Hello from beautiful Montana:

Yesterday, I watched a father and son interaction.  They looked like two Pit Bulls ready to do battle.

What was worthy of this battle?  What were they willing to risk a respectful relationship for? Why was it so important that the dominant male "be right?"

The fight was over diet soda!

The father liked his Diet Coke and the son tried to tell him about some research he had read on the Internet about dangers of artificial sweeteners. I won't bore you with the details, you can guess how it went.

Unmet Needs and  Emotional Hungers

Both of them may have expressed views on soda, but the underlying needs and emotional feelings were the catalyst for the argument.

When your needs are not met you feel; afraid, annoyed, disconnected, pain, sadness, anger, aversion, confused, embarrassed, tense, vulnerable.  You are left yearning for the right to be heard.

When your needs are being satisfied you feel; Affectionate, friendly, confident, empowered, open, inspired, excited, grateful, hopeful, optimistic, glad, peaceful, comfortable and trusting.  Most of all, you feel safe.

Relationships built on respect, love and tolerance satisfy the unmet needs of all concerned. Everyone is empowered to be able to speak and share without risking rejection.

A better way to express our thoughts

  1. If you are angry, upset or frustrated, explain why. Don't just shout or blame others.
  2. Use "I" statements.  I feel annoyed….  I felt attacked when …. Not blaming statements like "you make me angry" "you always do this…." You never do that…"

Good luck in changing reactions to situations in old patterns and ways.  It is worth the effort to model respect for one another and to look at what we REALLY want. Not what we want right now.

Thanks for being in the community.

Please check  the programs listed on this page.  I have used and recommended them to families. They work.

Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship coach and author

Feelings, Emotions, Thoughts and Arguments- Do You Have to be Right Every Time?