Sue took issue with Jeremy calling her useless. She began to criticize him for name-calling when I stopped her. I suggested that rather than pointing out what he did wrong, she could convey what she needed from him. Sue told Jeremy, “You can’t talk to me that way.”
If Sue was critical, Jeremy would have been more likely to be defensive and more likely to criticize her in return. With her improved response, Sue’s message is stronger and she is more likely to be heard. In this way, she is expressing what she needs from Jeremy.