Speak from your heart 
Because your goal is to truly speak from your heart, try to emphasize and explain how the other person's misbehavior affects your feelings, values, dreams and/or goals—or those of others you've seen affected by this person's misbehavior. Basically, you want to awaken the other person to better and compassionately understand the cause/effect of his/her misbehavior—so the person will be more motivated to listen to what you're saying and thereby change what might be unwittingly hurtful to others.

Allow for conversation
If the conversation escalates, know it's because you're not allowing the other person enough room to express views back. At this point, pause and allow that room—keeping in mind Stephen Covey's helpful words: "Seek first to understand—then to be understood!"

Don't generalize
If you are upset at this other person for something specific that he or she said/did, try not to generalize by saying, "You always do this" or "You always say that." Generalizations tend to escalate emotional states, because they're more vague to discuss...and less believable. Come on, be honest with yourself. A realistic "always" action is a very rare thing.

Follow up within 24 hours
Once you're done with your honest conversation, be sure to close up by purposefully sharing all the empowering and loving benefits that bloomed from taking the time to risk being vulnerable and truthful. Then, sometime within the next 24 hours, follow up with this other person and make sure he or she is feeling loved—not judged—by all you shared.

Karen Salmansohn is a best-selling author known for creating self-help for people who wouldn't be caught dead reading self-help. Get more information on finding a loving, happier-ever-after relationship in her book Prince Harming Syndrome.

More Reading from Karen Salmansohn:

Does sexy have a size?
Broken-hearted? Throw a divorce party
How to know and grow your potential
Are you a feminist or a feminine-ist?
Should you break up or make up?
Here's how to be happy, dammit!


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