It is the way to say "No" in a way that creates connection rather than distance.
This is when both people love each other and want a quality relationship.
However, there is an issue that they can't agree on and neither party will let go of their side of the issue.
This makes each person very sensitive when the problem is raised. When one person finally speaks about it both are really defensive and nothing gets resolved.
The love sandwich allows the love to be acknowledged as well as the issue.
It allows the whole truth of the situation.
The love sandwich is an honest way to speak about difficulties in relationships in a way that doesn’t put the other person off side.
The “filling” of the sandwich it the difficult subject and the “bread” is some comment about how your relationship is important.
Here are some examples of how you could use this technique.
Obviously you would have to rephrase it in your own way — this is just an example to get you started.
Love - The Issue - Love
In a primary relationship you could use the following words. These are my words not yours so you will obviously adjust it for yourself.
The Love — Our relationship is really important to me and I want us to be really connected.
Filling — I feel that we are on a different page when we discipline the children and I feel that this doesn't make our children feel safe.
The Love — I want us to have a connected and happy family where the children feel their parents are congruent. Can we discuss when you have had some time to think about it?
In a work relationship you could use the following words.
The Love — You have always been a valued member of our team.
Filling — I know it gets really busy here, however, I have had a couple of clients upset at the way you answer the phone. It is important that the phone is answered in a calm and kind way no matter how busy you are.
The Love — What structures do you need to support you to be happy at your work and to to answer the phone in a kind and calm voice?
With a teenager
The Love — You know that I love my children so much, you are all a really important part of my life.
Filling — In healthy families all people help around the house and I want this family to remain healthy.
The Love — Here is a list of jobs please pick three and see if you can do them without being reminded. Thanks my beautiful girl.
The Love Sandwich to say "No".
The Love — Thank you so much for inviting me/including me/asking me.
Filling — However, that will not work for me/I am already busy then/ etc.
The Love — It was really kind of you to think of me so thank you so much.
When saying No, if the other person asks why you can't do it just say.
"I'd rather not talk about it." or "I'd rather not discuss it".
Do not explain yourself as that will not work.
Often when you use the love sandwich people will cooperate because they don't feel judged and they can feel that you love them.
Give it a try and let me know if it works.