I AM are two of the most powerful words available to us.  It doesn’t matter what environment, what job, what person or what conflict … I AM defines the situation because what we put behind them shapes our reality.

It’s true.  And, it’s advantageous to keep in mind – especially when communicating online or via any form of electronic messaging.  Most of us have had experiences where we were exposed to nasty, unpleasant or even hateful comments made by others who are sitting safely tucked away in some private space.  Without the disadvantage of standing eye-to-eye with their opponent, they launch disapproval, anger or jealousy using words and phrases they would never use face-to-face.  We often call them haters, or bullies or merely unpleasant.

There’s no doubt that when you are the recipient of such behavior it feels awful and it can certainly cause your energy to take a nose dive.  You’re not alone.  There’s a ton of research on organizational bullying that identifies how adults who have few skills on the constructive expression of feelings can create toxic work environments.  On the personal end of life, there’s an equal measure of research on how destructive communication skills play an instrumental role in domestic violence and emotional abuse.  Without doubt, in our everyday life, there is no shortage of possibilities where we may run into one of these interactions.

I suggest a super simple tactic to promote both compassionate coaching and graceful living.  Before responding check to see if your I AM statement aligns with a quality in life that describes you being the best version of yourself possible.  For instance, it’s unlikely that anyone would wish to have an ideal version of self that is “jerk” – so if what you’re thinking of saying requires you to complete your I AM statement with “jerk” you may wish to rethink what you’re about to say.  Gentle words soften the spirit of the accuser and exposes the other’s foolishness to others.

Most clients that I work with have really great adjectives they use to describe their ideal self – things like compassionate, thoughtful, generous and kind.  By grounding yourself in one of the qualities that make you fantastic, you will be more inclined to start your response off kindly and then to state your own position thoughtfully – which only makes your case stronger.

So, the next time you’re in conflict with someone, try taking a moment to deploy an I AM statement in the space where you feel the most feeling (whatever that feeling is).  Respond only after you have reminded yourself of one of your rockstar qualities; and then experience how you feel good about yourself and how your energy soars.  Who knows…you may even experience a pep in your step that offers a small taste of what a #LiveAlive life is all about!