Are You Down with This?
Reflect and Rephrase
Stay away from: Name-calling.
Rephrased: You are a good friend and I’d like to share my feelings with you without you telling others.
Stay away from: Being defensive makes communication harder.
Rephrased: Again, I apologize.
Stay away from: Absolutes like always and never.
Rephrased: How do you feel about letting me use your iPad for a bit?
Stay away from: Being condescending or acting superior. This behavior makes enemies, not allies.
Rephrased: Would you mind grabbing me a cup of coffee?
Stay away from: Threats of violence and revenge escalate problems.
Rephrased: I’m very upset.
Stay away from: Sarcasm is a form of hostility.
Rephrased: Let’s think of some other options.
Stay away from: Ultimatums can create power struggles.
Rephrased: I would really appreciate it if we could work this out together.
Stay away from: Making judgments makes people defensive and unreceptive to feedback. Only make observations.
Rephrased: That idea might not work because…
Stay away from: Keeping the focus on yourself.
Rephrased: I feel sad when you say you “don’t care.”
Stay away from: Negative, emotionally-charged words.
Rephrased: When you’re late it seems like you don’t respect my time.