Guidelines for Communicating with Each Other with Fairness, Respect and Caring When You Are Upset
© 2011 Michele Toomey, PhD

  1. When you are upset, either hurt, afraid, or angry about something someone said or did, do not immediately react. Instead, ask yourself why it has upset you. Try to discover what is going on for you before you speak to the person who upset you and cause you to feel hurt, afraid, or angry.
  2. When you do express your upset to the person who hurt, intimidated or angered you, never attack or accuse them. Instead, tell them respectfully that what they said or did hurt, intimidated or angered you and explain why. This is a fair way to communicate your feelings. It should lead to a chance to learn more about each other and discover what happened to both of you. This discovery should help you understand better what each of you need from the other in order to feel safe and respected.
  3. Always talk to the person who upset you, not about them. Talking to the person who upset you allows you to resolve the upset feelings, not carry them around and continue to be upset or cause more trouble.
  4. Remember that all of you are dealing with the many difficulties, both physical and emotional, that come with aging. There is a certain harshness to the aging process and the many losses it brings The last thing any of you need is to feel threatened by anyone. What all of you need, desire and have a right to expect, is a sense of well being and security in the community where you are living as you age. At least you should know that those whom fate has destined you to share your last years with at Fellowship Housing will treat you with fairness, caring and respect. You owe that to yourselves and each other.
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