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When your partner complains about way house looks, or way dinner tastes, it may be a “hint” that he’d like more affection. Ya know?
When you tell your administrative assistant, “Go run this off and collate it for me,” you are “hinting.” There are two ways to collate. (Yes there are. Did you know that? See how hard it is?) And what happens after that?
My doctor told me other day, “Take this PRN.” That’s a hint. What does “PRN” mean?
Does being direct and not hinting insure you’ll get what you want? No. But neither does being indirect and hinting, and chances are higher if you’re direct. And being clear about what you want is a lot better for your sense of personal power.
Come on and hawk it up like a hairball. You’ve probably discovered in intimate relationship communication by now, you’re a lot better off to go ahead and say it. If you don’t because you fear it will harm relationship, it might. But not saying something that important will definitely harm relationship. Somewhere down line not saying “Don’t kiss me like that, kiss me like this,” becomes “I want a divorce.” Who ever meant for it to go that far?
Clear up your communication as best you can, and work on your tone of voice. We’re all in this together!
TONE OF VOICE
Sometimes people think being “direct,” means being loud, demanding, or forceful. Maybe you think it should be accompanied by pointing fingers and pounding fists. Not at all! It often works well to soften your voice when you’re preparing to be direct. After all when we hear something loud and threatening (always a personal perception and personal threshold), we’re geared to fight or flight and we don’t receive or process information well.
Don’t know about you, but I tend to stumble into all my greatest learning experiences. I remember first time I got a sore throat when I had a child in house and couldn’t talk above a whisper. He did everything I asked, like a little lamb. I’ve also tried it at work. I find I have exceptionally peaceful days when I have a cold and can’t talk loud. hmmm
HINTS DON’T WORK
It is hardest thing in world to come out and say what you want, clearly and distinctly, in a way that can be answered “yes” or “no.” It’s particularly important when it matters most – when it’s emotional, and involves someone you love.
Asking for something you want emotionally puts you in a vulnerable position. It’s high-risk. If answer is “no,” all hope has been removed. However, it defines you as a person with choices who makes demands and has boundaries. It frees you to go and get what you want elsewhere, or to redefine what you want. It gives you knowledge and information. It takes you out of fantasy world of wishing and hoping, and puts you clearly on path to being an agent in your own life and getting what you want that can be gotten!
GO FOR IT!
©Susan Dunn, MA, The EQ Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . I offer coaching, distance learning courses, and ebooks around emotional intelligence for your continued personal and professional development. For free ezine, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.