Asking for Change
This “asking for change” script can be helpful for couples, families, and employers. It’s a standard technique that is used in assertiveness training, anger management, and family counseling. What changes do you want the other person to make? Be very specific. Tell the other person how you feel about the behavior in question. Name the specific changes that you would like to see. Also, think about what you might need to change in your own behavior to help the other person. Claim your power and reduce the stress in your life by practicing this script often.
I feel ______________________________________________(mad, sad, bad, glad, scared, disappointed, hurt, frustrated, embarrassed, etc.)
I wish (or I want)________________________________________
If you can do that, I will____________________________________.
- While Person A talks, Person B listens.
- Person B can ask for clarification, take notes, or ask Person A to repeat the request. But Person B cannot interrupt Person A.
- When Person A finishes, Person B should summarize the message (leaving nothing out) and then say, “Did I get it right?”
- Person A says yes or no. If person A says no, then clarification is in order.
“When you yell at me, I feel hurt and angry. I wish you would speak quietly to me. If you can do that, I will listen and respond to you.”
“When you leave the house without telling me where you are going, I feel disappointed and scared. I want you to tell me where you are going. If you can do that, I will not insist that you come back in an hour.”
“When you don’t go to school, I feel irritated. I wish you would take school seriously and go every day. If you can do that, I will allow you more freedom on the weekends.”
See how easy it is? Give it a try!