Kathy Cap is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. She is a graduate of Oakland University with a Masters in Counseling and joins Trinity after a number of years in a solo practice. Kathy enjoys working with couples, and adults of all ages, including those older adults facing an array of life transitions related to health changes, loss, and caregiving.
Communication is important in any relationship, and the delivery of the message makes all the difference. Imagine you’ve been feeling frustrated by your spouse, parent, or friend and you have finally decided that you’re going to let them know just how you feel. You march right into the room, ready to let your grievances be heard but, you’re met with resistance, anger, or worse--complete silence. The outcome isn’t what you expected and now you’re even more frustrated and angry.
This scenario is all too common and often leads to a breakdown in communication. What I tell all of my clients, as well as my own kids, is that It’s not only WHAT you say, but HOW you say it.
Choosing your words wisely, along with your tone of voice, can make all the difference in how your message will be received. If a person feels like they are being attacked they will simply stop listening. It’s important to be clear with what you would like to say. So instead of, “I’m sick of you not helping around the house” try, “I feel very overwhelmed with all the household responsibilities. Do you think we could divide some of the chores between us?”
It may not always be easy to voice your grievances calmly, especially in the heat of the moment. But if what you are trying to say is truly important to you, it is more constructive to be clear, and calm and to choose your words wisely.