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. Most of us have been guilty of absolute speak at some point. Stating your ignorance is sometimes a good place to begin defusing a situation. 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. Lastly, in conflict resolution, we tend to get defensive about our wrongdoing and go on the offensive. Aside from our work life, avoiding conflict can manifest in our romantic relationships, friendships… In pursuit of winning an argument, you might go on the attack by saying your partner is always wrong or never cares about you. Being conflict avoidant means exactly that: being afraid of possible disagreements at all costs. Don’t be a victim of regret and 20/20 hindsight. So it’s not surprising that absolute speak can cause your partner to shut down. For example, if your boss didn't like your report, all you have to do is ask for new … Why does this matter? 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. But ask yourself: is winning an argument really the point? According to research professor Brené Brown, whose TED Talk is one of the five most viewed of all time, these six words … Focus on “I” statements that bring the attention back to how you feel – and not on who or what is to blame. Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-03). In the workplace, there can be a variety of types of conflict: Conflict may occur between co-workers, or between supervisors and subordinates, or between service … 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 Carly previously served as a field representative, staff assistant, and legislative correspondent in the office of U.S. “Always” and “never” are the most common words using during absolute speak. Using the word “you” in an accusatory way immediately puts the other person on the defensive. “You never listen to me anyhow.” A friend recently recounted a story to me where a relative said this to her. The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment. Most of the time, absolute speak is false. (Make sure to avoid these phrases that make any argument worse, too.) Do these statements sound familiar? It feels like your spouse never take out the trash. The Blame Game. I’m sure many of us have attended trainings or read about the words you should avoid saying during conflict. 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. Two Words to Avoid in Arguments for Better Conflict Resolution They limit possibilities.. But “all”, “none”, “every”, and “only” are also words to watch for. But it’s how couples handle conflict that determines if they are happy, healthy, and connected. The words “always” and “never” are generalizing words that are heard by the other person as harsh absolutes. Know exactly how to handle them. It’s a natural desire, and at the time it can seem like the most important thing in the world. The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing. A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger. Being Right. For more information, contact Sara: or 917-355-8630,,, Two Words to Avoid in Arguments for Better Conflict Resolution. Likely not well. Saying words like “should,” “shouldn’t,” “don’t,” or “better not” makes the other person feel inferior … That’s because both statements are examples of “absolute speak,” a type of communication that often leads to conflict in a relationship. It de-motivates the person to talk and share. In a heat of the moment, these two words can slip out way too easily. It's damaging to decide that there's a "right" way to look at things and a "wrong" way to … Carly received her BBA in Business Management with a minor in Political Science from James Madison University. Institute for Organization Management - A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Conflict resolution is the process by which two or more parties reach a peaceful resolution to a dispute. We claim to be the “good” half in the relationship, and they become the “bad” or self-centered person. I am with you on that. Keep asking questions and listening empathetically until you get to the root of the conflict. This kind of conversation cuts off the possibilities of communication and understanding about each other. Words like “but,” “no,” “can’t,” or “won’t” all make the other person feel rejected, dismissed, and helpless. When we use such arguments, we put the blame directly on the other partner without even considering their circumstances. Your email address will not be published. This further harms the possibility of resolving the argument – and worsens our mood and attitude towards each other. Instead, use direct and straightforward conversation. Predict problems you will encounter. How can I fix this? Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, a few words can escalate a conversation quickly. But doing this corners your partner and can jeopardize the relationship. As she told the story, it was clear how that one phrase instantly turned a fairly calm conversation into an all-out argument. Required fields are marked *, 20 Lessons to Develop 20/20 Relationship Foresight. 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. Here are five reasons you should avoid “always” and “never” in communication with your partner. Without proper communication, it becomes even harder to understand each other’s perspectives. Your email address will not be published. It feels like your spouse is always coming home late from work. To refresh your memory, here’s a quick listing of words that can escalate a conflict, whether you mean to or not. An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side. Stop talking and really listen; let the other person know that you are interested in what they are saying. Remember, conflict is a part of all relationships.