A Gentle Question

March 29, 2011

in the generous life

One way to stop or slow a fight is to ask a question.  When your spouse gets cranky (‘fess up it happens to us all), stop and calm yourself for a second and then ask him a question.  Something like ~

Hon, could you slow down a bit and explain what you mean?  I really want to understand what it is that is bothering you.

I understand you are upset.  Would you say that again or maybe use different words so that I can fully understand your perspective?

We’ve had this argument so many times.  Would you help me by breaking down the problem into smaller bits? Maybe if we work on the bits, we can solve the larger problem.

The word “why” can often be a hot button, so try not to use that word unless you are both calm and it flows well into the conversation.  “Why” is often seen as accusatory (as in “why in the world would you do/think/say that?”).  Try “What were you trying to do?” or “When is that a problem for you?” or “How do you see the situation?”

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.  Proverbs 15:1 NIV

Be generous!  Lori <><

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