When we are in the middle of a heated debate, it’s tough to stay objective, especially when it’s about behaviour and starts to feel like a personal attack.
We all have to accept that unfortunately people are not perfect and that includes us, our partner(s) or partner’s partner(s). We are all by our human definition creatures ruled and driven by our emotions.
When initiating such a potentially explosive debate, we should always attempt to address our own emotions first and someone else’s behaviour secondly. It also needs to be done without making assumptions or judgement around why the behaviour has been manifested and exhibited. Let’s face it, no one is happy about other people making assumptions about how they feel or what a specific type of behaviour means, so extend the same courtesy to others we would like to be extended to ourselves.
So as a guide try using these three simple steps
- Isolate the issue and behaviour
- Work to define how it makes you feel and the emotion(s) it generates within you
- Find a sensitive way to communicate the perceived problem e.g. “when ________ happened, I felt that ________”
Always keep in mind the aim is to open up a discussion about behaviour and you may not be full aware of the circumstances surrounding it’s appearance or other unseen factors. This approach to this type of issue helps to promote emotion ownership, non-confrontational debate and open discussion with the highest probability and best chance of both parties learning from the experience and start to resolve the issue.
So remember, just talk about the behaviour and emotions, but don’t be judgemental about the person.