4 Most Common Ways People Complain • Mind-Reading 2. Blaming 3. Name-Calling 4. You Always; You Never
Mind-Reading • Assuming you know what the other person is thinking, what they intended, or why they did what they did. • Examples: • You don’t care about me. • You’re just trying to get back at me. • I think you want to fail. • You made me wait on purpose because you are mad at me from yesterday.
Mind -Reading • Generates anger and defensiveness • Assumptions are often wrong The key is to verbalize what you think and feel. Example: “I feel ignored and unimportant” is a lot different than “You don’t care about me”
Name-Calling • Happens when you attack a persons character, instead of focusing on the behavior that is bugging you. • Examples: • “You’re so irresponsible” vs. “I’m really upset you did not follow through on ( issue) when you promised you would” • “You’re such a slob!” vs. “ I feel like a servant always picking up you’re clothes”
Name-Calling • When you are name-calling you are making a comment about a persons character traits. The problem is character traits do not change much. • A person can change a specific problem behavior but not the whole character trait very easily. • Yes the person may be kind of sloppy when it comes to picking up their clothes form the floor, but that does not mean they are sloppy in all areas of their life.
You Always; You Never • By saying these statements you overstate your complaint. Examples: You never say anything nice You never help me. You always make excuses.
You Never; You Always • Always statement are always wrong because no one is that consistent. • A person may do something a lot, but they do not do it every time, all the time.
Blaming • Usually done with an angry intent to hurt another person. • Examples: • It’s always your fault that this happened • We blew this game because of you • If you hadn't been so picky this never would have happened
Blaming • The problem with blaming is the other person nearly guaranteed to get defensive. • Blaming does not bring two people together to solve the problem.
Other Ineffective Complaining • Kitchen-Sink- Staring with one complaint then adding others. This will overwhelm the other person. • Cross-Complaining- You mention a complaint and then the person turns it around on you . This person may have a legit complaint, but out of respect should listen to you first.