Let’s face it! Any seasonal gathering includes negative relatives who put us down publicly or in private. Sometimes a few well-rehearsed responses make a BIG difference. I have personally started using these five techniques in my own life. It will make a huge difference in the way others treat you. You can empower yourself to not let negativity win.
1. Always use “I” statements: Using “I” statements during confrontational come-backs is a must! The minute you slip in the word “you” the other person will become defensive and act blameless. Your negative cohort can’t argue with your thoughts. Here are some remarkable responses that work. “I see it differently…” “I understand that we think our own unique thoughts…” “I love that we can discuss this openly and still love one another…” “I appreciate your diverse thoughts…” “I have a lot to think about because of your opinion…”
2. Give them only two options: Letting someone know that what they say it hurtful helps them understand your boundaries. “I heard that as an insult…was it intended that way?” They only have two options. They can either take back their insult or admit they are trying to hurt you. This simple power phrase will give you the satisfaction that you have put them in their place. At least you know the truth. It they agree that they are trying to hurt you then respond with disappointment or indifference. Ultimately, you have forced the other person to have to accept their comment.
3. Have an attitude of Gratitude: Always have the last word no matter what insult they hurl your way. Just say “thank you.” It defuses the comment and they are more likely to quit knowing it is not getting under your skin. Sincerely thank them for trying to make you a better person.
4. Agree with them: Ironically, you can agree with the fact that they have the right to say what they want. You can say, “You might be right.” They hear the fact that they are “right” but you know your focus is on the “might.” You can also say that is right for them and not right for you. Turn the rest of the family for help. You can simply say, “Who agrees with Aunt Verna?” This way the focus gets off of you.
5. Change the subject: Secretly, think of other topics that can change the subject. Here are some ideas: weather, travel, food, hobbies, hometown happenings, animals, work issues and kids events. Even if you are confronted about trying to change that subject – admit it. This shows that you are controlling the conversation. It demonstrates that boundaries are being set.
I believe in your ability to make these “Come-backs” to “Put-downs” a permanent solution to your everyday communication. You are now empowered to have a positive outcome to negativity.
Cara Lane can be summed up in two words = infectious enthusiasm. Cara’s high energy, expressive style will be a joy to your learning on life. She has won the hearts of people and has become known nationally as “America’s Speaker Sweetheart.” She has also toured the world and has become an internationally known motivational speaker and trainer. Cara Lane is the award winning top trainer for the world’s leading seminar company. She's a leader an ambassador for Weight Watchers. Cara has given over 10,000 hours of instruction on communication training.