Post #50! Let’s do this!!
My wife loves Sandwich Statements. You probably do too, if you know what they are.
I’ll give you a hint… It is not a sad piece of bologna between to slices of Wonder bread. It’s not even a perfectly crafted BLT on a hot summer day or chicken salad, turkey cobb, BBQ pulled pork or deli shaved black angus roast beef.
The Sandwich Statement is the pinnacle of tact and persuasiveness. Please don’t confuse this with being politically correct. PC has no place here at SOS, so don’t mention it again unless you are blatantly mocking it. The Sandwich Statement should be in everyone’s communication tool belt, ready at a moments notice. It consists of 3 parts: an opening compliment or affirmation, a middle comment, request or question of concern, and finally a closing statement of praise or graciousness. This tactic “opens the ears” of the listener and invites them to be on the same team through appreciation and encouragement. Let me give you an example:
I’d really appreciate it if you would fold my shirts down the middle when you’re doing my laundry, rather than using the tri-fold method.
The above statement is the marriage equivalent of throwing a match into a forest that has been experiencing 100 degree heat for months on end with zero precipitation and dozens of helicopters dousing it with millions of gallons of gasoline. This approach will typically get you nowhere, except to the couch for a good night’s sleep. The Non-Sandwiching Statement may also elicit the following response:
I’VE BEEN WORKING AROUND HERE ALL DAY! I’VE DUSTED! I’VE VACUUMED! I’VE CLEANED THE BATHROOM, MOPPED THE FLOORS AND DONE FIFTEEN LOADS OF LAUNDRY! AND THE ONLY THING YOU NOTICE IS THAT YOUR SHIRTS, WHICH ARE CLEAN, FOLDED AND PUT AWAY, ARE NOT FOLDED DOWN THE CENTER?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
Sandwiching Statement: (Preferred method)
Wow! You folded all the laundry and put it away! I even noticed that you paired my socks together based on the even-ness of how worn they are! If you remember next time, would you mind folding my shirts down the middle? They fit in the draw better that way. I’d really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your work around the house! (Please note the exclamations!)
Now, I have to admit the closing statement there is a bit weak, and even the middle request might seem ridiculous to those of you who are not riding the OCD train with me, but I assure you, it is a legitimate concern. Regardless, I’m still learning, and in the mean time our couch is extremely comfortable.
How could you communicate better using Sandwich Statements?
Do you have a great example of a Sandwich Statement?
This 50th post is dedicated to my wife, Dani, who is a constant source of patience, encouragement, love, respect and endless laughter. Happy almost anniversary!