We do not usually pay much attention to the powerful words we say every day but we are born communicators. Indeed, it seems a contradiction but the truth is that we spend all day communicating not only with others but also with ourselves. Even so, our communication style is automatic, it is something that has been formed over the years, depending on our experiences, and we now use it without being fully aware of it.
Therefore, we use certain words more than others. For example, a study conducted at the University of Colorado revealed that people with a tendency to neuroticism use a large number of words associated with negative emotions. Another study, this one conducted at the University of Amsterdam found that extroverts prefer the more abstract descriptive terms while introverted people choose more specific adjectives.
Then, it is not trivial that periodically we take stock of the words we use, especially when we consider that this dialogue not only affects the image others have of us but it can even affect our self-esteem. So, I propose now some words we should use more often, but consciously, not as a robot.
Simple words that imply major changes in our life
1. Because. A simple word, but with enormous power. In fact, a study conducted at Harvard University described it as “the most persuasive word in the world.” In this experiment it was observed that when people asked a favor and added a “because” the likelihood that the other accede increases by 30%. And that is when we ask for something and give our reasons, when we are showing that we respect the other person and we trust him/her. We are appealing to their understanding and encourage them to stand in our place.
2. Thanks. It’s not about giving thanks for obligation or repeat this word for inertia because comes from a “good education”, but give thanks really, from the bottom of our heart. The difference is noticeable because permits us to connect with others, tell him/her we really appreciate his gesture and that has really helped us. In fact, this word has a great comforting power, for both, who says and who receives it.
3. Sorry. Few words have as much power as this, but only when are born from a sincere repentance. When we say “sorry” we are acknowledging a mistake but, above all, we are expressing humility and our desire to repair the damage. However, we can’t abuse it. A study conducted at the University of Rotterdam revealed that we tend to overestimate the effect of an apology and that these are only effective when they are sincere and explain our circumstances, but without becoming an excuse.
4. Come on! The world is made of good intentions, but in reality, life changes when we make up our minds and get down to work. Unfortunately, we are good procrastinators, we continue postponing the change to a more propitious time. However, when you’re sure of a goal, once you plan yourself a goal, you simply must begin, you will discover how to proceed along the way. Remember that the longest journey begins with the first step.
5. No. Setting limits and learning to say “no” is fundamental to lead the life we really want. It is not about having a negative always on the tip of our tongue, but we must make clear what our priorities are and when we can help and when not. When you can’t or don’t want to do something, just say “no” and provides a reason, while more concise better, as otherwise would seem like you’re apologizing. Remember that you have the right to invest your time and energy on things that really cause satisfaction or that you consider necessary.
6. Well … When you make a mistake, you get angry and yell at the others around you or recriminate, discriminating and blaming yourself? So is how react most of the people. But this way only get further worsen the situation. So when things don’t go as planned, say simply, “Well, it has not gone as planned but …” It is inevitable to make mistakes but don’t mourn over wet milk, try to see the good side of things. It is a simple word but involves a huge change of perspective.
7. Breathe. Every time you are about to explode, when you’re angry or when stress reaches maximum levels, just breathe. All times as necessary. Breathing helps us tune to the same frequency of many metabolic functions that are altered when we are angry or stressed, such as blood pressure and heart rate. Breathing is an excellent exercise that will help you calm down and not make mistakes. Breathe … breathe … breathe …
Beukeboom, C.; Tanis, M. & Vermeulen, I. (2012) The Language of Extraversion: Extraverted People Talk More Abstractly, Introverts Are More Concrete. Journal of Language and Social Psychology; 32(2): 191-201.
De Cremer, d. et. Al. (2011) How Important Is an Apology to You? Forecasting Errors in Evaluating the Value of Apologies. Psychological Science; 22(1): 45-48.
Yarkoni, T. (2010) Personality in 100,000 Words: A large-scale analysis of personality and word use among bloggers. Journal of Research in Personality, 44 (3), 363-373.
Langer, E.; Blank, A. & Chanowitz, B. (1978) The Mindlessness of Ostensibly Thoughtful Action: The Role of “Placebic” Information in Interpersonal Interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 36(6): 635-642.