Wednesday, September 27, 2017

How Things are Phrased


Language is meaningful to me. How things are phrased, subtle nuance can have so much bearing on my emotional patterns as well as thinking patterns, it’s always nice when I suddenly see a new way of thinking about something, a new way of phrasing it, so that the results are kinder to everyone, yet still true.

“He may not care about this,” (or my feelings) may be accurate, but the way it is phrased seems to say more about the caring or not-caring part. It affects my feelings. Instead I can choose “He doesn’t think that way.” This states the facts in such a way that it doesn’t have to lead to emotional conflict or hurt feelings.

A simple change of phrase can change the whole mental, and then emotional landscape.

When an observation becomes personal, it slips into judgement.

Here's another: "I don't eat sugar" is different than "I can't eat sugar." The former implies that I'm on board with the choice. That latter suggests its's something imposed on me from outside against my will. When I consider a choice freely made, I don't fight it as much.

First published October 2017 in my free monthly email newsletter, Starry Night. Sign up here.