Always, Never & You!


Our choice of words can either build bridges or create barriers in our communication. It is crucial to recognize the detrimental effects of certain words like “always,” “never,” and “you” when expressing ourselves. By understanding their implications, we can find alternative ways to foster healthier and more effective communication.

Concern: Words like “always” and “never” are absolutes that tend to generalize and exaggerate situations. When we use these words, we unintentionally undermine our message and invalidate the other person’s perspective.

Solution: We can express ourselves more accurately by using phrases such as “often,” “sometimes,” or “on occasion.” These terms acknowledge the complexity of human experiences and open up spaces for understanding and compromise.

Concern: The word “you” can come across as accusatory and place blame on the other person. It shifts the focus from the issues at hand to a personal attack, hindering productive conversation.

Solution: An alternative approach is to use “I” statements, where we express our feelings, thoughts, and experiences. By saying “I feel,” “I think,” or “I need,” we take responsibility for our emotions and invite a collaborative dialogue that fosters empathy and understanding.

In addition to avoiding these harmful words, active listening, and practicing empathy are crucial for effective communication. By genuinely listening to others and seeking to understand their perspective, we create a safe and supportive environment for open dialogue. Reflective listening, paraphrasing, and asking clarifying questions demonstrate our willingness to engage and validate their experiences.

By avoiding words like “always,” “never,” and “you,” we can create a more positive and inclusive atmosphere for meaningful conversations. Embracing alternatives like accurate expressions of frequency and utilizing “I” statements allows us to convey our thoughts and emotions without resorting to blame and generalizations. Applying these simple changes in language may be a necessary catalyst to strengthening your personal and professional relationships.