Leliana Valentina Parvulescu

Toxic words. How to avoid them

Psychology Hour
Dr. Leli

Did you know that there are toxic words? You use them every day, but you are not aware of them, because we humans do not pay much attention to the words used. As we behave differently, our words are different. For example, extroverts choose words that express enthusiasm and abstracts in everyday language, but are more direct in expressing their wishes, while introverts prefer to speak in more concrete and specific terms using a more cautious language, full of “maybe”. and “probably.”
In this article I want to show you the 10 toxic words that you should avoid in any conversation with others and especially in the inner dialogue with yourself.

■ Guilt. Sometimes we use this word without realizing the repercussions
its on our psyche. This implies that there is something wrong with us, that we feel that some of our characteristics as human beings are not adequate, which generates a deep existential anxiety. Instead, we should use words such as “I’m sorry for what I did,” which means that our behavior was wrong, but not wrong with us.
■ Failure. In reality, failure does not exist, there are only life experiences that they lead in one direction rather than the other. When we think in terms of failure, it means assuming that we have failed. Therefore, it is good to replace the word failure with terms that describe life experiences.
■ Duty. The word duty is one of the strongest expressions invented by society to generate a sense of guilt in us. Many people lose their beauty because they use “must” instead of “I want”.
■ Impossible. It is not about assuming a naive positivism, it is important to be realistic. However, we use the word “impossible” much more than would be advisable. Therefore, it is better to start thinking in terms of probability than to use words like “never” or “impossible”.
■ Hate. Hate is one of the most perverse emotions that exists, because it can cause enormous damage, especially to those who experience it. So try to be more specific when cataloging your emotions. What you label as hate is probably frustration.
■ Always. The problem with this word is that it usually comes out of our mouths when we try to scold someone: “you always behave like that”, or when we try to defend something: “I always did it like that”. However, “always” is a temporal generalization that immobilizes. Therefore, it is important to use this word very carefully.

Leliana Parvulescu

■ Never. And this is a word to avoid, it falls into a form of
temporal generalization, which can cause great disappointments.
■ Problem. The word “problem” has negative implications, because we associate it with obstacles and difficulties. When we include it in our internal dialogue, our brain reacts immediately by triggering all alarms and generating a state of stress and anxiety. We can resize it, imagining that it is actually an opportunity or we can choose a simpler path and replace it directly with the word “challenge”. After all, all problems are just challenges.
■ Sooner or later. If you’re one of those people who says so always: “sooner or later I will do it”, then it is likely that you have put your life plans on hold. If we really want something, we need to commit and develop an action plan. Otherwise, sooner or later it will become “never”.
■ Try. To say that we will try to do something often means that we are not confident enough that we are not capable enough. Either way, it means starting with the wrong step. It is true that things do not always go as planned and we cannot always achieve the goals we have set for ourselves, but we must start with a positive attitude. So avoid thinking that you are trying something, you better think that “you will do”.