Tom Andrews, Ph.D. Worry/Anxiety/Panic Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy without Medication

Softer language

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Sometimes, cognitive therapy seems to come down to using softer language, when appropriate, about things negative. I take it that our own emotional reactions generally depend upon our perceptions and that these can be influenced by thought and language. Further, how others respond to what we say often depends upon how we say it, tone, for example, and the words we choose.
 
Sometimes when we speak of a negative too strongly, others will ignore what we are complaining about and focus, instead, on what they take as our over-the-top way of saying it. That, in turn, might become the focus of an argument, instead of the substance of our complaint, which might have gotten lost. If you tell me I never pick up my socks, and I reply that I did just last week, I'm likely missing your point. "You never pick up your socks!" might better be said as ,"I'd like you to pick them up more often.".  Or I could give up responding as a logician and simply understand that you mean that you want me to pick them up more often

It is not just with others: our own words effect us ourselves, our emotional reactions.  Rather than saying, "I hate it; I can't stand it; I can't do it, etc. " it might work better to say, "A part of me is upset about that, at this moment; this is difficult, yet I will do it, etc." Such mindfully softer talk might not be as expressive or natural, but it might be more effective and even calming.

You might notice that many people use such softer, more diplomatic, nicer, friendlier words and tone away from home, with friends, colleagues, customers, new lovers, and the like. On the other hand, many neglect doing so with family or within themselves.