Scale It Out

Do you ever struggle communicating with others?  A spouse?  Children? Co-Workers? 

Effective communication precludes healthy relationships.  However, it requires work and effort to succeed in communication.  After a long day or a stressful situation, who has the energy to do the work required to communicate effectively?

To help, use a scale (1-10) to help communicate when feelings and words are at a minimum.  Or make up any scale that works.

Examples with a spouse:

“I’ve had a good day, I’m at an 8.  I’ll do the dishes if you’d like.”

“It’s been a tough day, I’m feeling about a -20, can you get the kids to bed without me tonight?”

“I’m in the mood for fun tonight.  I’m at about an 8.  Where are you?”

Remember, if you are both at a 1, you may need to rest or one of you needs to sacrifice for the other.  If you are on opposite ends of the scale, help one another, make sacrifices, or adjust your expectations.

With children or co-workers, using similar scales can diffuse emotional or defensive situations before they begin.  Can you think of ways to use them in other situations?

Scales create an easy, non-threatening way to communicate your feelings when words and emotions are at a premium.  Give it a try and see if it does.

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