Mis-communicable diseases are illnesses passed from person to person through miscommunication. That’s because miscommunication infects people with negativity; inferiority, guilt, shame, and fear. Forget the basic cases of not understanding each other. I’m talking about getting hooked, and the next thing you know, you’re under the weather.
Mis-communicable diseases are carried through a variety of behavioral cues, like words, tone, gesture, and expressions. Word choice and sentence structure can help you identify someone’s illness and avoid getting infected.
“Maybe if it’s OK with you…” “This may be stupid but…” “Don’t hate me for this…” “I don’t know what to do.”
These are symptoms of the I’m Not Good Enough disease. You know you’ve been infected when you commiserate by agreeing with the other person, try to convince them they are good enough (which is ironic because if they agree with you, they collude with you as the hero who’s right while they are wrong), or you swallow the bait hook, line and sinker and attack them for being so weak and spineless.
Inoculate yourself with this two-step process: 1) Avoid taking the bait, and 2) Validate the person and ask what they want. e.g “You matter to me. How can I help?” or “I care about you. What do you want?”
“Why don’t you…” “You should have…” “That’s what you get…” “If I have to tell you one more time.”
These are symptoms of You Are Not Good Enough disease. You know you’ve been infected when you allow yourself to feel inferior and cower, apologize, make excuses and backpedal, or get defensive and want to start a fight.
Inoculate yourself with this two-step process:1) Avoid taking the bait, 2) Validate yourself and ask for what you want. e.g. “I am proud of the effort I put in. What ideas do you have for improvement going forward?” or “I am giving it my best effort. Will you warn me in advance next time?”
Don’t be a carrier of mis-communicable diseases. Inoculate yourself and get back to healthy communication and relationships.