Step 2: Expressing your discontent
Simply state what happened – objectively and without judgement!
Express your feelings – say what upsets you!
After speaking about the situation in an objective way, speaking openly about your discontent is really important. After all, this is what makes you want to express yourself and risk a possible conflict with a person you like!
What and How?
A: “You always interrupt me when I speak!”
B: “I would really like to be able to finish my sentences. It makes me sad if I cannot express what’s on my mind.”
Hopefully you can feel that sentence B works much better. This is because the opponent does not feel as if he or she needs to fight back, but needs to react to the person’s feelings in a sort of way. And, after all: He or she won’t be able to tell you that your feelings are wrong, because they are yours and yours only!
Also, nobody wants to hear the words “always” or “never” when being accused of something. Try to avoid them – and speak of the current situation only.
Example: Expressing discontent
“Gramps, you’ve already put at least three family videos on TikTok without asking for my permission. I’m incredibly frustrated you didn’t ask me before!”
Useful vocabulary and phrases
This is your time to shine! There are countless ways to describe your emotional state. Take these adjectives as a start – and look up some more if they don’t exactly express what you feel. (This list is a selection from 7esl.com.)
Annoyed, conceited, disgusted, displeased, dissatisfied, enraged, exasperated, fuming, furious, irritated, jealous, mad, outraged, raging, resentful.
Disinterested, inattentive, stupid, tedious, tired, tiring.
Annoyed, appalled, dismayed, displeased, dissatisfied, doubtful, embarrassed, grossed-out, horrified, inhibited, irritated, jealous, mad, nauseated, offended, outraged, repelled, repulsed, shocked, sickened, unwanted, used.
Anxious, doubtful, fearful, uncertain, unsure, worried.
Awful, blue, broken-hearted, depressed, down, glum, heartbroken, lonely, miserable, mournful, regretful, sorrowful, unhappy.
Afraid, agitated, alarmed, confused, frightened, horrified, intimidated, nervous, petrified, stressed out, terrified, worried.
Positive emotions (to use for reconciliation):
Revision: Adverbs + Adjectives
Remember that in order to make your feelings seem stronger, you can always use collocations, that means, to combine an adverb with an adjective, such as this:
- incredibly happy, immensely grateful, unbelievably glad, surprisingly relaxed, unmistakably content, easily charmed, etc.
How does your person express his or her discontent? Which feelings does he or she describe? Come up with a few sentences, and add them up to the ones of the previous steps.