8 Things You Should Never Say Again
It may be true that communication is 90% what you say and 10% how you say it but sometimes saying certain things is just not okay, no matter how you say it. Here are my list of things I am committed to never letting slip from my lips again:
1. Don’t take offence but…
I was guilty of this the other day in a conversation I had with Kim West (the true OGs know who I’m speaking about, if you don’t then you missed her appearance in my first video on Building Habits That Stick). The worst part is that I really didn’t say anything offensive at all but by saying ‘don’t take offence’ it forced her to scrutinise my words and Bob’s your uncle, Martha’s your aunt (what an expression); it sounds offensive. Thankfully Kim explained how the phrase made her feel and I was very grateful for her maturity. Oh the irony. By saying ‘don’t take offence’ you create an offensive situation. Besides that, it may be one of the most patronising statements I have ever heard. I don’t have a cooking clue why I said that in 2019.
2. I don’t trust you.
Unless you really, really mean it. Trust is the core of our integrity so when our trustworthiness is questioned, it can really do a lot of damage to a relationship. If you are feeling riled up about something and have come to the conclusion that you don’t trust someone, give it some thought before saying it and better yet, try to articulate exactly what it is about the person’s behaviour that makes you feel as though you can’t trust them. In my video How to Build Trust in a Relationship Again, I break down the specific attributes of trust that can help you to describe exactly what it is that gives you the feeling of mistrust. If you aren’t actually intending on throwing the relationship away, it may be worthwhile to monitor how you express your grievances. Don’t call into question someone’s character unless it is absolutely necessary – feel free to hold them accountable for their actions but try to do so with compassion. I know it’s hard but it’s worth it.
3. Anything in a state of anger.
We’ve all been there haven’t we? Sent an email, WhatsApp message or made a post in a heightened state of emotion only to regret it a short while afterwards. I will be the first to admit that making someone your emotional punching bag can feel so good in the few minutes after spewing your emotional guts out but not even 10 minutes later, it doesn’t feel good at all. ANGER is one letter away from DANGER. Breathe and count to 10 before addressing a situation that has made you really upset. The last thing you want to be left with is a feeling of guilt or shame on top of the anger.
4. Anything that is a lie.
I used to be a chronic liar! Wow, it was bad. I’m actually surprised I have any friends from primary school with how frequently I used to lie. One time I even told my friends that my parents were installing television sets into our doors at home just to appear to be wealthy and hip. Meanwhile we were barely paying the bills. The hilarity. I think it was only when some girl approached me in sixth grade and asked, ‘Do you want people to like you for who you really are or who you say you are?’ that I started to rethink my incessant lying. I am grateful to her until this day.
5. I will never find someone as amazing as you.
Or any other statement that implies that there is only ONE person on this earth that you are compatible with and if things didn’t work out with this ONE person, you would amount to dust. Have you ever heard of the concept of soul ties? My ex girlfriend actually introduced me to the term. She told me not to say things to her such as, ‘I could never find anyone better than you,’ or, ‘I will be nothing without you.’ She warned me that every time I said something like that, I tied a string to her soul and if things didn’t work out, those soul ties would still be there despite not being together in the physical realm and that this would cause me tremendous pain. Even though it seemed ridiculous at first, my relationships since have provided much evidence to support this theory and I now am a firm believer in soul ties and in trying to avoid them as much as possible.
We should be WHOLE on our own. We should not NEED anybody to fulfil us and we should be able to CONTINUE with our lives if things don’t work out. Creating soul ties really makes it that much more difficult to do so. Have you ever struggled to get over someone for a really, really long time? You may have created soul ties with someone before them. It’s okay, we’ve all done it – just focus on your healing and be careful to not do it again.
Love fully, love deeply, love passionately but just focus on being the best partner you can be without potentially ruining your future. The power contained within our words is one of the most underrated phenomena on this planet. It may not be that romantic but it can seriously mess you up. Trust me, I know.
6. I will never be able to…
You know the famous saying, ‘he who says he can and he who says he can’t both are right?’, well there is no quicker way to limit your future than to proliferate such limiting beliefs. My high school science teacher used to tell us not to say , ‘I can’t’ but rather say, ‘I can try.’ It’s lame but science research continues to reveal more and more compelling evidence that the words we use on a day-to-day basis quite literally dictate the life that we live. Don’t etch a mediocre future in stone.
7. Anything that is a threat.
Sigh. Unfortunately when I spent my time in ego-based relationships; threats became a form of communication. Now I can’t even imagine trying to convince someone to do something that they don’t want to do in the first place (unless I really think it will benefit their personal or professional growth to do so – and even then, everyone should do as they please). Everybody manipulates to a certain extent – it’s the basis of all marketing strategies but it’s this acrimonious form of manipulation that I simply can’t tolerate anymore.
8. Anything at 90 dB.
Ah yes, good ‘ol shouting. I won’t direct this to any parents out there because I’ve never been a parent and Lord knows ‘parenting’ my sister was enough to drive me to drink! The one time Tashline (my sister) threw my PSP against the wall and I won’t lie, I beat the hell out of her and shouted at her to the point that I’m shocked that she has her hearing at all. This was about 10 years ago though, I’ll use my naivety as an excuse for that behaviour: naivety in not understanding that what goes around comes around; naivety in not understanding that speaking louder doesn’t equate to being heard more. Over the years I’ve learned that the more gentle I am in my approach, the more likely my message is to be received (by any mature adult at least).
Our words are our secret weapons. With our words, we can heal or we can kill. Sticks and stones will break our bones but words can break our hearts.
Use them wisely.