Expressing our vulnerability goes a long way to solving conflicts, but in order to do that we need to have a good breadth of “feeling words”.
I’ll get to that in a minute, but first be mindful of using the word “feel” in place of “think”. “I feel that you should know better” would be more accurately expressed as “I think you should know better” – which is a judgement which won’t get you what you want! Notice how different it sounds to “…I feel suspicious or withdrawn or angry…” With this last statement you know exactly where the person is at.
So what are “feeling words”? Again, I encourage you to go to www.cupofempathy where you’ll find a whole down-loadable list. In the meanwhile here’s a super short list which can be refined to exactly what you are experiencing: Happy, Sad, Disgusted, Angry, Afraid, Surprised.
Again, any time someone irritates you, pull out that handy list and see if you can nail the exact tone of the feelings coursing through your blood or theirs!