My friends took their dog to the vet because something was wrong. We animal lovers know what it’s like to take a sick pet to the vet. We’re worried sick AND we’re afraid of the vet guilting us into anything and everything, regardless of cost and painful treatments. ”How could you not do everything you can for the care of your loved one?”  I’m pretty sure vets know the power of their words.

So when you show up, your capacities are diminished, and my friends said this in so many words. Even as grown-ups, they were dreading it. That’s how we get into trouble in our communications with others: when we start tripping over our feelings. It’s only human of course, so I asked if I could make a suggestion. (That is, now that I’ve learned to ask!). “How about deciding in advance how far you’re willing to go, like blood work, maybe x-rays. When you get back in touch for the results, let the vet know at the start that you won’t be making any decisions today. That you’ll need a day or two to consider the recommendations.”

 A helpful plan is great preparation, along with how and when to state your position. Also, the description of “the recommendations” which is neutral, rather than “your recommendations”, which is personal.

 I’m happy to report that my friends felt bolstered, equipped with a nugget that that helped them feel more in control of their situation, which is only right.  Fingers crossed for that sweet dog.

 Communication is the response you get. It shows if you’ve been skillful.

By Guest Blogger Eleanor James (Member and Designated Coach with NCCA Canada)


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