Choose Your Next Words Wisely . . . 10 Things to Say More Often
In a world of extreme reactions, words have become more powerful than ever before. A single wrong word can end a career, ignite a Twitter storm, or ruin a relationship. We have become so obsessed with the “wrong words” people say, it seems we may have forgotten the power of the “right words.” These words encourage and edify the people who use them as well as those who receive them . . .
“Good morning!” This isn’t rocket science. A friendly, energetic greeting can change the atmosphere in your office, your home, and your relationships. Combine it with a handshake, an embrace, a pat on the shoulder, or some other affirming human touch and you can improve people’s physical health. It’s true science – look it up.
“Please.” Have we stopped teaching this word? This simple word changes the tone of an entire conversation. Without it, every request becomes an entitled demand. Every instruction becomes a demeaning command.
“Thank you.” The follow up to number 4. We have forgotten how to respect each other with common courtesies. When we use good manners we are telling each other, “The things you do matter. You are significant.”
“It’s my pleasure.” There is something really powerful in telling someone it pleased you to do something kind for them. The more common, “You’re welcome” is acceptable, but it is too often given and received without any real thought or meaning. Start saying, “It was my pleasure” with sincerity and people will notice!
“Tell me more.” Trying to understand something or someone better has never ended badly. Even if the person is hostile – it is to your advantage to understand them better. Sun Tzu taught us that! How much more important is it to know the people you care about?
“I’m sorry.” Never underestimate the power of sincere apology to restore a relationship. The key to real apologies is the actions that follow. Don’t say you are sorry - and then do the same stupid stuff. Be better than you were before.
“Excuse me.” There are times you will have to interrupt or disturb someone. We can pack a lot of meaning into these two simple words. If an apology smooths troubled waters, “Excuse me” can keep them from ever being disturbed in the first place!
“How can I help?” Early in our marriage, the house my wife and I rented burned down. Many people expressed their sympathy and a few were even empathetic. The ones who impacted us most, though, were the ones who said, “What can we do to help put your world back together?” There may be nothing you can do, but the fact that you asked means more than you will ever know.
“Help me.” It is an admission that you need the other person. Humility and vulnerability pave the way for deeper, more meaningful relationships. The person who never asks for or accepts help - whether out of arrogance, distrust, or fear the result is the same – they cut themselves off from others.
Nothing. Sometimes we just need to keep our mouths shut.
So, choose your next words carefully! The world might just be a better place if we could all say the right kinds of powerful words.