Can you relate to this?

I recently worked with a lovely lady whose life was being made miserable by what appeared to be inconsiderate friends.  But then the story unfolded.....

She had a lot of rules! So for example, she has a lovely home and wanted to keep it that way! She has rules around taking shoes off before coming in, using coasters on the wooden furniture etc - not unreasonable me thinks.. until she told me that when people break her rules, she gets so angry she can't even focus on the conversation because she is consumed by the muddy shoes or mug.

It was not for me to tell her to change her rules, but wondered why friends were being so inconsiderate.....
...and then found out she had not told them about her rules!

She was worried about how they might react to her rules so avoided telling them, and instead got hugely stressed or angry when they unwittingly broke them.

Can you relate to that?

If so, here is what I suggested to her...


Humour is a great way to diffuse confrontation.  A simple, "I know I may be a fussy moo, but would really appreciate it if you took your shoes off when you came in", or "My hoover is on holiday, would you help me by leaving your shoes in the hall?"

This is a great way to get your message across in a fun way that few would take offence at.

The coaster thing - she is planning on getting them all designed a personalised coaster she can present to them as a gift to use - in her house!

Humour is a great tool to use in many situations.  Only 7% of communication comes from the actual language.  We interpret much more from the tone of voice and non verbal communication.  So use these things to your advantage!

Caroline Cavanagh is a clinical hypnotherapist, author of anxiety alchemy and winner of the APCTC Consultant of the Year 2016.

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