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  • Eve Coker, PhD, LCMHC

Miller's Law

Updated: Jan 15, 2019

Have you ever heard of Miller's Law?


"Listen to people as if what they are saying is true. If it is not, realize they are still trying to tell you something."


There's so much we could pull out of this saying, but I'll keep it brief.


First, it's saying that it's important to validate what someone is saying because it's true to them! It doesn't mean that it may be true, but by listening to the other person and trying to understand what they are saying, you are showing them that you value them. This gives us the ability to reframe our own perspective. The other person, feeling valued, will trust you and be more likely to listen to your own point of view. If they're not - keep trying!


Last, it means that they're trying to tell you SOMETHING. It may be in the subtext of what they are actually saying. One of my favorite examples is when I worked at a lock-down facility for troubled teens. A young woman kept complaining about abuse that wasn't true, and it irked a lot of the staff who were trying to care for her. However, it turned out that some of her needs regarding her clothing situation were not met, and that was how she communicated her cries for help - by escalating to more severe claims.


#communication #problemsolving

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