Words like “but,” “no,” “can’t,” or “won’t” all make the other person feel rejected, dismissed, and helpless. It feels like your spouse is always coming home late from work. Keep asking questions and listening empathetically until you get to the root of the conflict. I’m sure many of us have attended trainings or read about the words you should avoid saying during conflict. The withdrawal of love, resulting in rejection, isolation, shaming, and fear of abandonment. It’s a natural desire, and at the time it can seem like the most important thing in the world. We use them as verbal battering rams when our partners hurt our feelings. A readiness to forgive and forget, and to move past the conflict without holding resentments or anger. (Make sure to avoid these phrases that make any argument worse, too.) Why does this matter? That’s because both statements are examples of “absolute speak,” a type of communication that often leads to conflict in a relationship. Institute for Organization Management - A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. In a heat of the moment, these two words can slip out way too easily. We’ve all had something similar happen. Likely not well. The words “always” and “never” are generalizing words that are heard by the other person as harsh absolutes. Your email address will not be published. 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. It's damaging to decide that there's a "right" way to look at things and a "wrong" way to … You might win the argument right now, but in long run, your relationship will suffer. How can I fix this? Lastly, in conflict resolution, we tend to get defensive about our wrongdoing and go on the offensive. So it’s not surprising that absolute speak can cause your partner to shut down. 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. “You never listen to me anyhow.” A friend recently recounted a story to me where a relative said this to her. For example, “I feel abandoned and worried when you come home late.”. This kind of conversation cuts off the possibilities of communication and understanding about each other. An inability to compromise or see the other person’s side. Here are five reasons you should avoid “always” and “never” in communication with your partner. Saying words like “should,” “shouldn’t,” “don’t,” or “better not” makes the other person feel inferior and resentful of your authoritative statements. This further harms the possibility of resolving the argument – and worsens our mood and attitude towards each other. Conflict resolution is the process by which two or more parties reach a peaceful resolution to a dispute. It’s an exaggeration we make to express our feelings. Do these statements sound familiar? Being Right. “You never take out the trash.” “You always come home late from work.”. Predict problems you will encounter. Don’t be a victim of regret and 20/20 hindsight. Whether it’s in the workplace or at home, a few words can escalate a conversation quickly. 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. This lack of communication is a big problem in a relationship. Most of us have been guilty of absolute speak at some point. Can seem like the most common words to avoid in conflict resolution using during absolute speak is.. 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