A common complaint of couples and families is poor communication. We have to communicate our needs, wants, and dreams. Trauma and pain can shut communication down or result in explosive words and feelings that damages our relationships. Here is a simple tool to help you build better communication skills. Use the acronym BRIEF to start improving your ability to connect today.
B = Be calm and concise. Request a good time to talk. Don’t discuss more than one thing at a time. “I would like to talk about what happened this morning. When would be good time to talk?”
R = Recognize the other persons situation. See to understand be being understood. For example:
“I realize you were busy trying to get ready for work and worried about your meeting today when…”
I = Use “I Messages.” “You messages” create defensiveness. I messages create safety that allows you to be heard and known. For example:
“I feel hurt and ashamed when you call me ugly names and slam the door.”
E = Express your wants and needs. Families can develop rules that wants and needs are not allowed. Complete inner lifes can be shut down by angry, abusive parents. For example:
“…and I need you be respectful towards me and not run away when we talk.”
F = Focus on a solution that will benefit both of you. This communication skill is not just for me. It creates a win/win opportunity for both parties. For example:
“I will TRY not to talk to you in the morning when you are on the way out of work or I would like to start seeing a marriage counselor together.”
Need more help building power-full communication skills? Contact Ron Huxley today to set up a session time via telehealth.
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