We have all been there.
We said something, and as soon as the words slipped out, we wanted to take it back.
Recently, the kids and I have been working on only using healing words.
We have based our study on Proverbs 12:18.
The words of reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
As I continued to work on using words wisely, I started to think about the words that I speak to my husband and children.
I cannot expect my children to speak words dripping with honey if mine are not the same.
I am a huge fan of Hal Runkel from Scream Free.
His daily thoughts and book Screamfree Parenting have been an inspiration to me.
Recently, he did an e-mail series entitled The Five Worst Phrases You Can Say.
It was just what I needed.
I figured that maybe you could use some insight into these phrases as well.
Here we go…
The fifth worst phrase you can say:
I’m Just Sayin’
I’m Just Sayin’ is a phrase used after saying something rude or uncomfortable. The phrase is added to pass something along in a passive-aggressive manner.
Instead: Just be honest.
It is as simple as that.
If you are saying words that uplift and bring life to others, you will not need to throw in that I’m Just Sayin‘.
The fourth worst phrase you can say:
I’m sorry, but…
Apologies should never come with a but at the end.
The word but erases the apology.
This one word starts the blame game. Instead of taking responsibility for actions, the blame becomes shifted to someone else.
This puts the other person in defensive mode.
It is ok to mess up. It is ok to make a mistake.
Instead: Just apologize.
I’m sorry. I messed up.
Do you forgive me works every time.
The third worst phrase you can say:
Using Fine or Whatever is just giving up. Throwing in the towel. Quitting.
Any relationship that is important to us is worth saving.
Our children and our spouse should never hear us say fine, whatever because we are too invested in those relationships.
Instead: use this idea from Hal Runker of Scream Free:
“I no longer want to continue this argument; I believe it matters to you more than it does to me, so I will respect whatever you decide.”
Or, if you’re brave:
“It seems as if you are trying to make me feel defeated. Is that what you want?”
I run away from conflict. The above two phrases will be so helpful for me.
Bottom line: do not give up on the relationships that mean the most to you.
The second worst phrase you can say:
Jumping to an extreme is not the best place to be in relationships.
I am so guilty of this one.
I use never and always a lot.
And it needs to stop.
No one never and no one always does anything. (That may not be correct grammar, but I think you get the point!)
We are human. We make mistakes. We cannot be that perfect so let’s stop saying it!
Instead: Try using rarely. Or it seems to me that…
This does not make the other person feel quite so defensive.
And we have made it to WORST PHRASE YOU CAN SAY:
I told you so.
You would have thought that we left this behind in elementary school.
But the truth is, we didn’t.
We are trying to validate ourselves when we use I told you so.
We want to belittle the other person when we use I told you so.
In fact, nothing about I told you so is uplifting or encouraging.
As a mom, I have found that I use this phrase way too often.
I would encourage you to check the condition of your heart after using I told you so.
Instead: Try these words from Hal Runker.
“Sounds like things didn’t turn out the way you’d hoped. That stinks; I hate it when that happens.”
Time to evaluate.
Which of these worst phrases do you find yourself saying often?
For me, it is always/never. I just jump to conclusions too quickly.
My goal is to slow down and carefully watch each word that comes out of my mouth.
Will you join me?
And do not forget to check out these amazing resources from Hal Runker.