Around the House: Use Words to Prevent Conflict and Brighten Your Day
By Yehudit Garmaise
Lashon Kodesh needs only one word, “d’var” for “thing,” “talk,” and “word.”
From this, we learn that our
words we speak create “things,” just as Hashem created the world with His
speech and breath.
Considering the great superpowers our words have to create “worlds,” we can remember that by carefully choosing our words with our family members, friends, and co-workers, we can improve our relationships, avoid conflicts, and help everyone’s days feel more smooth, and pleasant.
Many studies show that people usually underestimate how happy others feel when they are spoken to kindly and courteously, Prevention magazine reported.
While saying “Good morning,” Please,” and “Thank you” in pleasant tones are basic, everyday manners, using other phrases as well can brighten everyone’s day.
“I would be happy to do that when I can, but I am a little busy at the moment,” said in a relaxed tone, could replace whatever we might say in frustration when tasks and requests are coming in from every direction.
Instead of barking out, “Not right now,” or “Maybe later,” to our children and co-workers, can we gently communicate that we will help them as soon as we have a chance?
“In my opinion,” is a great way to start when we want to voice any idea that might be met with resistance or even anger. Showing that you know your ideas are “just your own personal points of view” and not necessarily facts can help others to consider what you are saying.
“You might be right,” is a great response, even if you don’t believe it, when you want to diffuse conflict and move past an impasse with someone with whom you will have to “agree to disagree.”
Staying silent and saying nothing when narshkeit is coming your way is even better, so you don’t say anything you will regret. Plus, rearrange the word “silent,” and we can form “listen,” which helps us to learn something helpful and important.
We can wait patiently for words that annoy us to move past us like passing clouds when we choose to ignore them.
“You are very talented at (fill in the blank),” is a great thing to say to inspire the people around us to try their best. Most people who feel valued, visible, and appreciated will work hard to make positive impacts and overcome challenges with good cheer.
“I see your gifts” is another phrase that, when heard, would make anyone smile. Everyone has unique strengths, but many people are not yet sure exactly where their talents lie. Many studies have found that using your particular strengths and talents for a larger cause correlates with living happier and more fulfilled lives.
When we notice someone doing anything that we admire, from waiting patiently at the doctor’s office to saving a treat for later, to getting a good grade, we can make anyone feel great by warmly praising their specific accomplishments.
Of course, we need to remember to tell ourselves when we know we did a “job well done” so as not to need affirmation nor validation from anyone else.
“Could you please tell me more about that?” is a great way to show we care about someone. We make space for others when we ask them to talk about their interests, feelings, and experiences.
Although we may want to immediately share our own thoughts and experiences, most people feel best supported when we respond simply by listening quietly and attentively and asking follow-up questions.
“I’m proud of you” is something we say that can make the heart glow in anyone, adult or child. While we often reserve this phrase to acknowledge larger accomplishments, we can say it more often to show that we see someone’s efforts and progress of any size.
“You are perfect as you are” is the nicest thing you can say to anyone you love, appreciate, and admire. Although everyone has insecurities and things about themselves that they would like to change, what makes people feel most at ease is that our loved ones, colleagues, and friends appreciate us as we are.
To co-workers, we can say, “I feel lucky that you are on our team,” or “I admire you.”
To friends and spouses, we can say, “I love spending time with you,” “We always have such a great time together,” “You always make me laugh,” and “I am grateful for you.”