Words to use: “What else could this mean?”

Or, “I’m wondering if there is another way of looking at this.” 

When someone misinterprets your words or actions, instead of retorting with “You got it all wrong”, you can ask this question. *

The idea is that there are so many possible explanations for something that was done or said. Too often, people interpret things in the worst possible way.  This leads to more upset than the situation warrants. 

This question type of question opens up the possibilities of what might have been happening or the intention.

(You can ask yourself the same question when you are upset about something that happened or was said. Come up with at least two answers. Even if you don’t believe your answers, this still gives yourself a little space before getting upset or blasting out.)

* It is best if you discuss this model as a tool in your marriage toolbox. Establish together that you will ask each other this question when one is upset about something. You might add that you come up with at least two or three possibilities before actually addressing the situation.

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