Change the Way You Use This Word and Watch Conflicts Disappear

There is one word we all use so often that is guaranteed to inflame any situation, put the listener on the defensive and either create or maintain conflict.  The way we use this three letter word has the power to completely transform the quality of your relationships.

The correct use of this one little word does even more than that.  Turning a simple sentence into a more complex one allows you to take responsibility for your own emotions and move beyond the Blame Game.

But wait, there’s more.  Instead of creating conflict and ensuring the listener takes a polarity position, using this word differently and expanding the sentence can make the other party your ally.  They actually take your side and become much more willing to not only see your point of view, but to develop empathy for your situation or circumstance.

Now, doesn’t that sound amazing?

By creating a slightly longer sentence, you automatically start to create harmony and cooperation in your life.  Imagine how that could work for you at home and at work.  Imagine having this work on that difficult colleague or your teenager.

OK, enough you say.  Get to the word.

The word is ‘YOU.’

How many times do we say things like, ‘Why didn’t you clean up this mess?’ or ‘Why don’t you ever do what you’re told?’  or ‘You don’t spend enough time with the kids.’

What is the effect of using a simple sentence with the word ‘you’ as the subject?  We apportion blame to the other.  What is the effect of blaming the other?  It creates defensiveness and almost forces the other to adopt a polarity position.  The result of this is CONFLICT.

Now let’s look at how we can change this situation simply by making the sentence slightly longer.

I feel like you are not listening to me when you don’t clean up your room.’

I feel really worried when you don’t spend enough time with the kids.’

I get so angry when you don’t feed the animals (or take out the garbage, etc.)

The truth is when we blame the other for something they did or didn’t do, it is because our emotions have been aroused in some, often unconscious way.  By taking responsibility for own emotions, we side step the Blame Game, we let them off the hook and we nearly always ensure their cooperation.

Why?  Because it is human nature to want to make others feel better.  When we state how the behaviour has affected us, most people are more than willing to help us feel better.  And by not blaming them for how we feel, they are free to do so without having to defend themselves.

How many times do we get over something immediately a person has apologised to us for a perceived misdemeanour?  We were only angry when we assumed a negative intention on their part.  Once the apology is given, most of us tend to soften.  It is the same when we take responsibility for our own emotions.

The other party becomes our ally instead of our opposition.  Start your sentences with ’I’ instead of ‘You.’  Take the focus off them and onto you and watch what happens.

Try it for a day and see how extraordinary the result.  Make it a lifetime choice and completely transform the nature of your relationships.




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Madonna Robinson is a Personal Development Consultant, a Level 3 EFT Practitioner, trained in Matrix Reimprinting, a certified Life Coach, an NLP Master, holds certificate IV in Small Business Management, Workplace Training and Assessment and TESOL, as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Humanities and a Diploma of Education.  

She is available for consultations in person or on the phone.  Email for more details or to book an appointment. 


6 Responses to Change the Way You Use This Word and Watch Conflicts Disappear

  1. Nicole Bandes January 31, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    Wonderful reminder. It takes practice but is very well worth it.
    Nicole Bandes recently posted..Tip 30 Do You Have a Role Model?My Profile

    • Madonna January 31, 2012 at 10:50 am #

      Yes Nicole, I live with a teenager, so I know how difficult it can be and my son is so intelligent, he notices and almost accuses me of manipulating. Don’t you hate that?

  2. Lee Drozak January 30, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    It is sometimes hard to remember that when we phrase things it does not always come out right. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Madonna January 31, 2012 at 10:48 am #

      Especially when we are in a highly emotional state Lee. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Madonna January 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Hi Lisa, It does work when you can remember to do it. Actually, it’s pretty easy with those we are not closely involved with. More difficult with close family members, but it does turn things around. Madonna

  4. Lisa Wood January 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    I like the idea of watching what I say and how I say it! Looking forward to giving this one a go tomorrow 😉

    Lisa Wood recently posted..Wonderful Places To See Around The WorldMy Profile

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