

"How can I help you?"

"What do you hope for right now that I'm not giving?"

And we can consider giving it if it is in alignment with integrity to us and who we want to be.

Or not and not try to convince them out of their feelings or defend and justify our position that really is just our truth.

Nothing personal.

ANY of our views simply reflect our beliefs and our preferences.

Same with theirs.

There really is no need to talk someone out of their beliefs but we may expand our own if we ask questions instead of defending.

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