All too many of us carry around an unexamined, deep-seated doubt about who we are, our self worth and essential value as a human being. These internal conversations and negative self-assessments color the way we appear and interact with others and our world.
With negative self-talk we adopted as children we routinely enter into conversations, offering suggestions, sharing thoughts, already believing that the other will judge, criticize or reject us for having the nerve to suggest “that.” With such self-negating beliefs we’ve lost before we begin. And all before we’ve uttered a single word.
Knowing this about ourselves and others, what can we do with and for each other?
Say, “Yes, and.” Train ourselves to start our sentences with “Yes, and” when we hear friends, spouses, children, coworkers, others speak.
“Yes, and” tell me more… ” “Yes, and” “When would be a good time to talk about this together?”
Knowing that many of us come into communication expecting a rejection, anticipating being made wrong, we get to stop their negative internal dialog with “Yes, and.”
Our “Yes, and” lets them know that they’ve been heard, we’ve accepted them and whatever they’ve said. They need not repeat what they have offered, or struggle to rephrase what they are sharing in order for us to understand them..
With ‘Yes,” we’ve disarmed their toxic self-talk and have granted them the freedom to say whatever they have to say.