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Seven Destructive Habits that Kill Solid Communication

Breaking the pattern of nagging

Learn to compromise and empathize:

  • Focus on encouragement, not judgment
  • Focus on the effort instead of the outcome
  • Express your feelings rather than criticize

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Seven Destructive Habits that Kill Solid Communication

Seven Destructive Habits that Kill Solid Communication

https://lifehacker.com/seven-destructive-habits-that-kill-solid-communication-1735315546

lifehacker.com

9

Key Ideas

Pointless Criticism

In the context of poor communication, criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons: to hurt someone, to vent your frustrations or to boost your ego.

It’s easy enough for someone to get defensive when they’re given constructive criticism. But when your criticism comes from a destructive place, it’s a communication killer.

Blaming

When you blame someone, you take any responsibility off of yourself and put it on them. 

It’s understandable that you want to express your dissatisfaction with something. But sometimes you need to express it in order to find a solution, not to point singers.

Ineffective Complaining

Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person. 

Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining. 

Why People Complain

  • Venting: Complaining to release strong emotions
  • The Active Effective Complaint: The complainer makes a specific complaint addressed at the person responsible, in order to improve the situation
  • The Ineffective Complaint: Complaining in order to feel some sense of control over something which the complainer cannot control

Nagging

It is persistently bothering someone to do something you want them to do. 

By definition, it’s a communication breakdown and very unproductive.

Breaking the pattern of nagging

Learn to compromise and empathize:

  • Focus on encouragement, not judgment
  • Focus on the effort instead of the outcome
  • Express your feelings rather than criticize

Threatening

When we threaten someone, we become a source of fear and control. That doesn’t exactly lend itself to great communication.

Instead of threatening, open up about why your request is important. This shows you trust and respect someone enough to tell them why something matters.

Punishing

It’s about controlling someone’s behavior through negative reinforcement

It it often used in relation to discipline. But punishment comes from a place of control and retaliation, while discipline comes from a place of trust, consistency, and improvement.

Bribing

It’s focused on control. Often used in relation to rewards. But with a reward, you’re communicating a desirable behavior is. With bribery, you really don’t care if your message gets through, you just want to control and stop a behavior in an artificial way. 

Instead of bribery, negotiating a compromise is better for communication. 

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Criticizing or Listening

Do you tend to hear your partner out when she’s sharing his or her perspective or do you jump in quickly to point out the problems with their views? 

Try listening and giving your par...

Blaming vs. Supporting

When things go wrong for your partner—on the job, with friends, or personally—do you tend to identify the faults in them that may have led to their difficulties or do you offer support and a willing ear? 

Tearing down your partner when the world is doing a good job of this already does no good for your relationship.

Complaining or Encouraging

If your partner is taking on a new challenge or trying to solve a problem or fix something that’s broken, do you complain about their success and pace or do you offer encouragement and act as a cheerleader? 

Improve your partner’s chance of success by giving them space and positive encouragement. You should view yourselves as a team, not as rivals.

4 more ideas

How to deal with a hothead
How to deal with a hothead

First off, you can't get angry too because then there are two angry people.

Tell yourself they are having a bad day. Don't try to shut them up or talk over them. It doesn't ...

Active listening

Active listening has three components:
Paraphrase: Repeat what they have said in your own words. "If I understand correctly... "
Inquire: "You mentioned you found our proposed price unacceptable. Help me understand how you came to this conclusion?"
Acknowledge: "It sounds as if you're quite disappointed with..."

Active listening should be maintained throughout the conversation.

Communication is more than just words

It also includes body language:

  • 55 percent of what you convey comes from your body language.
  • 38 percent comes from your tone of voice.
  • Only 7 percent is from the words you choose.

You don't want to argue over the phone or email as they are stripped of facial expressions and gestures and unwittingly simulating a blank emotional radar.

one more idea

“Micro quotas”

In the process of finding a balance between your desire to dream big and your day-to-day activities, create macro quotas.

These refer to the minimum amounts of work that...

Behavior chains

Creating new habits that stick is easier if we make use of our current routines, instead of trying to fight them.

Use "if-then planning": choose a regular part of your schedule and then build another “link in the chain” by adding a new habit. For example: "If it is lunch time, then I will only eat meat and vegetables.”

Simplify decision-making

Making repeated choices depletes our mental energy, even if these choices are mundane and pleasant.

If you want to maintain long term discipline, aim for fewer decisions during the day: identify the aspects of your life that you consider mundane and then ‘routinize’ those aspects as much as possible.

2 more ideas

The Relationship Scorecard

This is when you and your partner continue to blame each other for past mistakes made in the relationship instead of solving the current problem.

Deal with issues individually unless they ...

Dropping “Hints”

It shows that you two are not comfortable communicating openly and clearly with one another. 

State your feelings and desires openly. And make it clear that the other person is not necessarily responsible or obligated to them but that you’d love to have their support.

Holding the Relationship Hostage

For example, if someone feels like you’ve been cold to them, instead of saying, “I feel like you’re being cold sometimes,” they will say, “I can’t date someone who is cold to me." 

It’s crucial for both people in a relationship to know that negative thoughts and feelings can be communicated safely to one another without it threatening the relationship itself. 

3 more ideas

Communication needs improvement if:
  • You are having trouble getting through to your spouse; you talk about the same issue over and over again without coming to an agreement.
  • You seem unable to have a decent conversation...
Just Communicate

It is difficult to discuss some sensitive subjects, and we are tempted to avoid them. Other times we simply expect our partners to know what we are doing, thinking or what we want.

It is much better to get things out in the open regularly rather than waiting to have big rows that might damage your relationship.

Listen actively

Be curious about your partner’s point of view rather than trying to anticipate every situation. Active listening involves:

  • Paying attention to your partner.
  • Tolerating your silence.
  • Paying attention to your partner’s nonverbal communication.
  • Reflecting and paraphrasing what your partner is saying: I hear you say you feel angry when I ….. Is that what you are saying?

12 more ideas

Acknowledge Your Errors
Acknowledge Your Errors

Blaming other people or minimizing your responsibility isn’t helpful to anyone.

Before you can learn from your mistakes, you have to accept full responsibility for your role in the out...

Ask Yourself Tough Questions

While you don’t want to dwell on your mistakes, reflecting on them can be productive. Ask yourself a few tough questions:

What went wrong?

• What could I do better next time?

• What did I learn from this?

Seeing your answers on paper can help you think more logically about an irrational or emotional experience.

Make A Plan

It’s important to spend your time thinking about how to do better in the future, not beating yourself up for messing up.

Make a plan that will help you avoid making a similar mistake. Be as detailed as possible but remain flexible since your plan may need to change.

2 more ideas

Active listening

Is a technique for developing our ability to listen, to make a conscious effort to understand what people are really saying.

As a communication technique, it is used in many prof...

Core components of Active Listening
  • Comprehending: To communicate, we must first understand what the other person (or people) are actually saying.
  • Retaining: To respond in an appropriate manner, we must understand and retain what the other person has said.
  • Responding: An active response should show that we understand what the other person has said, have paid attention to their words and also read their non-verbal cues.
Improving Active Listening skills
  • Educate yourself on common cognitive biases and shortcuts;
  • Avoid trying to respond immediately. Allow the other person time to finish speaking, then provide a considered response;
  • Minimize conversational narcissism by keeping track of your use of pronouns(I, me);
  • Seek to develop a clear picture of the other person’s logic;
Self-Discipline During Hard Times
Self-Discipline During Hard Times

Self Discipline is crucial in these strange times when our freedom to go out and enjoy life has been curbed and when we still have to keep working while trying to take care of our family, health, a...

Holding Yourself Accountable

Make yourself accountable for what you do or don’t do. You don’t have to do things to prove something to others.

Make a To-Do list with your goals, intentions and proposed actions, and try to stick to it.

Being Honest

If we are not honest in our communication due to any internal fear, we are not taken seriously. People can tell when we are not honest.

There is no need to hide anything or play the victim card. Honesty seems difficult as it requires humility, but if followed, it is easier to be self-disciplined.

6 more ideas

Conflict mistaken for passion

Arguments and disagreements in relationships are normal, but screaming matches and every day fighting isn’t.

People who seek out conflict in their relationship for the intens...

Keeping the peace

Ignoring problems in a relationship in order to avoid conflict will only mean that the problems pile up until they can no longer be ignored – and by then, it might be too hard to fix.

Keeping score

Keeping track of the things that you do, versus the things that they do is a way to create pressure and conflict where there should only be teamwork. 

Sit down together and work out a plan on things like chores or bills, and who does or pays what.

4 more ideas