Support, Empathy and Truth

Following the SET Formula

I have been reading about the SET formula developed by Jerold Kreisman, M.D. and I’ve found it genius ever since! It’s a great road-map to follow in a time of conflict, especially when the other person is opening up about their feelings. It stands for: Support, Empathy, and Truth.

When going into a conflict, it’s helpful to follow this easy model. Start with support by letting the person know you care about them and desire to be there for them. Start with something like, “I care about you and our friendship deeply.” This will let the other person know that you genuinely want to hear their side of the story and relate to how they’re feeling. This will go a long way in conflict resolution!

Once they know you support them it’s time to empathize. This means expressing to them you understand their feelings and what they might be going through, “It must be hard to.” You might not be able to know exactly what they are going through but perhaps you can relate to the emotion.

It’s important to clarify that validating feelings does not mean that you agree with them, only that you recognize that he or she is feeling them. The supportive communication method does not mean that you are letting the person off the hook; instead you are focusing on honest communication and ensuring that you are being heard, not just reacting to and defending against what is being said.

If they are feeling betrayed, perhaps there is a time in your life you felt that same way. If they feel misunderstood, maybe you can recall a time when you did as well. Find that shared emotion and tap into it; let that person know you both can relate and speak to where they’re at.

Only when you have let the other person know you support and empathize with them can you then share truth. Sharing truth means sharing a reality with them if you have a certain concern. They might not take your advice or follow through, but chances are they will receive what you have to say to them much better if they first feel like you care about them above all.

Following the SET formula helps to take the focus off of yourself and instead put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It opens their heart to conflict resolution and leads to a better understanding between the two of you.

reposted from the You Version Bible

I am finding the best way to learn is from those who have already found some success from the book that has been here before all of us.