23 Meet people where they are emotionally. – 2:13

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#23 Meet people where they are emotionally. – 02:13

One of the biggest mistakes people make in relationships in the area of communication is meeting people where they want to take them emotionally, rather than meeting them where they are emotionally. Let me explain. Let’s say your husband walks into the kitchen and says, “I am so upset. I thought Bill would have called me back by now. He is so irresponsible.” You respond with, “Don’t worry, honey. I am sure he will call soon.” Seems like a simple and innocent enough comment, right? Wrong. The wife met her husband where she wanted to take him, which was, it will be okay. He will call. But the husband was in the midst of anger, frustration, disappointment, or confusion. The key rule of communication here is you have to meet a person where they are emotionally, before you can take them where you want to take them emotionally. The wife did not meet her husband where he was, but where she wanted to take him. What could the wife have said to meet her husband where he was? “Honey, I know you

feel frustrated and disappointed,” or, “I can feel your frustration or disappointment. You

have every right to feel that way,” meeting him where he is, “But it will be okay. I am sure Bill will call soon,” taking him where she wants to take him. Let me give you one more, quick example. Your teenage son walks into the house after school and says, “Well, I didn’t make the baseball team.” You respond with, “Don’t worry, Tommy. There’s always next year. It all works out for the best.” Again, innocent enough remark. Encouraging, yes. Hopeful, yes. Positive, yes. But it meets Tommy where you want to take him, into it will be okay in the future. But he is in emotional disappointment now. You can’t take a person where you want to take them until you first meet them where they are. Let’s take another look at this one. In response to Tommy’s remark, you say, “Tommy, I know how angry and frustrated you are,” meeting him where he is. “You worked very hard to make the team, but all your hard work will pay off when you try out again next year. Don’t lose faith. It will all work out,” taking where they want to take him. This simple yet powerful communication technique can dramatically improve the quality of your communication and your relationships. Remember, you have to meet people where they are, before you can take them where you want to take them.