She said something that has always stuck with me: When you have a problem with your husband don’t say, “How are we ever going to work this out?” or “We are never going to work this out!” Always try to be positive and say, “I know we will figure this out…I know we can figure this out together.”
She went on to say that the second statement is more true. We will always have problems but we also have within ourselves the ability to solve those problems. It might mean that we have to dig deep into our reserves of courage, patience and it might mean lots of hard work, but we can overcome our struggles.
Because I love words this simple tactic spoke to me. If we just switch around a few words in a sentence the message can change to something so much more loving and empowering. I am always on the lookout for ways to upgrade my communication skills, simple phrases that can pack a whole lot of love, encourage cooperation, and keep people feeling good.
So instead of saying to our kids and spouses, “We never seem to be able to work anything out!” Here are some other phrases whose underlying messages can help us keep our family strong and keep the fighting at bay:
1. “Our family works together to get things done!”
2. “Let’s not accuse, let’s focus on solutions.”
3. “If we put our heads together we can figure out… (how to arrange the seating at the table so we don’t fight) (how to make the chores seem fair)
4. “Teasing hurts feelings. Let our home be a place where we encourage each other.”
5. “I am going to need your help to figure out this problem…(scheduling conflicts, getting dinner to the table on time)
6. “We all want this to work out.”
7. “What you say is important to me and other people’s feelings are too. Let’s talk this out a bit and hear from everyone…”
8. “Let’s try to be flexible here.”
9. “Eli is not feeling well tonight can someone take over his job for him? Or “Eli is really bogged down with schoolwork, can someone help him with his job?”
10. “It is not easy, 6 different people, living in one house, it can be hard to get along. I think most of the time we are doing a great job of it!”
Do you have any phrases to keep your family strong?
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