Telling someone how you feel about what they did is uncomfortable but healthier than holding your anger inside. If you share what you feel with the intention to improve the relationship, not to punish back, you will be heard.
Here are 4 steps for doing so effectively:
1. Start with "Why".
“I would like to share something with you because I value our relationship.” Or at work, you might say, “I know that us working well together will help us both reach our goals. Can I share something that could improve our collaboration?”
2. Briefly describe what happened that felt hurtful.
Don’t go into a long story or try to soften the blow by saying you know they didn’t mean to be offensive. One sentence that describes your experience of their behavior is enough. The other person might interrupt you to explain themselves. Tell them calmly you want to hear what they have to say, but you'd like to finish first.
3. Say how their behavior made you feel.
They can’t debate your feelings. Use “I” statements. Don’t blame them for being insensitive. This is how you feel when they act this way regardless of their intentions.
4. Say what you need going forward.
What would you like them to do instead? Be specific, offer an example. Then accept their response. They may need time to process what you shared