In my book, Unforgiving, Memoir of an Asperger’s Teen, I relate how I was often blasted for saying what I thought was expected of me!
Feelings of inadequacy don’t go away easily, so I’m always on the lookout for advice—especially advice related to conversing. Here according to leadership coach Lolly Daskal of Inc.com in New York City, are five words to avoid:
Won’t: When you say that something won’t work it conveys a defeatist attitude. Instead say something like, I have some concerns; let’s work through them.
Maybe: Saying maybe gives the impression of an inability or unwillingness to commit, (not good) and may signify a lack of intention or direction to your listener. A better approach, if you have reservations? I’d like to hear (or see) more details first.
Sorry: This is the perfect word if you have an apology to make. But if you’re asking for something? Sorry does not belong. Phrase your request without apology.
Just: When you say, I’m just concerned… you may sound tentative, even apologetic to the listener. You will come across as much stronger and more confident if you say, I’m concerned….
Usually: This is a word that not only lacks energy, but indicates resistance to change (not that we know anything about that, right Aspies? A friend bought me a charming new hat and was disappointed when I would not wear it. I told him Aspies need time to get used to new things. We need to have it around for awhile before we can deal with it emotionally. The same applies to ideas, changes in schedule, routine, proposed menu—you name it!) So, watch out for the word It will give us away in the twinkling of its four syllables. Instead, gather up your courage and say something like, Let’s give it a try. And mean it.
Aspies, I admire each and every one of you. Thank you so much for following my blog. I’d love to get your input on my posts, so don’t be shy about commenting!
Remember, just getting up each day and going through the motions is important. Even more important? Having a purpose. Read next week’s blog to learn more about that.
Margaret Jean Adam.
This blog is from material published in January 9, 2017 Financial Post Column by Rick Spence, Free Advice to Live By.