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Say Everything That’s on your Mind November 20, 2008

Posted by downton in Say Everything.
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Say Everything that’s on your Mind

    There are two ways of relating to our minds. One way, which is the most popular way, is to say whatever is on our minds. This approach I call “core dumping.” If we think it, it must be said. The second way is to decide whether what we’re thinking is wise to say. What does this have to do with screwing up love? A lot. When we’re core dumping in the midst of a fight, we will say things we’ll regret. Why is that? It’s because a fight brings out the side of us that dislikes our mate. Yes, we do dislike our mates at times. Just like we dislike our children at times and, heaven forbid, they dislike us.

     Okay, now we’re at the critical moment. How can we get enough control over our minds so we can stop core dumping? To get at this question, let me share some of the work I did with Roger, a businessman with the ability to make lots of money and also the ability to make his wife, Jane, miserable. We were having a coaching session when this issue of controlling what we say came up. It was pretty clear to me by then that Roger was a core dumper, saying whatever came into his mind which produced a long string of fights with Jane.  So, I asked him, “Roger, you seem to say whatever you’re thinking, however nasty, to Jane. Does it ever occur to you to apply a brake on your mind? Like decide not to say what you’re thinking, especially when you know it’s going to hurt her?”

     Roger: “I say what’s on my mind and always will. Why not express myself? It gets my feelings out.”

     Bob: “Yeah, I know it’s important to express your feelings, but do you ever pause to think about how much Jane suffers from hearing your unkind, even downright nasty, words? Would you want to be hurt that way?

     Roger: “No.”

Bob: “Do you enjoy hurting her?”

     Roger: “No.”

     Bob: “Ok, so here’s the coaching, hold back words that you know will hurt her, will mess up your relationship, and aren’t important to say anyway. When you start holding back the garbage, it will improve your relationship and make love grow.”

     Roger: “That does make sense, but how can I control my mind when my feelings are so strong?”

     Bob: “I agree that’s tough. But, if you don’t try, you’ll never learn how to do it. Another thing that happens when you monitor what you express is you learn to speak in a way that’s constructive rather destructive. When you just let it all out, you’re likely to say things you’ll regret later, so why not speak with a clear intention to produce a good result?”

     After some wiggling and prying, I did get Roger to decide to try this new approach. I also gave him encouragement to always express any thought he had about Jane that was positive. See, it’s not just holding back negative thoughts that will only inflict damage (not solve a problem) but letting the positive thoughts come out in profusion. It’s a simple principle. People want to be loved and the more they express it to their mates, the more love comes back to them.

Coaching Tips

■ Manage your mind by holding back thoughts you know will make the situation worse and make your mate feel awful. There are times when expressing a negative thought can be helpful, especially when you’re trying to solve a problem in the relationship.  Manage your mind, so you can decide when it’s wise to put the brake on a negative thought about your mate and when and how to express it.

■ Anytime you have a positive thought about your mate, express it, no matter where you are. If you have an impulse to kiss or hug him or her, do it! The more positive your communication with your mate, the more love will grow.

■ Know that love grows by what we say and do. When what we say and do is positive, we cultivate love.  Sure, express your negative thoughts when it’s appropriate and it might lead to a nice change in your relationship, but, overall, try to swim in the positive current.

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Comments»

1. BARB MEBANE - December 1, 2008

JIM-
I MAY NEVER GET ANYTHING DONE TODAY AS I KEEP READING YOUR THOUGHTS……….NOT MANY NEGATIVE THINGS TO SAY ABOUT MY MATE. HOWEVER , IF A MINOR NEGATIVE ”OPINION” CREEPS INTO MY MIND..(ONE BEST LEFT UNSAID)….IT IS BEST TO WAIT UNTIL HIS BACK IS TURNED AND VOICE IT SILENTLY,,,THEN IT IS OUT AND I CAN LAUGH AT WHAT I HAVE DONE!

BARB


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