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Catching Yourself - The Window to Effective Communication

Paul Hannig Ph.D.
 


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You've gone negative! Listen to your internal grumbling and griping. You're aggravated and you're probably angry with someone - your spouse, kids, employees, co-workers, boss, friends, etc! Whoa! Your mind has gone negative and your negative behavior is about to follow the context of your thinking. To withdraw, complain, find fault, and give negative feedback - that is the question.

But, hold everything!

Take the initiative. Stop waiting for the other person to do something positive. Use what you have learned and catch yourself before you vibe someone with negativity. There are consequences for you going negative. Here are some suggestions to help you live positively:

Normalize

Seek to normalize yourself and your relationship to the other person. What are you like when you are your normal self? Are you positive, friendly, loving and warm? I take it that you like this normal state of “you"ness. Well, if you catch yourself being negative and of course you have justified yourself for being this way, take a deep breath and halt your thinking. Just say, “stop!" It's like being on the edge of a deep hole. You have a choice to jump in or pull back. Step outside of yourself and pull back. Give yourself some time to digest what is going on before you react with negativity.

Conscious Choice

Use conscious choice to normalize yourself and your relationship. If you get stuck in the negativity, it could become chronic and the end of the relationship will become inevitable. Conflict between people and nations is a dilemma and staying stuck in conflict perpetuates, rationalizations, justification, anger, punishment, and retaliation. The cure for conflict is catching yourself and normalizing conscious choice. What will be the consequences of your negativity?

Reversing

Reverse the trend. Choosing to normalize your own thinking and your relationships leads to peace and productivity. The peacemaker chooses to mend relationship wounds and learn from each experience. No more “kneejerk" reactions!

In Conclusion

A student/client asked me, “How do I learn from an experience?" I said, “You study it, feel the feelings, observe your own thinking reactions, make positive choices based on higher principles, write extensively on it, read what you write and teach it to others. " If you don't do this type of processing you will repeat the same negative thinking pattern again and again. Mistakes not learned from, condemn one to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

Here's a personal example: “I'm a talker. I love to talk. I also listen fairly well. When I'm with someone who needs or loves to talk more than I do, I can feel myself going into competition with that person for airtime. If I feel that I can't get enough airtime, I start getting annoyed. When I catch myself, I interrupt the possibility of going negative, I then consciously choose to listen more and better. The other person may dominate the airwaves, but I am forced to be more effective in the content of what I have to say and I take myself out of destructive verbal competition. I try to say what I think the other person needs and wants to hear in a way that is palatable. Sometimes I do and say things that someone else doesn't want to hear and that becomes a problem. When I say something that someone wants to hear, it's like I've scored a direct hit. Touchdown - I'm successful! However, with some people I couldn't win, no matter what I say or do. "

Some people are great listeners, but not very effective talkers. They absorb a lot of information. If the data coming in is friendly, these listeners do quite well. But if the data coming in is like enemy fire, these individuals seem to be the victims or targets of other people's verbal salvos. The ideal state would be to be able to listen and absorb good helpful incoming data and then the goal would be to express oneself with brevity, power, meaning and effectiveness. Remember the goal of good communication is effectiveness. Knee jerk reactions only add to the conflict. Normalize your thinking, respond appropriately, and watch your effectiveness grow!

Paul J. Hannig, PH. D. is a licensed California Marriage and Family Therapist offering innovative and in-depth individual and group therapy. His expertise includes Deep Feeling Therapy, core identity work, psycho-spiritual therapy, hypnotherapy, marriage/relationship counseling, and his “Abstain Now" program for addictions. He is the author of “Feeling People", “Sizzling Relationships: the 401(k) of Love", and “Coping with the Disorder" along with profiles on mood and personality disorders. His office is located in Chatsworth, CA. Telephone Therapy is available as well. Visit PsychotherapyHELP ( http://www.nvo.com/psych_help ) for personal growth, relationship and therapy information, along with free articles to download, resources, and books and media to purchase. Watch his extraordinary video, “Deep Feeing Therapy: Healing Emotional Pain", at http://www.nvo.com/psych_help/feelingtherapy/ . With the creation of PsychotherapyHELP, Dr. Paul brings over thirty years of his knowledge and expertise to all who search for answers to deep emotional pain and interpersonal problems.

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