Denise Findlay

Avoid Character Assassinations

 

There is a distinct difference between bringing forward a “concern” or “complaint” to somebody with the intention of working it out and attacking a person’s character.  Character AssasinationA character assassination goes something like this….”you’re so lazy”, or “they are incompetent” or “that person can’t do anything right”. It is a direct attack on one’s character and completely disables the other party in regards to skillfully responding. We simply cannot respond effectively to a character assassination. It means that you have made up your mind about someone or something and that nothing can change it. You have decided and are no longer willing to be influenced. People generally respond to this sort of thing by becoming triggered and defensive thus getting caught in the cycle of unhealthy conflict we are all too accustomed to.

Instead, ask yourself if you are willing to work through a conflict or problem with the person you upset or frustrated with. If you are then take some time to turn the character assassination into a reasonable request that is stated as a concern or even legitimate complaint. For example…

You’re so lazy…. is a Character Assassination.

You never clean up after your self…. is a Complaint.

It would be so helpful if you could help pick up around here. I’m tired at the end of the day and feel frustrated when I come home to a mess…. is a Request.

Take some time to think about some of your more recent character assassinations and turn them into Complaints and then ultimately Requests. If you are feeling courageous perhaps trying re-framing them with the person you want to create a change with.

Remember…change your behavior and others will change their behavior toward you.

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