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Can I just vent for a minute?

trust trusttips May 26, 2020

Let me tell you about a beautiful gift my husband gave to me, that you can turn around and share with others.


It's free, it's easy and it will improve your relationships and interactions dramatically. 


First let me set the stage: it's Thursday.


It's already been a crazy week full of Zoom meetings, my kids taking finals and my husband back at work, and the dog feeling lonely and going a little crazy because now she doesn't have quite enough of our attention.


So it's Thursday at about 5, and I had just hit the "end meeting" button on my last Zoom meeting of the day after about 6 hours in front of the computer. 


Just at that moment, my husband walked in the door, and he scanned the environment.


What did he see?




Computers all through the house, dishes in the sink, papers everywhere…


And remember, he's back at work so he's had a rough day, and he looks around and says, "I'm so sick of this."


Immediately when he says those words, I can feel my chest getting tight.


I haven't even exhaled from my day yet and I can feel that "pre-defensiveness" starting to creep up and turn into words in my mouth such as, "well, I've had a hard day too!" (or something to that effect).


Mind you. I don't even know what he is actually going to say,  but I suddenly have this sense that whatever he's going to say next, it's my job to fix it, and I don't have the time, interest or energy to fix it!"


But then, he gives me this beautiful gift. He says these words, "can I just vent for a minute?"


And in that instant, all of my defensiveness melted away and immediately my brain went into a different mode because when somebody says those words to me I know exactly how to show up…


"Can I just vent for a minute?" calls me to be curious, and supportive, and to show empathy! That is the rule set for that for that phrase!


When someone says, "can I just vent for a minute?" I want to say, "of course you can!" And I know that I can just listen now.

  • I don't have to solve the problem. 
  • I don't have to fix it.
  • There's nothing I have to do but provide support.


So, your trust tip for the week is simple: Ask for what you need.


Just a few little words…

  • "Can I vent for a minute?"
  • Or, "could you help me solve this problem?"
  • Or, "hey, I just want to bounce some ideas around with you."
  • Or, "I have an idea I want to run by you."


When you use these little precursors, it tells the other person what you need from them, and you are much more likely to get it. 


Of course, this requires that you're aware of yourself and you're aware of your needs and you're willing to speak up. 


Let me tell you, it's magical!


It's a wonderful gift and it will help your interactions go much more smoothly because now the other person knows what you're expecting.


It's free, it's easy, and I hope you will turn around and give this gift to others.


Meanwhile, send me a reply and let me know about you.

  • Do you use this technique?
  • When can you use this technique?


Put this into practice and let me know how it works. 


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