Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It is my fault, but could you help me

So often in our relationships we need to say "It is my fault, but could you help me" so that people do not hear the message "I've got a problem and I'm blaming you" when we ask for their help. I learned that lesson about things I'd lost. If I just said "my gloves are lost, if you see, them, let me know" the message that was received, somehow, is "you lost my gloves."

That isn't what I wanted to communicate. But if I say "I managed to lose my gloves and haven't found them yet. If you come across them, wherever it was that I managed to leave them, let me know, I'd really appreciate it" I've given the message that
  • I know that losing my gloves is my fault; and,
  • I don't expect you to go looking for them, but if you notice them, know they are lost or misplaced, not left in some foolish place on purpose.
That is a useful way to talk and to ask for casual help. Oh, if you find something, always let the other person know "Hey, I managed to luck across where I'd lost my gloves." That way they know that they don't need to keep an eye out for you.

4 comments:

Barb said...

Here is an example of what not to say:

Yo Stella! What the @@### did ya do with the remote! You are always losing things you idiot.

I like your way much better. Indirect phrasing is often something that the male gender does not do as readility as women. For example, women will often say would you....while a man will give a command such as hand me that such and such. I like metacommmunicating topics.

Despite my earlier humor, this is something I will keep in mind if I loose something.

Barb said...

lose something. I know some people hate spelling areas so I had to correct.

I hopefully am not losing my mind. Please keep an eye out for it. :) Just kidding!

BrianJ said...

Excellent! Thanks for this advice.

Lisa M. said...

I find, with in myself, when I am most fragile and most upset or distraught that I yell my woes to the world, and blame everyone for everything.

It isn't logical at all. It's my way of letting off steam.

I have learned to just yell and not at my family. But, it was a hard lesson.

Isn't it ironic, how some things are so easy to *get*,but so much harder to implement.