Delivery is everything - this includes that Samsung 52 inch smart television that you bought on impulse but then couldn't fit in the back of the car. Having to then get it delivered meant missing out on worshipping it from the couch that weekend. But delivery also plays an important part in how we talk with people who are important to us.
People that I work with, especially those in couple relationships or in families, will often come in the door struggling with issues, with these having morphed in to large conflicts because they were not managed well. And a big part of the mis-management of conflict is often in how we raise these: the delivery, or how we bring something up with someone, especially if we anticipate that they might become a little challenged or defensive in return. And of course in any type of relationship that contains a degree of history or closeness, or both, there will be occasional points of difference/issues (or whatever we want to call them) and we need to have good skills at raising and addressing these issues, so that they don't blow up - that's why our delivery is so important.
What is not OK, is when the said issues are raised in confrontational or angry or shaming kinds of ways. That's only going to make the person on the receiving end angry or defensive in return - they will only hear your tone or irritability, so there's not going to be any useful conversation that could lead to a resolution. This is a very common dynamic that brings undone many relationships.
So this is where the whole idea of the delivery comes in. You want your partner/friend/parent/child/boss/employee to hear you, as the issue is important enough for you to raise it. And you want them to at least hear your concerns and then think about doing something differently as a result. That's why it's important to do this in a way in which they can hear the message - and not just the angry tone of the messenger. So please watch your delivery - so much rests on this.
Although our delivery is a crucial component of managing potential conflict well, there are of course other ingredients we need to use if we want to manage conflict better. Check out what Ashley Davis Bush and the folks over at Psych Central have to say about this important topic.
And of course if conflict is not being managed well in your relationship and you want to do this better, feel free to contact me for some assistance.
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."