Workplace Communication

Are You Furious or Upset? Hurt or Angry?

How often do we take the time to really think about the words we choose to express ourselves? In most instances, we use the first word or words that come to mind. However, one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes illustrates the importance of choosing words wisely.

choosing words

At first glance, you might think that it’s unlikely you’d ever use the word lightening when you meant to use the word lightening bug, but what about the words we choose to express our emotions?

If you’re furious about something, do you say, “I’m furious,” or do you downplay your emotion and say, “I’m upset”? When you’re hurt by something someone has said or done, do you admit it, or do you tell them you’re angry to protect yourself from vulnerability by hiding your true feelings? When expressing remorse to a customer, do you say, “I’m truly sorry that this happened” or “I apologize for the inconvenience”?

The problem with not communicating your emotions clearly and honestly is that you leave others without a chance of responding to your expression of emotion properly and you don’t receive the many benefits of releasing the emotion by sharing it.

This week, instead of using the first word that comes to mind, take the time to identify a word or words that are more clear, accurate, and honest. When it comes to expressing your emotions, don’t hide them. Tell people exactly how you feel by clearly identifying the emotion you’re experiencing. However, be sure when you’re expressing emotions, they’re real emotions. Just because you put the words “I feel” in front of a statement, doesn’t make it an expression of emotion. “I feel like punching you in the nose” isn’t an expression of emotion. If you want to punch me in the nose, what emotion are you likely feeling? Anger? Frustration? Disappointment? Then say so! If you need more help expressing your emotions, be sure to check out my blog post on I Language.

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