Four Step Process-For Constructive Elements of Communication

  1.  Express your intent in communicating your anger. “There’s something I want to clear up with you because it’s really effecting my feelings about our relationship and I want to clear it up because I care about you.” (Fire”– raises the intentionality to a higher level, like fire ascending. )
  2. A key to the positive intentionality stage of communication is to distinguish between the whole person and the behavior you don’t like. ” I want to make it clear that I love you and care about you deeply, but the mess you leave in front of the closet is really getting to me. (“Air”- clearly distinguishes between the whole and the parts.)
  3.  Express your feelings as “I feel” statements. “Dealing with this mess is really pissing me off. I notice myself walking around feeling resentful for hours after coming into the room and I don’t like being this way.” In the water stage it’s important to distinguish between your feelings and blame (“You are …” statements ) or name calling. (“Water”-expresses the hot and cold of your inner river of experience.)A way to get in touch with and deepen “the river of your communication” comes through getting in touch with our body’s felt sense . Wait to find what emerges to the question , “What gets me the most about this?” “What gets me the most about the mess there, is that it makes me feel out of control. It makes me feel scattered, like the way I am when I’m messy. And just like I’m impatient with my own scatteredness I get that way with yours. I guess I have to admit that I have a hard time with not having my own way, and it scares me to reflect upon whether I’ll ever be able to make it long term in a relationship because of my issues with this kind of thing.”
  4. Ask for what you want. Frame the issue as a problem that the two of you have. “I wonder how we can work this whole thing out. I’d like us to be able to find a solution to this together because I’m at the point of tearing my hair out. Are you willing to try to find a way that we can work this issue out together?” This is the bargaining phase.(“Earth”- finding practical solutions to the problem. )
Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy Learn Mure

Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy
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From Trials of the Heart: Healing the Wounds of Intimacy by Michael Mayer (Celestial Arts, 1994)

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