Today’s Topic & What You’ll Learn
- The four different personality types
- What a NJT is – “Non-Judgmental Talk”
- A step-by-step guide to having conversations without arguments
- The benefit this will have on your relationships and kids
Mama Robbins Series
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with your partner, family member, friend or child and it goes absolutely nowhere….except to yelling, disagreement, hostile behaviour, or worse? Sometimes, after having a conversation you regret ever bringing up the topic and wished you hadn’t said anything? Ever want to bring up a topic that you really feel you need to get off your chest, but you are afraid of their reaction? Too many times in our relationships we fear the unknown reaction we may face if we bring things up. Sometimes, we even hold back and keep it to ourselves and vent to others about the issues we are dealing with, or never say anything at all until one day we snap. R
If you have ever read “Personality Plus by Florence
- Sanguine – They are very energetic, want to be the
of attention, not afraid of people, and you can usually spot them as they are the loudest in the room. Sanguine’s sound like “Ready, aim, fire! Fire! Fire!” centre
- Phlegmatic – They love quiet, easy going people, are very sympathetic, care about others, and usually hide their feelings. Phlegmatic’s sound like “Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready, aim, fire!”
- Melancholic – They are very organized, detailed oriented people who love charts, graphs and things to be in their place. Melancholic’s sound like “Ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, fire!”
- Choleric – They are described as being independent, decisive, and goal-oriented, and they enjoy being in charge of a group since they have many leadership qualities as well as ambition. Choleric’s sound like “Ready, Aim, Fire!!!”
My husband and I are both Choleric. Strong minded, sometimes stubborn, goal driven and we usually have the “I’m right and everyone else is wrong” mindset if we are not careful. Simple things like having a conversation about the way something was said to the other could end in complete disaster. In the beginning, as we didn’t understand each other’s personalities, we would bring up things that bothered us and it usually always ended in a heated discussion and hurt feelings. This was horrible for our relationship. After much discussion, we realized we needed to come up with a way to have conversations without snapping at each other. Even if the snapping or disagreement wasn’t huge, it was wrong we would even leave a conversation with an uneasy feeling. That allowed us to come up with the N.J.T. Non-Judgmental Talk.
What Is A Non-Judgmental Talk? Exactly as it sounds, but it is not easy to get to. Who knows, maybe you are an amazing person that can flick your fingers and all of a sudden you and the other party are on the same page and no longer have any issues. Keep in mind, this will required work from BOTH parties to be successful. Even once you have started to perfect the NJT, you will still struggle on days. Just means you can do better tomorrow. I’m not saying you will never have another heated conversation. They happen. We are human. What I am saying is you can improve your relationship to be more on the same page and to open up to each other without feeling like you will be attacked or shut down for bringing up something. The whole idea is for the Receiving Party not to judge, get angry, take it harshly, get insulted, retaliate in any means. They are to fully listen to 100% without question. Hear you out in full until you are finished.
How Does It Work?
- All Parties Must Sit Down And Discuss What You Are Doing – Regardless who you want to take part (should be everyone you talk to on a regular basis, ESPECIALLY your kids), you need to make sure they understand what an NJT is and the purpose to using it.
- Warning Prior To Conversation – When you get the feeling you need to discuss something “touchy”, let the other party know in advance. “Can we have an N.J.T?” “I’d like to have an N.J.T.” are a few ways to prepare the other person the topic about to be discussed may trigger them.
- Receiving Confirmation – Do NOT proceed unless you have been given the go-ahead to speak. If you start too soon and the other party is not ready or you are not, the result will still be unproductive. Wait until you hear the word Ok, Yes, Sure. Anything that acknowledges you are okay to continue.
NOTE: There will be days that have been rough for you or the other party. If one of you doesn’t feel comfortable to have “a sensitive conversation” that day, request to have it a little later. Don’t leave it too long. A few hours to one day max or it defeats the purpose of having this process. If requested to have an NJT and you are not ready at that moment, you can say, “I know you have something you want to discuss, but I want to make sure I’m in the right headspace. “WOULD YOU MIND” if we had this conversation in a “few hours or tomorrow”? The “would you mind” is an EXTREMELY important part of ANY conversation when you would like someone to do something. This avoids the other party from feeling they are demanded to do something.
- Something That Can’t Wait – Sometimes there are things that have been bottling inside of us for way too long. If it is that dyer to discuss at that moment, let the other party know it’s urgent and you need to talk about it. Hopefully, the other person will respect the urgency and let you discuss what is on your mind.
- Once Other Party Is Prepared For Conversation – You can advise them of what you want to discuss. I find these are great for the “how you make me feel” conversations. These come up quite often in relationships when the couple is not on the same page with something, or someone did/said something that rubbed them the wrong way and you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- Once You’ve Expressed What’s On Your Mind, Wait For Their Response – The key here is to request how they feel about what you just discussed. You then have the responsibility to fully respect them as well and listen to them. NO JUDGEMENT! 🙂 Regardless of their answer, take it all in.
- Coming Up With A Solution – Now you have expressed what you need and the other party has expressed how they feel about what you said. Things to be said
hereare, “What are ways we can overcome this? Do you have any ideas on how we can make this better? What would you think of doing….” and it all needs to continue in a calm voice.
- What Happens If The Conversation Starts To Get Heated – Simple. Stop. Wait. Take a breather. Say things like, “I think we may be getting on the wrong foot. We are starting to raise our voices and we should restart. We both need to keep calm” Anything that makes you both realize the conversation
haslead into a danger zone. Then Restart.
The key to an NJT is to allow everyone around you, including yourself to feel
Benefit With Kids – I taught my daughters about NJT’s so when something happened either at school, home or somewhere else, my kids know I am not allowed to over-react, get upset, get angry, etc. However, an NJT does not prevent me as a parent from giving a consequence or being disappointed.
Example: My oldest was in her bedroom one day playing with a friend. I do not allow food in their rooms. I guess she felt a little guilty and wanted to tell me she had brought candy up to her room and ate it and she knows I would not approve. I feel she would have never told me knowing there is a possibility I would be angry with her. Instead, she confronted me that night.
Daughter: Mommy, can we have an NJT?
Me: (Oh gosh, what did she do – okay, relax, breath) Of course!
Daughter: Well, I know you don’t allow food in our rooms and I brought a candy in my room a few days ago. When I had my friend over, I shared it with her in my room. (Fear in her eyes as she is still getting used to this process)
Me: (Phew! Not that bad. Thank goodness.) Okay…..thank you very much for coming to tell me. I really appreciate you being open about. Now, what do you think we should do next time?
Daughter: Not bring food into my room?
Me: Yes. That is one thing. Maybe we can also ask first before sharing candy with our friends. We also never know if certain foods can be dangerous to others, so we always want to check with an adult first, sound good?
Daughter: Okay Mommy! (Huge smile on her face). I love you so much!
Keep in mind, the above example is harmless. But some conversations my daughter has brought to my attention are a lot more concerning and it sometimes takes me a lot to remember, do not react, listen, address. Things like her hitting someone at school (got a note home) because she was upset another girl didn’t want one of her friends to play with another kid. Seriously? I was furious inside, but on the outside, I displayed no reaction. We discussed a punishment she felt was adequate. It took a few times as some of them were not that big of a deal and I told her it needed to be something that would make her not want to do that again. We
The biggest point here – Don’t jump to conclusions. Even if your partner told you something horrible. “Hunny, can we have an NJT?”……..”Sure”…..”I think we should start seeing other people” – Don’t jump to any conclusion. Find out WHY they want to start seeing someone else. There WILL be a cause and it usually is something that can be fixed. If there is still love in the relationship, there is NO reason you can not keep fighting for what you want. Regardless of the topic, dig deeper.
I hope this helps you calm some nervous talks about to take place. Don’t be alarmed if the first time it doesn’t work. It took my husband and
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