“You left the place a horrible mess again!”

"Mr. Hole-in-One" by Mimi Stuart © Live the Life you Desire

“Mr. Hole-in-One” by Mimi Stuart ©
Live the Life you Desire

 

So… what I REALLY meant was…

“I feel discouraged when I come home and see dirty dishes. It would make me happy to come home to a cleaner house. I would appreciate it if you would accommodate me.”

Criticism, complaints, and blame put people on the defensive. On the other hand, you can give the other person an opportunity to do something nice for you by phrasing your request diplomatically.

First of all, instead of attacking the other person, express how you feel given the simple facts, that is, “dirty dishes” instead of “horrible mess.” Then describe specifically what you would like him or her to do and how good it would make you feel. Most people enjoy making others happy. So express how appreciative you would be to come home to a clean house.

by Alison Poulsen, PhD

Read “Communicating Effectively under Stress: ‘This is horrible!’”

Read “Living together Part I: Manners and Boundaries — ‘What’s the matter with you? Look at this mess you made!’”

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