Caregivers frequently report they have difficulty setting limits and asking for help.

Yet, these are critical tools for avoiding burnout, maintaining your well-being, and getting the support you need. It's equally

important to express your feelings and give criticism in constructive ways. You want others to hear what you have to say, not to

focus on how you said something.


Phrase questions carefully. Your questions and comments can help or hurt. Asking why the person did something sounds accusatory. Frequently people don't know why they did something. Questions beginning with "how," "what,* and "when" sound like you are gathering information, no i blaming.

♦ "How do you usually do this?"

♦ "What do you think went wrong?"

♦ "When does the problem arise?

Offer face-saving comments. Your intent is to protect the persons pride and feelings by offering valid, impersonal reasons for what has happened. Ask yourself the aikido question when a criticism must be given, "What does this person need from me to feel better?


Remember the tools for how to best express yourself:

1. Use "I" messages.

2. Respect the rights and feelings of other

people with what you say and do.

3. Be clear and specific.

4. Speak directly to the person(s) involved.

5. Be a Good listener.