I was talking to a friend just the other day and all of a sudden Im upset and I have this urge to do something that will make the other person upset too. To kind of get back at them for getting on my nerves.

I stopped myself  (lucky person huh? lol) I started to look at what was getting me to react in a way that wasnt making me feel good nor was it going to help how I related to my friend…

Do that!I, like so many other people, don’t like being told what to do. Maybe you know what that feels like? Someone starts telling you what you should do and without even considering their words, you want to never ever do what they are telling you, you want to do the exact opposite (like small kids- they are always defying what you tell them to not do..) or nothing at all. Quite irrational really. The crux of the problem here, is that you have taken away a person’s freedom to choose. You have told them straight out- do this. At a deeper level, it shows lack of respect for the other person and that’s what people react to.

And my friend, sweetheart that he is, wasnt telling me what to do because he wanted to be authoritative or any such thing… He was telling me ’cause he is a friend, he cares and wants to be there for me.

So the huge question then in my head was, how can people change the way they communicate so that they are not putting the ones they care about on the defensive. How can they communicate constructively?

Heres the deal! People (me) like choices. So if you want someone to do something, frame it so that it’s a choice they are making.

“Would you do this or that?” , “Do you think its possible that this might work?” Or if it is something that has to be done and there is no two ways about it, give people the freedom to choose the time they do it, “Will you do this now or just after lunch?”

All of the above oppose to: “Do this” , “Do that” and “You have to…”

Sometimes we dont realise it, and we tell people what to do… The next time someone starts blowing up in your face and you cant quite fathom what the hell is going on- it just might be this!

Happy communicating!

(Photo courtsey:


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heena Writes
    Apr 15, 2011 @ 23:25:58

    So true… I hate being told what to do and I guess it goes both ways…
    I am going to make a conscious effort to be aware and communicate in a more empowering way with other, especially the kids! Communicate in a way that gives them choice or the illusion of it – in a good way of course!!



    • Shil Rani
      Apr 21, 2011 @ 15:20:19

      Most welcome! I see you using that on me the other day! It actually got me to think of what you were saying instead of just saying out right that there was no way I was going to do what you’re saying…


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