Here’s what I heard and clarified, “ I want to throw grenades when I want to and I don’t want you to have feelings when I do that.” Then I asked if I heard them correctly and they brought me closer.
“I don’t want you to call me out on throwing grenades- just take it no questions asked. Stop telling me that you hurt when the grenades explode because it doesn’t feel good for me to hear that. I feel guilty and I don’t want to feel guilty when I do that stuff. Why can’t you just stay quiet when I do that?” When I reflected it back to the person, they said it sounded differently when they said it out loud than when it was in their head.
Can you imagine the reaction of someone hearing this statement?
“I feel guilty that I said something that hurt you. I was defensive and didn’t want to take responsibility for hurting you. I wanted to blame you and protect myself and then I realized that my needs were trumping your needs, in my head and I don’t like that. I am sorry that you are hurting. I am sorry my words hurt you. I am sorry I keep saying things that hurt you and I really am not trying to hurt you. I will work on this and check what I say and filter a little bit more. I am angry at you, but the way I say it can be really offensive and disrespectful. I have a right to tell you that I am angry, I do not have the right to abuse you.”