How Words Magically Transform

“We tend to hear thoughts as judgments and criticisms, which close the heart. We tend to hear feelings in a very different way, with an open heart.’ -Dean Ornish

When I was little, and my friends would hurt my feelings my mom always told me to notice my language.  She said I should never use the word “you” and try to start sentences with “I feel…” So me in my 8 year old body would go to my friend and say, “I feel very sad that when we play house I am never allowed to use the name Kelly.” Yes this is what would cause huge stirs in my relationships because Kelly was a cool name, she was the popular one on Saved By The Bell and I wanted to be her!

To this day I always try to be conscious of my language and it has definitely helped me in my relationships.  Dean mentioned how important words are to us. Many people will become very defensive in situations where we have no intention of attacking them. In order to receive a positive conversation we must speak from our feelings not our thoughts, then we can actually move forward and not backwards.

I am no expert, but I can give you some of my life experience.  Here are a few tips to help with positive communication.

1. Remember that people will always interpret your thoughts, sometimes in the most unimaginable ways! So if you are speaking from your heart, and they attack you, that is their own issues, not yours.

2. Feelings cannot be argued with, if you say I am feeling sad because…. people aren’t going to come back at you and say “You’re not sad!!” Unless however you are skipping, hopping and singing in the rain while saying it.

3. People will however throw your thoughts right back in your face. If you say I think you are fat, (which I really hope you’re not!) they could easily say, “No you’re fat! If you said “I feel like self care isn’t a priority right now and that makes me sad” they probably won’t say, “No self care isn’t important to you, and you’re not sad!” That just doesn’t make sense???

4. Notice when people are on the defense and let go of the conversation.  When people are becoming defensive they are no longer listening, therefore everything thereafter is a waste of breathe. This is when it is best to walk away.

5. Always come from a place of compassion. Make sure people understand that you want to talk about something about yourself, not them. If you have an issue with the way someone talks to you, let them know that you are someone that is extra sensitive to language and tone, therefore it makes you feel hurt and sad. You aren’t saying there is something wrong with them, you are just letting them know that you are sensitive with everyone.

Communication is tricky when you are constantly trying to please the other person.  Just be true to yourself and you can never go wrong. When you are speaking from your heart, with the right intentions, it doesn’t matter how someone reacts.  If it is negative they are not your people and there are plenty of other people to communicate with.

About The Author

Michelle Hastie

Michelle Hastie Thompson is a recovered binge eater who turned her binge eating around and even got featured in Shape Magazine helping a woman lose weight in “My Weight Loss Diaries". She helps women end the battle of binge and overeating, fall in love with movement, and finally lose the weight permanently. A veteran weight loss coach for almost ten years, she is a Ph.D. student in Health Psychology and has three published books, the most recent titled, "Have Your Cake and Be Happy Too: A Joyful Approach to Weight Loss”.