Magic Words: “As I remember it…”
In this unique time with much uncertainty sweeping our nation, many families and couples are staying closer to home. We might find ourselves in closer contact with loved ones being quarantined home and maybe a few conflicts might arise.
Many times conflict emerges from a differing memory of who was supposed to do something, or be somewhere. What’s often said is “You said … xxx” and the other responds “I did not, I said … yyy”. And the conflict is on.
It might devolve into bringing up past experiences “You did the same thing last week …” or personal attacks “You’re just like your mother…” or threats “I’m fed up with the way you …”
Here are some simple “magic words” that can stop this pattern in its tracks. Instead of saying one of the above statements, say “As I remember it, it was …zzz”.
By doing this, you take away from the listener the sense of being attacked, judged or blamed. You are simply stating what your recollection is. It’s not a fault-finding conflict, it’s a conversation with the goal of resolving a difference.
So next time you find a difference in recollection, instead of starting the escalating blame game, which will result in a winner and a loser, share your perspective by starting with “As I remember it, …”.
You’ll find common ground, less defensiveness, and at the end of the discussion, two winners.