No problem.” “No worries.” We hear these responses from sales clerks, food servers, and others after we thank them for doing their job. Also from friends, family members, and acquaintances.

What’s wrong with this?

The unconscious does not recognize a negative

What’s wrong is that the unconscious does not recognize a negative. To prove this point, try this experiment: Imagine yourself being told right now, “Don’t think of a pink elephant.” Immediately, what do you think of? A pink elephant, course! The unconscious does not recognize a negative, which in this case is the word, “don’t.” You hear, “Think of a pink elephant.”

When someone I thank responds, “no problem” or “no worries,” the words, “problem” and “worries” jump out at me. I sense I’ve been viewed as mildly annoying, at best. Yet, if my “thank you” elicits a “You’re welcome,” or “My pleasure,” I’m likely to feel good about our exchange.

So why is a marriage maven writing about pink elephants and seemingly innocent phrases?

These currently popular phrases, “no problem,” and “no worries,” are heard subconsciously as negative messages. When spouses unknowingly communicate with each other less than positively, they create distance in their relationship.

Clean communication uses words that bring forth positive associations, even when the speaker is referring to something about which he or she is unhappy.

How to Communicate Positively

In the best marriages, partners communicate positively. Not everyone knows how to do this well, even when they think they are getting it right. A wife might intend to express gratitude by telling her husband, “I appreciate you for not bothering me when I wanted to read quietly last night. A more positive message would be, “I appreciate you for respecting my wish to read quietly last night.”

Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love explains step by step how to use several positive communication skills and avoid using negative ones, such as disguised You-statements. 

Follow a Complaint with a Request

Being human, we’re all likely to complain now and then, to say what we don’t want or don’t like. A husband might tell his wife, “I didn’t like it when you told our friends about my brother’s medical condition. I wasn’t ready to share this.” He can soften his rebuke by adding a request, such as, “I would appreciate it if from now on you’ll keep this private, until I’m ready to share it with others.” His wife hears “appreciate” and will probably respond warmly by saying she will certainly honor his wish.

When he then thanks her, she’ll say, “You’re welcome!”

 

Cleaning up Your Communication

Less Helpful: Complaining               Better: Asking Kindly for What You Want

“You don’t help me enough with the kids.”

“I’d appreciate it very much if you would be willing to watch the kids Tuesday evenings so I can go to a class I’m interested in.”

“You don’t show me enough affection.”

“How about a hug?” (said warmly with a smile.” Or surprise him or her with a hug. Or, “I’d like a good morning hug and kiss today.”

“You don’t help enough in the kitchen.”

“I’d appreciate it if you’d clear the dishes from the table.”

“I don’t like having to do all the housecleaning.” (This is okay if you follow up with a request.)

“I’d like to get more help cleaning the house. Might you be willing to take on a task or two?” (Give examples).”If not, how about we hire a cleaning service?”

 

Note: This article is modified from an earlier version originally published on www.chabad.org .

 

Views: 218

Comment

You need to be a member of OMTimes Writer's Community to add comments!

Join OMTimes Writer's Community

Comment by Crystal Presence on March 2, 2017 at 8:20pm

Great article...right on...thanks for that!

OM Times Magazine is a Holistic Green eZine with a Spiritual Self-growth Perspective for the Conscious Community.

Members


Forum

Are comebacks allowed?

Started by Anne Mari Ramsdal. Last reply by Omtimes Media Jan 17. 1 Reply

New to Community - Help with Magazine & Course publishing process

Started by Leanne, The Barefoot Medium. Last reply by Crystal Presence Jan 9. 1 Reply

10 Spots Left This Year!

Started by Leigh Burton. Last reply by Crystal Presence Nov 23, 2018. 1 Reply

Credibility and Reputation

Join our group of authors on Goodreads: http://ow.ly/tUyAM


Google+
Alterative Medicine Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Blogarama - Spirituality Blogs
Follow me on Blogarama

Help Support Us In Our Work and Keep OM-Times Magazine Free For All!!!




Where to find us

Google+

Contextual Links

Free Web Directory - Add Your Link

The Little Web Directory
web-ref.org

mondotimes

Find Local News Worldwide

mediaowners

Who Owns The American Media

Follow Me on Pinterest
Merchant Processing Service
web directories
Submit Your Site To The Web's Top 50 Search Engines for Free!
PullDirectory.com - Add free links and articles.

Ciford Web Directory

alarmg4s
SubmissionMonster.com

© 2019   Created by Omtimes Media.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

Omtimes writer's community