Dear Men of Tomorrow

 

I'm reading a book called Crucial Conversations and it's helping me really understand a lot more about communicating and dialogue. When I see a post like this I think there's several ways you can interpret it. The partner in question could be making a judgmental body image statement asked as a pointed question. Or they could be like my wife who knows that eating sugar or crap food feeds my spiral of down moods and lowered self esteem.  This is where the essence of crucial conversations is helpful.
 

Let’s say their motives were health based like my wife, they'd clarify what they want out of the conversation. In my wife's case she wants me to be healthier and not go on a downward spiral which isn't good for me, the kids, her and our relationship. She also knows the kids need to see a good healthy role model dad to copy behaviors from when it comes to eating. Our eldest already has a sweet tooth and is clearly mood affected by eating sugar.  
 

The book talks about not giving either or options but instead try to ask yourself a harder question before you enter a crucial conversation, for example she could ask herself “Is there a respectful way I can discuss with Andrew how his food choices impact him and us poorly and not make him feel like I'm calling him fat or denying him life’s little pleasures?"  This avoids the fools’ choice either/or solution and introduces the "and" question.  This kind of “and” question forces the brain into complex action, which moves the blood away from the fight or flight area of the brain and into the complex problem solving area. The shift away from silence or violence and into problem solving dialogue.  
 

If the person saying "Do you think you should eat that" motive was around judging them on weight, then that’s all on them. It’s their own opinion, it’s unhelpful and doesn’t make the person hearing it feel safe or respected. So keep it to yourself. In fact I think guys need to understand that they might not be able stop judgmental thoughts straight away but they can keep it to themselves, no words or actions. This applies to so much disrespect of women. If you’re feeling the urge to comment or act just sit with it and don’t. This will stop crappy behavior immediately.
 

I can’t recommend this book enough. Here’s a pdf summary of Crucial Conversations.