How to use complaining to improve relationships

Emil Harker

(KUTV) -- Today on Fresh Living show regular Emil Harker sat down with the hosts to discuss the topic of constructional complaining and how it can improve connectedness.

“Thank You For Complaining?”

I’ve bet you’ve never heard that statement before. Marriage and Family Therapist and expert in all things marriage shares why traditional complaining doesn’t work and 4 Steps to connect as you complain.

Most people use the traditional being honest with their feelings approach when they complain, only to discover that instead of getting heard and validated that the person they have complained to gets defensive. The reason for this is that when people get complained to, it’s a criticisms and there is a sub-message that gets delivered, “You aren’t enough.” That’s not the message intended to, but that is part of the message that gets delivered. And when someone gets a message that connects with their fears or insecurities, protection mode kicks in. Thus, people get defensive.

To overcome the defensive mechanism that is in all of us, we use the four steps of complaining to sabotage the protective defensive mechanism.

Four Steps to Complaining.

1. 20% - Share your feelings and the story.

2. 5% - Transition Statement: For example: “But if I try to see it from your point of view.”

3. 70% - Their feelings and their story: Their perspective of the situation.

4. 5% - Check in. For example: “Am I close?” “What am I missing?”

The third step in this complaining process is where the magic happens. When you share the perspective of the other person, it disarms their natural defensiveness. They feel understood and validated, at the same time of being complained to.

Next time you want to complain about something, try giving this a shot and see what happens.

To get a free copy of Emils amazing book on communication “You Can Turn Conflict Into Closeness” click the link below:

Follow him on instagram at @emilharker