"Seems to be that we..." now gets to replace all "You-ing," or similar
“Blanket Declarative statements," interpretations, that sound to us as if they are "The Truth."
Why is this necessary? To preserve the listening of the other.
Early on, as young children, we learned that hearing, "You..." was a sign that we were "in trouble," or under some other kind of threat. Anxious or afraid, we quickly adopted a "Duck n' cover" strategy o defend, protect ourselves whenever a "You..." was heard nearby.
- Did you do that?
- You apologize! Now.
- You eat your spinach.
- You stop what you are doing and do your homework.
And so on.
The impact on our adult communication is that when we say "You..." your partner stops listening, “Ducks for cover,” and defends themselves, thereby pulling the two of you down the proverbial "rabbit hole." Where it gets dark, fast.
Employing "Seems to me that we..." helps us bypass our reflexive "duck n' cover," preserving our partner's capacity to listen to what we are actually saying.
It's more authentic. "This is my interpretation of our mutual circumstances. “
It's mine. not yours. It's not about you.
- It seems to me that we are not communicating well.
- It seems to me that we may need to talk about...
- It seems to me that we have been avoiding talking about...
- It seems to me that we could benefit from Paul's communication coaching
And so forth.
In place of a "You" defense reflexive response, our partner is far more likely to answer with a,
"Yes, let's talk." rather than pulling us both down a dark relationship rabbit hole.
Or so it seems to me...