For the last month, I’ve been blogging through the latter half of “Chapter 13: Toward More Connection and Fulfillment” in my book, The Stories We Tell Ourselves. That section covers the Auxano Communication Approach©, a four-step process I devised as a practicing therapist to help my clients grow their relationships in a healthy manner.
While I certainly recommend going back and reading those prior posts or purchasing my book https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Tell-Ourselves-Conclusions-Relationships/dp/0990719103/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8, I have one sentence and one question anyone can use to help them enact the Auxano Communication Approach© in any of their relationships:
“When you did ____, what I told myself was ____, and as a result of what I told myself, I felt ____. Can you tell me more about ____?”
When you choose to employ this sentence and question, fill in the blanks as appropriate to your situation. Each blank covers each progressive step of the Auxano Communication Approach©:
1. “When you did ____.”
Observe and talk about what you just noticed.
2. “What I told myself was ____.”
Invite the other person to hear the story you’re telling yourself.
3. “As a result of what I told myself, I felt ____.”
Share with the other person the feelings you have as a result of the story you made up in your mind.
4. “Can you tell me more about ____?”
Seek more information.
Sometimes, you may have to work through this process more than one time for the stories in your head to be replaced by the facts of a situation, or for the other person to learn how you truly feel, or for you to better understand how they feel (and what stories they may have been making up about you).
Even then, doing this kind of honest, vulnerable, relational work ought to strengthen your relationships, and especially those with the people closest to you.