Strategy #3 Answers vs. Problems

Greetings to all of you!

I hope and pray that you have been able to use the strategies found in this blog while communicating to others regarding their unacceptable character.

This week we will take a look at a very easy, positive way to address unacceptable character. We will present the Answer rather than the Problem.

Most of the time people communicate what they don’t like such as,

1.)   “You don’t ever help me around the house.”
2.)   “You don’t ever take me anywhere.”
3.)   “I’m tired of you treating me that way.”

Those examples communicate a problem that leave it up to the one receiving the message to fix it. That in and of itself can create yet another problem if the problem isn’t fixed to the message senders satisfaction.

There are times when a message receiver doesn’t even attempt to fix the problem but rather responds by saying something like,

1.) “What do you mean I don’t ever help? I mow the grass, I take out the trash, I do all the dishes…etc.”
2.) “Have you forgotten about the beach trip we took last weekend or the restaurant I took you to last night?”
3.) “The way I treat you? What about the way you treat me?”

Obviously, sending a problem message can create bigger problems so let’s take a look at how to address these real or perceived character issues in the form of an answer message.

1.) “I’d like you to help me get some things done around the house today.”
2.) “I’d like you to take me to the movies Saturday night.”
3.) “I need you to talk to me respectfully if you want me to listen to you.”

By sending an answer message the receiver is being moved to a specific action rather than being expected to figure one out. Most people will respond to an answer message by doing what has been suggested. Try this strategy and let me know how things work out.


Dr. Terry

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