The Effects of Rigid Language

We have all heard the caution around the word “should.” When we use it in regards to ourselves or to others, it can often become accompanied with guilt, unrealistic expectations, and/or judgment.

The same can be said for rigid language in general. When we use the words ‘always’ or ‘never’ when speaking about behaviours, choices, and/or conduct, we can set ourselves up to be critical (regardless of our intention.)

“You always……”

“You never……”

“I will always…..”

“I will never…..”

Sometimes we use these words when we are angry – especially if the behaviour is one that is a part of a pattern or a relationship dynamic. Sometimes we use these words when we are trying to form a new habit or create the momentum of willpower; sometimes we use these words because we feel strongly about something. Regardless of why we choose rigid language, we are better served to proceed with caution in their use. When using them with others, it will often create a defensive stance – when using them with ourselves, it will often lead to an unhealthy internal dialogue. We are better served to remain flexible, to recognize that there are always two sides to the story, and the truth often sits somewhere in the middle 🙂

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