Chris Rock once joked of a woman telling her husband that a lady in her office was trying to “destroy her.” He responded, “You work at J.C. Penny! What is she doing? Ripping up your office paper?” His sarcasm showed that people can be so dramatic and while some events may be big, we shouldn’t make them bigger than they really are.
“Always” and “Never” are two of the most lethal judgment words used in an argument and should always be avoided and never used (yeah, I did that on purpose.) “You’re always complaining!” “I could never do anything right in your eyes!” “You always want sex.” “You never show me any kind of affection.”
Sure, the issues are real, the pain we feel is real, but if you want to work on the problem you have instead of introducing more pain, avoid these words and don’t claim a problem is bigger than it is. If your husband made you breakfast in bed two weeks ago and then in an argument you say “you never do anything for me!” that’s not accurate and certainly wont encourage him to try again any time soon. “I would love it if you would make an effort like that more often” would go much further in addressing your frustration without negating the effort that has already been made.
Sometimes we’re having a genuinely rough day but we blow it out of proportion to make it seem like our entire life is horrible. As I mentioned before in another blog post we all experience bad times but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Someone dear to me recently shared this kick-ass quote “Breathe. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life!” It’s one of those things that just stops you in your track and reminds you not to make a negative thing bigger than it really is.
In The Opposite Of Poverty Is Friendship, I talk about how we sometimes do this with people we love and care about. We have a disagreement and all of a sudden we go to defcon-4 and forget every other wonderful thing this friend or someone close to us has done. Many relationships have been lost because we couldn’t maintain perspective, because it had to be all or nothing, always or never. I’d like to introduce you to a beautiful alternative word that represents a much better starting point for a conversation and even an ending point for an article; I give you “sometimes.”
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