What are they? Absolute words are those words (and/or phrases) which are either 100% RIGHT, or 100% WRONG. And, how many things in this life fall into those categories??
Right! Not many.
There's NOTHING WORSE than sentences that begin,"There's nothing worse than..."
What do these words look like?
Why are these words dangerous?
They are limiting, RESTRICTING, show judgment and our biases. They limit our willingness to accept. When we hear others use these words, we feel defeat. When others hear us use these, they bristle inside - and we create more barriers.
If you are working on your self-confidence, be cognizant of how you use self-talk. Do you use the words always or never?
Avoid these words also if you are working on interpersonal communication, omit these words. Releasing these words from your vocabulary breaks down barriers, and creates an atmosphere of openness. It takes work to change ingrained habits, HOWEVER, it is WORTH IT! Realizing you do it is the first step - and once you begin to listen to yourself, you may be surprised at how often you speak in absolutes.
What words should you use instead?
If you hear yourself saying, “I'm always late…I'm never right”...
...instead say “I will arrive on time… I had a setback, but next time I will get it right…”
The first step is acknowledging that the language EXISTS and listening to ourselves to see if we speak in absolutes. If that is a habit, first make the change in your mind and your mouth will follow!
Pay attention and keep track of your changes. Begin with conversations with yourself and you'll notice that the better you become at that - your relationships with others will be impacted positively.
It's an important change - you see, it's not just a matter of using the wrong words. These words insinuate negative behaviors and expectations in ourselves and in others. Some examples are below:
Always/never (ever). Rarely are statements accurate when using these words - but by stating them, you are saying things are 100% one way or the opposite. It may be true 99.9999% of the time, but that does not mean it happens EVERY time.
You might use these words in speaking with a coworker or significant other. "You never left me a message," implying that the other person screwed up and blame is being placed. Instead, use less inflammatory language, such as,"I'm sorry, I didn't see your message, can you please resend?" Inflection, whether written or spoken, is everything. (See what I did there?)
Best/worst. These superlative words are coming from an opinion (such as,"He is the best/worst actor there is!") and should not be used. Even about coffee.
Statements using these words are exaggerated and dramatic.
Let's just "Say No" to drama... shall we?!
Definite(ly). You can never know that you will "definitely" do something or that something will "definitely" happen. You do not own a crystal ball.
Nothing/everything. “There’s nothing worse than...” (See title of this post!) I'm pretty sure there IS something worse. But turn it around and say there IS a way to do it properly.