Why are you wearing that?
Why didn’t you call?
Why are there dishes in the sink?
Want to have a fight and raise tensions at your next family gathering? Here’s a quick-start fire log for ya! A rapid succession of “Why” questions will do the trick!
There are words that will derail a conversation. Avoiding them, especially during the holidays, will help your gatherings go so much more smoothly!
“Why” is a valuable self-introspective tool and something an engineer can use to deconstruct a particular outcome. Beyond that, “why” simply becomes a tool of blame and shame.
You might as well call the other person bad, wrong, and stupid.
Instead of “Why,” consider “What” or “How”
What about that outfit do you love?
I didn’t see that you called. What can you do in the future to help us all know what your timing might be?
Since we’re all using the kitchen, what can be done to keep the sink clear? Can we each take responsibility for our plates?
But you didn’t…
But I ended up…
But takes away and demeans anything that has come before it. It can also create a competition when none was intended: you’re wearing green, but I’m wearing blue.
That implies what I’m wearing is somehow better.
Instead of “But,” consider “And,” which is much more inclusive.
You should have called
You should have brought green beans and not potato salad
You should have known better
The truth here is that no one can “should have” anything in the present moment, so “shoulds” are only intended to cast blame.
Switch to inquiring about what “would” or “could” be done in the future.
There are all kinds of “hot-button” topics that could ignite badly during a family gathering.
Top Tip: consider moving from blame to a more strategic direction, “what else could we talk about?”
The bottom line, of the 10 Watch Words I have in my book, Choosing Your Power, these three are the top and need to be eliminated where possible: Why, But, and Should
That’s how you’ll keep making your magic at work, at home, and in the world.
= Wayne =
Want to step further into your personal power? Catch my free Master Class recording right here: www.WaynePernell.com/PowerfulPresenceMasterclass