I overheard an interesting conversation the other day. A woman was obviously upset about something and was letting the other party know it. From what I could tell, she was justified in being upset and the other party was agreeing. However, at one point, the frustrated woman said, “I’m not trying to chew you out.” The funny thing is, that’s exactly what she was doing.
If you ever say “I’m not doing (fill in the blank),” you probably are doing (fill in the blank).
“I’m not saying you’re a jerk.”
“I’m not trying to be rude.”
“I’m not calling you a liar.”
Most of these statements are followed by “but…” and then the person goes on to say whatever it was they said they weren’t trying to say.
Don’t shy away from owning your behavior. If you’re justified in being upset, as this woman was, own your behavior. This woman wasn’t being rude, mean, or malicious, she was just upset at the other party for doing whatever it was they did. By saying “I’m not trying to chew you out,” she takes away some of the urgency for the other party to correct their mistake.
One other note, you should know that this blog was written by someone who HATES confrontation, and in many cases has said, “I’m not doing (fill in the blank).” I’ll be working on this too.