A useful communication tool for navigating challenging conversations:
“When you do X, I tell myself a story that Y.”
“When you leave your socks and shoes all over the living room, I tell myself a story that you expect me to clean up after you.”
"When you don't respond to my emails, I tell myself a story that you don't care about this project."
This framework allows us to distance ourselves slightly from the situation, which opens up the opportunity to look at it more objectively. It helps the irrational sides of our mind feel heard without making the other person feel attacked.
By stepping outside of the narrative, we’re empowered to discuss what’s happening more rationally, without fear or judgment. Only then can the story we tell ourselves start to change.
We can even invert this strategy to lean into what's working:
"When you take the trash out without me asking, I tell myself a story that I am loved and cherished."
Via Tim Ferriss' podcast