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Syndicated Columns

Try to be kind first

Posted Feb 3, 2007

Q. My friends say I am being harsh when I am speaking my truth to others. I do my best to be kind, but I admit that I may sound critical at times. How can I be honest, truthful and kind and get my point across? -- M.K.P., Ohio

A. My mom used to say, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything." I do not necessarily agree with this adage. It has caused too many people to suppress their feelings.

In this day and age, we have become educated in the art of effective communication. This allows us to create healthy boundaries, stay in our truth and speak from our hearts.

We now use results-oriented communications that begin with "I" rather than "You;" as in, "I am feeling …" vs. "You make me feel …"

I encourage all of us to examine our motives in communicating difficult information.

We must look at our conditioning. Many people suffer from feelings of superiority. We see others through our own lenses and think, "I am right, they are wrong." This fosters separation, exclusivity and judgment.

Secondly: Did you ever hear the saying, "All I see is part of me?" We have a tendency to attract people who are mirrors of ourselves.

Each of us is protected from aspects of our personality that are less than desirable; hence, we can't see faults in ourselves, we only see it reflected by others.

Before you pounce on someone, ask yourself what you don't like about them. Then ask yourself how that is familiar to you. If you don't like their tone of voice, what history do you have about tone of voice? Take it in, before you dish it out.

As an anonymous writer once said, "Instead of heavy duty, try the gentle cycle."

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