Whether it’s at home or at work, there is bound to be crap. I personally don’t do well with confrontation. I was raised in a household that you maintained a conflict-free environment at all cost. Some people like clashes. I’m not one of them. As I have gotten older, I have improved on this skill though. Just like a toilet, if you don’t deal with the trouble and face it, you are going to have worse problems down the road.
So how do you bring issues to the surface to address them? Here are some strategies for you to consider.
- Timing is everything. Expressing your frustrations with someone is best done when everyone is calm. Ask the other person if this is a good time to talk. If they say ‘no’, ask them when you can talk. You don’t want to keep trying to ‘flush’ problems down the drain. (See what I did there) It doesn’t work.
- Use “I” statements. If you say ‘you’ did this or ‘you’ did that, you will cause them to become defensive. If you say “I feel _____________ when ___________ happens”, then you are not being accusatory and are instead creating an environment of collaboration and problem solving.
- Be direct. Don’t beat around the bush and pretend it is going to go away. It can be uncomfortable but needs to be addressed.
- Choose what is bothering you the most. We are human and there will usually be something that annoys you. Let the small stuff go.
- Listen to what the other person has to say and be prepared to make some of your own changes.
Things can get smelly and messy but if you don’t take care of the disorder yourself, you will end up paying for it later on. Learning how to DIY your associations effectively will make you a better employee and partner. You may have to call a professional ‘relationship’ plumber, a counselor, if you can’t handle things but if you try to learn these skills in the beginning, you will be better off for it. I had many more plumbing analogies I could have used, but you get the point. So put on your tool belt, grab the Liquid Plummer and plunger and get to work!