Predict problems you will encounter. When we use such arguments, we put the blame directly on the other partner without even considering their circumstances. How can I fix this? But doing this corners your partner and can jeopardize the relationship. We’ve all had something similar happen. Saying words like “should,” “shouldn’t,” “don’t,” or “better not” makes the other person feel inferior and resentful of your authoritative statements. Saying words like “should,” “shouldn’t,” “don’t,” or “better not” makes the other person feel inferior … This kind of conversation cuts off the possibilities of communication and understanding about each other. Since there are a lot of words on this list, it may be helpful to focus on eliminating one of these phrases from your vocabulary during potentially tense conversations. The words “always” and “never” are generalizing words that are heard by the other person as harsh absolutes. Here are five reasons you should avoid “always” and “never” in communication with your partner. Using the word “you” in an accusatory way immediately puts the other person on the defensive. Your email address will not be published. Words like “but,” “no,” “can’t,” or “won’t” all make the other person feel rejected, dismissed, and helpless. Institute for Organization Management - A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side. So it’s not surprising that absolute speak can cause your partner to shut down. Without proper communication, it becomes even harder to understand each other’s perspectives. Keep asking questions and listening empathetically until you get to the root of the conflict. This lack of communication is a big problem in a relationship. It's damaging to decide that there's a "right" way to look at things and a "wrong" way to … Two Words to Avoid in Arguments for Better Conflict Resolution They limit possibilities.. Most of us have been guilty of absolute speak at some point. In pursuit of winning an argument, you might go on the attack by saying your partner is always wrong or never cares about you. Lastly, in conflict resolution, we tend to get defensive about our wrongdoing and go on the offensive. Required fields are marked *, 20 Lessons to Develop 20/20 Relationship Foresight. Instead, use direct and straightforward conversation. Stop talking and really listen; let the other person know that you are interested in what they are saying. When we use always or never in conversation, it is essentially dumping the blame onto our partner. Most of the time, absolute speak is false. We claim to be the “good” half in the relationship, and they become the “bad” or self-centered person. Likely not well. The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment. The Blame Game. Stating your ignorance is sometimes a good place to begin defusing a situation. Most of us tend to try to “win” in an argument. Institute for Organization Management - A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation © 2020 | Privacy Policy, Senior Coordinator, Institute for Organization Management, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement, Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions. Don’t be a victim of regret and 20/20 hindsight. But it’s likely your spouse has taken out the trash before at some point, and that they have come home from work on time before. How do you anticipate the person they’re directed against is going to react? The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing. Conflict resolution is the process by which two or more parties reach a peaceful resolution to a dispute. This further harms the possibility of resolving the argument – and worsens our mood and attitude towards each other. For example, “I feel abandoned and worried when you come home late.”. Aside from our work life, avoiding conflict can manifest in our romantic relationships, friendships… “Always” and “never” are the most common words using during absolute speak. According to research professor Brené Brown, whose TED Talk is one of the five most viewed of all time, these six words … It’s an exaggeration we make to express our feelings. Copyright © 2015-2020 Sara Freed | All rights reserved, A Forgiveness Exercise to Try with Your Spouse, Trained with Leaders in Couples Counseling, Deep Understanding of Orthodox Jewish Family Values. It de-motivates the person to talk and share. As she told the story, it was clear how that one phrase instantly turned a fairly calm conversation into an all-out argument. Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-03). It feels like your spouse never take out the trash. Know exactly how to handle them. “You never listen to me anyhow.” A friend recently recounted a story to me where a relative said this to her. Focus on “I” statements that bring the attention back to how you feel – and not on who or what is to blame. It’s a natural desire, and at the time it can seem like the most important thing in the world. This approach is more likely to result in a constructive conversation about solving the problem. Carly Turk is senior coordinator for Institute for Organization Management, a four-year educational program on nonprofit management of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Carly received her BBA in Business Management with a minor in Political Science from James Madison University. I’m sure many of us have attended trainings or read about the words you should avoid saying during conflict. “You never take out the trash.” “You always come home late from work.”. You might win the argument right now, but in long run, your relationship will suffer. For more information, contact Sara: sara@sarafreed.com or 917-355-8630, https://sarafreed.com/wp-content/uploads/Freed_Two-Words-to-Avoid-in-Arguments.png, https://sarafreed.com/wp-content/uploads/Sara-new-logo-transparent-sm.png, Two Words to Avoid in Arguments for Better Conflict Resolution. That’s because both statements are examples of “absolute speak,” a type of communication that often leads to conflict in a relationship. Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, a few words can escalate a conversation quickly. Being conflict avoidant means exactly that: being afraid of possible disagreements at all costs. When do you Avoid these Negative Words Avoid these negative words when you're: Resolving intrapersonal conflicts; persuade someone; empathize or sympathize with someone; build rapport; narrate stories or anecdotes; As a persuasive statement; When you're introducing yourself; As transition statements in speech; As presentation attention getter Why does this matter? But ask yourself: is winning an argument really the point? For example, if your boss didn't like your report, all you have to do is ask for new … Remember, conflict is a part of all relationships. (Make sure to avoid these phrases that make any argument worse, too.) A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger. Do these statements sound familiar? But “all”, “none”, “every”, and “only” are also words to watch for. We use them as verbal battering rams when our partners hurt our feelings. In a heat of the moment, these two words can slip out way too easily. To refresh your memory, here’s a quick listing of words that can escalate a conflict, whether you mean to or not. Carly previously served as a field representative, staff assistant, and legislative correspondent in the office of U.S. Being Right. Your email address will not be published. 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