Our relationships really hinge on the words we use. While we might intend to use our words to get closer or simply ask our partner a question, we may inadvertently be pushing the other person away.
Eliminating these key “watch words” will help deliver your message the way you intend. It might seem like a difficult task at first, but it will change your relationships at home and at work for the better!
1. Why – when you ask that question, you’re not really looking for the answer. If you think about the intent behind a “why did you…” question, it’s blameful. The response begins with a “because” answer and the dynamic is parent-child. That means, you are likely to get a response that placates or slams back hard. And you know how it feels to be on the receiving end of “why,” when all you want is to feel understood
Instead of Why, use What or How as your inquiry starters. “What about that appeals to you?” or “How can we keep this space clear for everyone to use?”
2. But – This quick word often slips into conversation as a place-holder for “I’m next.” In conversation, we’re often too quick to interject instead of listening. Starting a sentence with But only serves to cause argument by negating what has been said before. If you are in conversation and waiting for your partner (or child) to take a breath so that you can share your side, and you start with “but,” you’ve just told the other person that they’re not that important.
Instead of But, use And. This is inclusive and acts as a “plus-one” to what the other person was saying. “But what about…” turns into, “And what about…” and the meaning of the conversation is changed for the positive.
3. Should – We “should” on ourselves and each other way too much. That needs to stop. “You should have called” or “you should have been here sooner” can still be courageous conversations without being contentious and blameful. “I was worried when you were late. In the future, could you call me to let me know?” By owning your emotion and stating what you’d like in the future, you’ve allowed the damage from a transgression to be noted and to heal.
Instead of Should, try “could” or “would” and keep positively future focused.
Simple word substitutions can stop you from driving a wedge between you and help you engage with each other more deeply. There’s no need to be blameful, even accidentally blameful, when you can be kind deliberately.
For more tips to a more vibrant, dynamic, and passionate relationship get the free Relationship Recharge Guide with by visiting www.RelationshipRecharge.com. And you can browse www.WaynePernell.com/books to see Choosing Your Power and other Amazon #1 Best Selling titles by Dr. Wayne Pernell.