This is the fourth show in our five-part Dog Days series. Sometimes, no matter how hard you might try, no matter how good you think you’re being, you still might find yourself in the dog house. So let’s talk about how to get out!
Accept being in the dog house
Depending on how much barking was done, and who did the barking, you may want to accept being in the dog house for a short period of time.
After a heated discussion, the best prescription may be a cooling off period. Just stay in the dog house until you and the other person are both calmed down. Then you can broach the subject again.
Puppy dog eyes
When you do broach the subject, be sure to flash your puppy dog eyes. Let them see how sad you are that you upset them. In other words, approach them with humility.
You won’t get very far if you come back from the dog house barking. In fact, you’re likely to end up right back there!
If you come back with humility, you’ll be more likely to have a productive conversation.
Lick their face!
Figuratively … not literally.
Start the conversation with two of the strongest words in relationship building:
You may not feel like you’ve done anything wrong. That doesn’t matter if you made the other person feel something they didn’t like.
It may have been unintentional. That doesn’t matter either. It still happened.
Apologize for making them feel that way. Then ask questions so you can avoid the dog house in the future. At least for this offense!
If they start barking …
Don’t make them defensive. If they start barking, step back a bit. Usually not much gets accomplished if everyone involved is barking. So take a step back mentally – even physically, if it helps – and try again.
It’s amazing how productive a conversation can be when no one cares who was at fault. You can’t control the other person. You can only control yourself.
So don’t reflect blame right back. Try to reword it in a way that is more conducive to taking the relationship forward.
Try not to use the word “you” in a negative way. Look at two ways the same thing can be stated:
“You said blah.”
“When blah was said, it made me feel …”
Which one would make you more defensive? Obviously the second one keeps the conversation moving forward.
Oh … just one final point … when you do finally get out of the dog house, be sure to wag your tail!
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(Image in today's post by mioawee)