We should think twice before saying a lot of things. These six things are among them:

“He is weird” – Try to look at this person as just being different from most people. No one is weird. Everyone is unique. To that person, we may be the weird one!

“Maybe no” – Whenever we say a sentence beginning with the word ‘maybe’, why not let the second part be something positive? E.g. instead of saying, ‘Maybe no’, make it ‘Maybe yes’. After all, ‘maybe’ means 50-50 (provided we really mean it to be) and saying it either way actually means the same thing. Think about it.

“I don’t have time to do it” – Never say this when what we really mean is, “I have many other things to do which I feel are more important and interesting, and I can’t sacrifice any of them e.g. watching TV, meeting friends, playing my favourite sport, napping, spending time with my boyfriend/girlfriend, surfing the Net, reading, eating, playing with gadgets, etc.”

“I’ll see first whether I can make it” – Avoid this reply when what we really mean is, “Actually I don’t have any plans on that day. It’s just that I don’t find your invitation very appealing. If something more interesting comes up, I’ll definitely say no to you. Even if I really have no alternative plans, I’ll just make up some excuses like ‘I feel tired’, ‘I don’t feel well’, ‘I oversleep’, ‘I suddenly need to attend to some urgent matters’, etc.”

“No” – Under certain circumstances, let’s not begin our sentence with the word ‘No’ regardless of how badly we disagree with something. Instead of saying ‘no’ directly, skilfully and gently communicate a different opinion. The next time you are in casual conversation or formal discussion, observe how a person’s expression changes and how defensive he becomes after a ‘No’ from another. It’s a bad word (a bad first word to be uttered at least). Worse still is a prolonged ‘Noooo…’ or a repeated ‘No no no…’.

“I beg to differ/I disagree” – This is totally redundant. Just go straight to our point. It will be obvious that we are expressing a different stand. Using this phrase just makes us sound arrogant.

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