Master My Stories
You’re telling yourself that you deserve more because you did
more to care for your mother and covered unplanned expenses.
Retrace your Path to Action to find out what facts are behind the
story you’re telling that’s making you angry.
STATE My Path
You need to share your facts and conclusions with your sister in
a way that will make her feel safe telling her story.
YOU: It’s just that I spent a lot of money taking care of Mom
and did a lot of work caring for her instead of bringing in
a nurse. I know you cared about Mom too, but I honestly
feel like I did more in the day-to-day caregiving than you
did, and it only seems fair to use some of what she left us
to repay a part of what I spent. Do you see it differently?
I’d really like to hear.
SISTER: Okay, fine. Why don’t you just send me a bill.
It sounds as though your sister isn’t really okay with this
arrangement. You can tell her voice is tense and her tone is one
of giving in, not of true agreement.
Explore Others ‘ Paths
Since part of your objective is to maintain a good relationship
with your sister, it’s important that she add her meaning to the
pool. Use the AMPP skills to actively explore her views.
YOU: The way you say that makes it sound like maybe that
suggestion isn’t okay with you. [Mirror] Is there some
thing I’m missing? [Ask]
SISTER: No-if you feel like you deserve more than I do,
you’re probably right.
PUTTI NG IT ALL TOGETH ER 1 9 1
You: Do you think I’m being unfair? That I’m not acknowl
edging your contributions? [Prime]
SISTER: It’s just that I know I wasn’t around much in the last
couple of years. I’ve had to travel a lot for work. But I still
visited whenever I could, and I sent money every month
to help contribute to Mom’s care. I offered to help pay to
bring in a nurse if you thought it was necessary. I didn’t
know you felt you had an unfair share of the responsibil
ity, and it seems like your asking for more money is com
ing out of nowhere.
You: So you feel like you were doing everything you could
to help out and are surprised that I feel like I should be
SISTER: Well, yes.
Explore Others ‘ Paths
You understand your sister’s story now and still disagree to a
point. Use the ABC skills to explain how your view differs. You
agree in part with how your sister sees things. Use building to
emphasize what you agree with and to bring up what you dif
You: You’re right. You did a lot to help out, and I realize
that it was expensive to visit as often as you did. I opted
not to pay for professional home health care because
Mom was more comfortable with me taking care of her,
and I didn’t mind that. On top of that, there were some
incidental expenses it doesn’t sound like you were aware
of. The new medication she was on during the last eight
een months was twice as expensive as the old, and the
insurance only covered a percentage of her hospital stays.
It adds up.
1 92 CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS
SISTER: So it’s these expenses you’re worried about cover
ing? Could we go over these expenses to decide how to