Tool for Tuesday: The Sandwich. Huh?

My friend, Joelle, was off to give her boyfriend “a piece of her mind.”

Try the sandwich, I suggested.

Huh?

The sandwich approach is: two compliments with a suggestion in the middle. That seems to work best. Give a compliment, then your observation, suggestion or feeling (keeping the focus on yourself), followed by a compliment. The sandwich!

Also, slow down, I said.

She had a whole speech planned, everything she wanted to get off her chest.

I suggested that before she said anything, she could ask herself a few questions.

Is what I’m going to say kind, helpful or necessary?

Does it need to be said now? Does it need to be said by me?

I find if I pray for a moment just before I rattle away with that “piece of my mind,” I end up saying the right things. I don’t want to talk just to hear myself speak. I don’t know all the answers. I can’t pretend to know what’s best for anyone else. I can’t expect all my problems with someone to be solved by one discussion. Getting things off my chest and giving people a piece of my mind are not the best way to get our point across.

How do we make today the best it can be? Being aware of our speech. Sometimes it’s not what we say but how we say it.

Tool for Tuesday: Try the sandwich.

Speaking of which, here are some good vegetarian sandwich recipes.

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About dianabletter

Diana Bletter is a writer living in northern Israel whose novel, A Remarkable Kindness, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in August. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, tabletmag, and other publications. Her first book, The Invisible Thread: A Portrait of Jewish American Women (with photographs by Lori Grinker) was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award.
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2 Responses to Tool for Tuesday: The Sandwich. Huh?

  1. The sandwich approach sounds like an excellent suggestion, Diana. Just not for Joelle.

    You’ve mentioned your friend Joelle several times in posts, and this is one time I agree with her plan. After all the petty nonsense–will he help me? how can I get him to help? etc.–I thinks it’s a good sign that she’s finally ready to stand up and give him a piece of her mind. Sometimes women over-analyze what they say, when they should say it, should someone else say it? what will he think if I say this? instead of just standing up and speaking out for themselves.

    • dianabletter says:

      Yes, you’re right – my friend Joelle is learning how to stand up and speak for herself. The fear of abandonment often keeps us from doing just that – so we abandon ourselves to please someone else – and abandon ourselves in the end. Thanks for sharing, as always, Marylin!

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