Did you know that when you consider the timing and delivery of a topic,
it can make the WHOLE difference in how it is received by someone else?
Grief is an easy example, since it is so fresh in my experience.
Let me begin with LOGIC NEVER TRUMPS FEELINGS.
When someone is in the height of their emotions around something that
happened in their life, it is critical to guage the timing of what we want
to say to them. We might also consider why we are wanting to say it.
It might be better to ask the person what they need right now, instead of
thinking we know what they need or because we feel uncomfortable and are really
hoping to alleviate our own discomfort.
I have learned that when someone is in a highly charged place of emotional turmoil,
they are not receptive to someone’s logical perspective or solutions. By asking
what they need, we get a guage or know how to best support them.
Emotions cloud our reasoning ability and ‘common sense’ judgment. When
something happens and we are reacting emotionally, the emotions take over.
There is no rhyme or reasoning ability to be had in that moment. Some are more
skillful at managing their emotions. Others are more reactive to life and
Someone speaking logic or solution in that moment can create many things:
1. Shutting down their emotions
2. Creating a wedge between us
3. Pissing them off
4. Dismissing their feelings, because of our discomfort
In 5 minutes this could change depending on the circumstances.
It is very dependent on the trigger that has caused our emotional reaction
and how deeply the wound has been touched.
There are many factors that play into delivery and timing. Usually the heat
of the moment it is not the best time to attempt to offer a solution to their
Do you notice that when your timing is off and someone has reacted to you,
you are surprised? Or vice versa?
Here are things to consider in your timing:
1. Are they in a receptive state?
2. Am I trying to alleviate my own discomfort, because I’m not comfortable with
their emotional state?
3. Is it kind?
4. Would it be best to simply listen?
Here are things to consider in your delivery:
1. Ask what they need? Let it be okay if they don’t know.
2. Simply listen
3. Ask if they are ready to get into solution or want feedback from you
4. Consider how what you are about to say would feel to you.
5. Ask if it is a good time to have a conversation, if not, when would be.
Let them know what it is about, so they can prepare themselves too.
Everyone is different.
Everyone needs something different when they hit the proverbial emotional wall.
People may need something other than what would work for you in those moments.
Some are never open to a particular conversation, so there is never a good time
to deliver something. At this time, we get to decide why is is important to have
the conversation or not. Number 5 is super important here.
What are you taking away from this?
Marti (Hicks) Forrest