In the martial arts, a person needs to be able to handle a physical attack. In the relational arts, he needs to be able to handle a verbal attack.
Here are notes and the script to accompany this video:
You will know when a blaming attack is on its way because it most often begins with “You always” or “You never.” This is your signal to shift into alternate focus. Breathe. Slow down. Do not counter attack.
The Seven Dimensions attack response practice consists of three steps. The analogy is to handle the attack the way Caine in Kung Fu handled an Apache Chief throwing a spear at him.
Practice saying each of the three steps aloud as you imagine your focus person hurling an attack your way. This is because when an attack comes in the car or the kitchen or the bedroom, you are in trigger mode and you need to be prepared with an alternate response.
Handling such an attack properly is one of the times when you earn your balls. Handled poorly is when you get snipped.
she says, “You always ___________!”
Step 1: Catch the Spear.
You respond, “You sound pretty angry.” Hear her out fully.
She takes the bait and runs with it. “And you never _______________!”
Ride this out no matter how uncomfortable you feel, even if she accuses you of things you know are untrue and piles on more blame. You make now retaliation or counter attack. In this brief encounter is when you have the opportunity to forever change the quality of your relationship. Hang on.
Step 2: Hold the Spear.
You say, “What else do you want me to know about that?” Do not block the dump. It will be obvious when she is done.
When she is done, you say, “What do you want me to know how that has been for you?”
Step 3: Return the Spear.
“What I hear you saying is that you feel ________________ and ________________; and what you want me to do is ___________________ and _______________________. Is that pretty much it?”
In live Seven Dimensions courses, we spend considerable time practicing responses so that the participants get out of the habitual knee jerk response which keeps their relationships small. More is always possible.