Watching words

It seems that there are people who in an attempt to be very honest and to be sure that they are not misleading people will state things in ways that cause uncertainty and discomfort. Someone I know, when asked to do someone a favor will reply “I’ll try to do it.” Now I don’t know about you, but I would much rather hear, “Yes, I’ll do it!” After all, most people understand that sometimes even with the best intentions, people are not able to do what they’ve committed themselves to doing. Someone who is going to “try” may be someone who will let you down, because he/she has not fully committed.

Let’s look at another way in which this “honesty” can create discomfort. You are taking a child to a new place or to have a new experience. The child is apprehensive. Here’s what NOT to say: “If everything works out well, you should have a nice time.” Say instead “I think you will love it!”

What we say really does change how people view things, whether it’s helping people feel more certain or enabling people to happily anticipate something new. All of us understand that sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to, but there’s always time for correction or explanations later. If we try to prevent disappointment, no matter how small the risk, we are at the same time robbing people of a feeling of security and happy anticipation.

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Comments

  1. Hi Rona!

    Please speak to my son. As you know, I have been trying to convince him to go on a Birthright trip to Israel. His standard answer is “I might not like it”. It doesn’t matter how many people I tell him about (including cousins and close friends) who have loved it. He is afraid he may not like it and he won’t take the chance. I have not been apprehensive in the least when I promote the trip. What should I do?

    Thanks. love to all, Gail

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