Divide a notebook page into three vertical, roughly equal columns. The first, left hand column need be no wider than enough room to name a person or identify a situation in three or four words. Title this column “Who.” In this column you will describe an individual (because you won’t in most cases know their name) who did something, or an event that happened which you did not like and objected to. These actions must be limited to those you personally experienced, not heard about or know about.

Title the second slightly wider column “What.” In this column you will describe as briefly and succinctly as you can what the person or event in column one did that you objected to. Half a dozen words should be more than enough, because you are not seeking to either justify or explain why you feel the way you do. You don’t have to explain it to me, go into details, or put it in context or compare it to anything else.

Column three is titled “Expect.” In this column write down clearly and unapologetically what you expected to happen, or what the other person should have done instead. Your immediate negative reaction to the event of column two was one of surprise and disappointment. Why? You need make no excuses or justification for it. Acknowledge that what is driving that objection is the personal opinion that something else quite different should have occurred.

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