My friend, Joelle, was off to give her boyfriend “a piece of her mind.”
Try the sandwich, I suggested.
The sandwich approach is: two compliments with a suggestion in the middle. That seems to work best. Give a compliment, then your observation, suggestion or feeling (keeping the focus on yourself), followed by a compliment. The sandwich!
Also, slow down, I said.
She had a whole speech planned, everything she wanted to get off her chest.
I suggested that before she said anything, she could ask herself a few questions.
Is what I’m going to say kind, helpful or necessary?
Does it need to be said now? Does it need to be said by me?
I find if I pray for a moment just before I rattle away with that “piece of my mind,” I end up saying the right things. I don’t want to talk just to hear myself speak. I don’t know all the answers. I can’t pretend to know what’s best for anyone else. I can’t expect all my problems with someone to be solved by one discussion. Getting things off my chest and giving people a piece of my mind are not the best way to get our point across.
How do we make today the best it can be? Being aware of our speech. Sometimes it’s not what we say but how we say it.
Tool for Tuesday: Try the sandwich.
Speaking of which, here are some good vegetarian sandwich recipes.